Wellington: Controlled bowling by New Zealand took the gloss off a record-setting performance by AB de Villiers as South Africa were restricted to 271 in the third one-day international in Wellington on Saturday.
De Villiers won the toss and was keen to bat first on a hard track under clear skies at Westpac Stadium. He played his part with a rapid 85 off 80 balls in which he became the fastest batsman to amass 9,000 ODI runs.
He reached the milestone in his 205th innings, outperforming the previous record of 228 held by India’s Sourav Ganguly.
But apart from Quinton de Kock, who posted his fifth consecutive half century, 36 from Faf de Plessis and 35 from Wayne Parnell, no other South African batsman was able to seriously better a controlled New Zealand bowling effort.
De Kock gave South Africa the flying start they hoped for when de Villiers opted to bat first. He was 34 off 33 deliveries when Hashim Amla fell and went on to score 68 off 70 including six fours and two sixes.
Amla never looked comfortable and struggled to seven off 19 before his departure saw du Plessis and de Kock accelerate the scoring in a 73-run stand before both fell four balls apart in the same Colin de Grandhomme over.
Jimmy Neesham took a well-judged running catch on the boundary to put a full stop to de Kock’s innings at 68.
While De Villiers brought up his 51st half century, JP Duminy (16), David Miller (three) and Dwaine Pretorius (11) spent little time in the middle as South Africa stood at six for 180 with 11 overs remaining.
With Parnell propping up one end, de Villiers was able to boost the score in an 84-run partnership before both fell in the final over.
Parnell was adjudged run out on the last ball of the innings after grounding his bat legitimately but then lifting it as the bails were removed. De Grandhomme, who completed his 10 overs in one spell, returned the best New Zealand figures of two for 40.
Spinner Mitchell Santner took one for 45 and new ball bowler Trent Boult one for 47.
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