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One Day International Series
Thanks for joining us Thanks for joining me, Gareth Allison, here at Cricket365 for coverage of today's game. We hope to see you for the first Test match, starting on Wednesday. Until then, take care - goodbye for now.
To wrap up: South Africa win by 5 wickets and take the ODI series 3-0 NZ were on the back foot from the start by not being able to select Doug Bracewell and Jesse Ryder, and the absence of Tim Southee was also felt. They simply didn't get nearly enough runs on the board in their innings, due in no small part to clinical, precise and claustrophobic bowling from the South Africans who didn't let up from ball one. Once again in this series, a few batsmen got in but didn't follow through, and stand-in captain Brendon McCullum's 47 was the hosts' highest score. The Proteas were also electric in the field, with Faf du Plessis seemingly everywhere. He took a blinder of a catch to put paid to Martin Guptill, along with a slick run-out and stops that evoked vintage Jonty Rhodes. Marchant de Lange got four wickets on debut, and together with Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Dale Steyn ensure that the Kiwis were never allowed to settle at the crease. Hashim Amla again put the Proteas in a commanding position, smiting 76 runs with Albie Morkel as backup. South Africa made slightly heavy work of the last 20-odd runs, but a 5 wicket win with 38 balls to spare is not to be sniffed at.
No man of the series announced A man of the series hasn't been announced. Slightly strange, but there you go. The first Test match starts in four days time, March 7th, at the University Oval in Dunedin. Can New Zealand bounce back and finish their home summer on a more positive note?
A word from the captain: South Africa AB de Villiers is obviously a very happy man, it's a big achievement for the new captain. "Hard luck to the Black Caps guys. We all know you are a good team, and you will bounce back." Coach Gary Kirsten will also be well satisfied with the way his team have responded after losing the first T20 match, winning the next five limited overs matches on the trot and claiming both trophies on offer.
A word from the captain: New Zealand Brendon McCullum is gracious in defeat; "SA was too good for us. We're going to learn from the experiences we've had against you guys. Thanks for the hard fought series. Us as a group will definitely go forward from these performances." They'll have to pick themselves up for the Test series, the Black Caps, but they'll take heart in the fact that they'll have the likes of Ross Taylor and Daniel Vettori back in their ranks for those matches.
Man of the Match For his four wickets at a cost of 46 runs on debut, it's Marchant de Lange. The big Titans bowler is all smiles; "I'm really enjoying it and learning a lot. Enjoying NZ conditions. Awesome having the big guys around." he says shyly.
Press conference It's now time for the press conference - who's your bet for man of the match and man of the series?
No answer to a dominant South African outfit New Zealand used eight bowlers, but couldn't find a way to bowl the tourists out to defend their sub-par total of 206 all out. After a promising start to the summer, with a Test victory over Australia in Hobart and a whitewash in all formats against a hapless Zimbabwe, the Black Caps have come back down to earth with a bump. The Proteas have outplayed them in almost every department, and one feels this series victory will be sweet in light of their 1-5 drubbing in the previous ODI series here in the land of the long white cloud.
Over 43.2 Nicol 2-6 After a quick two, AB has had enough and ends the match with a flourish: it's a big six to the shorter straight boundary, and the victory is secured. South Africa canter home by 5 wickets, and once again the captain is at the crease to celebrate the victory.
Proteas almost home and dry 7 off 42 now. One big over will do it.
Over 43 McKay 0-0-0-0-4-0 Left-armer Andy McKay is coming around the wicket again to Johan Botha, striving for some reverse swing. He's aiming to angle it in and then shape it away slightly, squaring the man up. Botha looks unhurried and untroubled, defending stoutly before pounding a good straight drive to the long-off boundary to bring up the Proteas' 200. Almost there.
Over 42 Nicol W-0-0-0-1-0 Well well well, Nicol gets another WICKET! A quicker one, and Duminy gets tangled up coming down the track, and he's been bowled. Late pressure from the unheralded off-spin of Rob Nicol, and SA are making slightly hard work of these last 11 runs.
Over 41 McKay 4-1lb-1-0-0-1 Duminy cashes in for a four, too wide from McKay and he drives him to the fence. He moves down the wicket to the next one, and gets squared up before scurrying a single - awkward one to contend with, that. AB takes guard on off-stump, due to McKay coming around the wicket to him, and promptly gets himself off strike. JP misses out on a wide one, before pulling hard in front of mid-wicket for a single. South Africa inching towards the victory and the 3-0 clean sweep of the ODI series.
Over 40 Nicol 1-0-1-0-W-0 The curly-haired Rob Nicol has been summoned to have another go here in the 40th over, and he gets a WICKET - Faf has to go after a lazy shot. It's going to be reviewed, and I suspect the umpire's decision will be upheld - and it is. He's out, and is there a twist in the tale here for the New Zealanders? The South African captain will do his best to ensure that there won't be - he joins Duminy out in the middle with 19 runs required.
Over 39 N McCullum 0-2-1-1-0-0 JP uses his feet to the spinner, and turns the ball into a half-volley to negate any turn Nathan might be getting. They continue to compile the runs required slowly but steadily, and the over comes to a close with South Africa needing a further 21 runs from 66 balls. That's Nathan's ten overs completed as well - he's been tight with no reward tonight.
Over 38 Ellis 0-1-4-0-1-1 du Plessis swivels and hoicks a shorter one over the man at short fine leg, and he collects four runs. Bit of a top edge there, but the man was in the circle due to the powerplay, so it was safe. There haven't really been fireworks in this powerplay so far, with these two seemingly content to coast home on the back of ones and twos rather than big hitting.
Over 37 N McCullum 1-2-0-0-1-0 Nathan beats Duminy in the air, but he adjusts after coming down the track and bats it away for a double. Next ball results in a leading edge, and the bowler just can't grab it - a let-off for JP there and a frustrated Nathan then appeals unsuccesfully for an LBW despite the fact that the batsman had come halfway down the pitch. It was outside the line too, very optimistic.
Over 36 Ellis 0-0-1-0-0-4 JP discovers his timing to cut one square on the back foot, right over the top of that. Four runs, and five runs accrue from that Ellis over.
Ladies and gentleman... ...I present to you: the batting powerplay. The Proteas have taken it, and Faf has a determined look in his eye. We'll have Ellis delivering the first over of this block of five overs.
Over 35 N McCullum 0-1-1-1-0-0 A rush of blood to the head, and a needlessly sharp single would have had the fielding side interested had the throw hit the woodwork. Lots of dust thrown up as Faf slid his bat in to make his ground - touch and go on first look. Nathan is doing his best to apply the skids here, and an appeal for leg-before is dismissed immediately - going down leg, delivered wide of the crease around the wicket.
Over 34 Bates 1-4-0-0-0-1 A chop down past first slip brings Duminy back on strike, and he gets off the mark in stylish fashion. A beautifully placed cover drive from a Bates half-volley, and he looked all class there did Jean-Paul. He toe-ends an attempted pull the very next ball though, and smiles rather sheepishly - back to earth. He can also play the official ODI shot (dab to third man), and collects a single for his trouble.
NZ aim to apply some pressure The Black Caps looking to apply a bit of pressure here; Duminy wasn't too fluid in the last match, but he played an important innings alongside his captain. If they can get another wicket quickly, namely his, they might still be in with a chance to save face.
Over 33 N McCullum 0-0-1-0-0-0 Off-spin in the form of Nathan McCullum; he's around the wicket to Faf. He passes the strike onto JP, who has to contend with a slip as well a man catching at short cover. Nathan keeps it tight, and doesn't let him get off the mark just yet.
Over 32 Bates 1-W-0-0-0-0 Left-arm seam from both ends now. Unlike McKay, Ellis is sticking to over the wicket to the right-handed du Plessis. Albie flicks one towards the boundary rope, but deGrandhomme is there and takes the catch - OUT. Morkel falls, and New Zealand will be buoyed by this wicket. Bates does the trick, and the powerplay claims a wicket. The batsmen didn't cross for some reason, so we'll have the new batsman on strike: it's JP Duminy, the man from Muizenberg.
Over 31 McKay 1w-1-0-0-1-1-0 The left-hander is coming around the wicket to Faf - interesting approach. du Plessis has been quiet at the crease so far after his explosive performance in the field today - he bunts one down to the third man fielder, and gets his mate Albie back on strike. He can't get it away, and it's a muted start to the bowling powerplay.
Powerplay Overs 31-35 will be the bowling powerplay - will Albie tee off here? McKay comes back into the attack.
Over 30 Mills 6-0-0-1-1-1 Baseball-type stuff from Mr. Morkel, and that flies comfortably over cow corner for a big, big six. Take that, Mills, he seems to say. He loves it when he can free his arms like that, and if the bowler puts it there again you'd put good money on the same end result - bang! There's one slip in for Faf, but he works a single on the on-side to bring up his side's 150. There's only 56 runs left for the Kiwis to defend now, and they need another eight wickets.
Over 29 Williamson 1-0-1-1-0-1 We've got young Kane Williamson on to bowl now. Albie is subdued, getting Faf into the "let's rotate the strike" club immediately. The new man duly obliges, and off they go.
Over 28 Mills 0-0-0-W-0-0 Finally, New Zealand get a wicket; it's Kyle Mills' 200th in ODI cricket, and its that man Hashim Amla who perishes. He hit it straight up into the air, and Brendon McCullum took it easily - OUT. Will this be the catalyst that the hosts need to get back in this game? The crowd making some more noise now, they enjoyed that. It's that electric fielding livewire, Faf du Plessis, who has come out to join his Titans team-mate Albie.
Over 27 N McCullum 1-0-0-1-1-0 James Franklin gets another chance to run out Amla, but misses the stumps once more. Hash had made his ground in time as well, almost a repeat of an earlier run-out chance several overs ago involving the same parties. Albie and Amla trade singles, and still the Black Caps toil with scant reward in the wickets column.
Over 26 Mills 2-0-4-0-1-2 Mills is looking for his 200th ODI wicket, but good running gets Amla two runs. McCullum tries to take the throw, but Amla collides slightly with him, losing his bat. Bit of a mess that, with Brendon having to take evasive action as the throw bounced on the edge of the drop-in pitch. He seems to be in a bit of discomfort, the captain, before Hashim adds insult to injury by glancing an errant delivery for four. It brings up the fifty partnership for these two batsman as well; Dolphins man Amla celebrates by guiding one to third man for the obligatory single.
Over 25 N McCullum 0-0-1-0-0-0 The captain's older brother by a year is back, and he fires them in to limit the well-set pair to just a single.
Over 24 deGrandhomme 1-1-1w-1-1-1lb-4 deGrandhomme bowls a bit of a shocker, pitching outside leg and carrying on that way, and he's wided for his trouble. Albie and Amla calmly continue to rotate the strike, seemingly unperturbed by who is bowling each over. It's a good attitude, until Morkel smashes a full ball past mid-off for another boundary. deGrandhomme winces at that the treatment that half-volley got.
Over 23 Nicol 1-0-1-1-0-0 It's the opening bat, Rob Nicol, to bowl his offies to Albie, and he is milked for a couple of singles before McCullum goes up for an LBW that no one else shows any interest in - looks like it hit the bat as well. He has a frenetic action for a spinner, Nicol; lots of waving hands as he enters his delivery stride. Albie isn't put off, and blocks out the over quietly.
Over 22 Ellis 0-1-0-6-0-6 Andy Ellis continues and Brendon McCullum is moving his field around to try and engineer a wicket here. Men at short catching positions next to the non-striker and a slip, but Albie swings in the arc and gets his first six of the innings. That was an authoritative shot, and a spectator tries to catch it in vain. Albie goes even bigger, the ball soaring even higher into the night sky and lands near the corporate area - put down once again by a member of the crowd. Morkel is flexing his muscle now, and if he gets going, this could be over fairly soon.
Over 21 McKay 0-0-1-4-0-0 Amla works a ball from off to the on-side with typical wristy flair to thwart the bowler's predominantly off-side field - one run. Albie finally finds his feet and pulls one away with much more confidence to earn himself a four - the ball bounced chest-high, and he dealt with it well. McKay gives the batsman too much width, but well-timed smash only finds the fielder, and he gets away with a dot ball. 108 runs to win now for South Africa - inching closer.
Over 20 Ellis 1-1-4-0-1-0 Ellis lets out a cry of frustration as a ball that is delivered full and straight is glanced away fine for four runs to the short boundary; Amla moved across and showed the bowler his stumps; risky shot. Morkel, like Wayne Parnell before him, doesn't seem to be timing it quite right just yet.
Over 19 McKay 0-0-0-1-1-0 Andy McKay is keeping Albie quiet here; he keeps his cool and eventually taps one off his hip, standing stright up. A great wristy flick from Amla gets him a single down to the fine leg fielder off a ball that was just short of yorker length. He's bowled well so far has the Auckland-born man, but he'll be hoping for a Daniel Christian-like hat-trick soon to bring his side back into contention, As it stands, the Kiwis are still playing catch-up to a Proteas side that is looking very self-assure at the moment.
Over 18 Ellis 0-1-0-0-1-0 A tight single taken off the second ball of the over, and James Franklin shies and misses. A certain bearded batsman had made his ground in time according to the replays, but he was struggling to ground his bat due to the edge of the drop-in pitch used here. A few batsman have struggled with that today, but luckily for Amla it didn't hamper him there. Ellis finishes off the over with a good bouncer, drawing the batsman into a reckless hook but missing everything on the way to the keeper. Good ball that, could so easily have got an edge or kissed the gloves on the way through.
Drinks break The players take a quick breather to grab some refreshments and work out how to make further inroads into this powerful-looking South African batting order. Beautiful sunset in Auckland now after a gloomy day - great scene as a backdrop to a game of international cricket.
Over 17 McKay 0-1-0-0-1-0 A single from the in-form Amla brings Johannes Albertus Morkel on strike; he's looking to play himself in. There's plenty of time, and absolutely no rush, which is quite a change for a man who's often tasked with coming in at the end of an innings to clout a few mighty blows off the last over or five. He gets himself off the mark with a little tuck off the hip in front of square off a 140km/h ball from the deceptively quick McKay. Hashim pulls handsomely, but is only rewarded with a single off the last ball of the over to keep the strike.
Over 16 Ellis 0-1-W-0-0-0 Hashim Amla adds another fifty to his illustrious career stats, it's taken him a mere 53 balls. Ellis manages to pull something out of the hat in his very first over, yorking Wayne Parnell - OUT. Great ball from the New Zealander, and Parnell trudges back. The experiment with him at the top of the order didn't quite come off, but he's made a useful 27. Will it be Albie Morkel in at number 3? Indeed, the elder Morkel strides out to take guard. Brace yourself - we could be in for some fireworks.
Over 15 N McCullum 2-1-0-2-0-0 Nicol slides in the outfield and pulls up some huge divots - the outfield is still rather soggy. Parnell then plays with fire by trying to loft the spinner over the mid-on fielder, who jumps high in the air. The ball sails just over his fingertips, and it's runs for Parnell. He was lucky there, could have so easily gone to hand.
Over 14 Mills 1-1w-1-0-0-0-0 Mills gets some height on one, and Parnell hooks without much control down to the fielder at fine-leg. He didn't know much about that, did the young all-rounder - it wasn't ultra fast (134km/h), but it was quick enough to hurry him. Amla attempts to get the ball away, but only manages to find the fielders at point and mid-on before playing a typical one-day shot: the angled face down to third man for a single.
Over 13 N McCullum 0-1-0-0-1-0 More easy singles, and Amla is nearing yet another ODI half-century. Parnell hasn't exactly filled the pinch-hitter role just yet, but has managed to rotate the strike and is growing in confidence at the crease. He's definitely found a bit more timing.
Over 12 Mills 1-0-1-0-1-0 The score keeps ticking over with these two taking the singles on offer as calmly as you like. You can sense New Zealand's frustrations growing as each over goes by without a wicket. Who will put their hand up here?
Over 11 N McCullum 1-0-1-0-4-1 The wind picking up slightly as Nathan runs in to bowl; he's got a short cover in to try and catch Parnell on the lofted drive. The batsman responds by calmly thwacking it down to long-off for a comfortable single. Hash takes an off-stump guard as Nathan bowls over the wicket, and a ball that is dragged down short gets the treatment it deserves. Four runs, and the diving man on the boundary can't stop the ball speeding over the rope. Pulled with force.
Over 10 Mills 1-2-1-0-1-1 Hashim Amla hits one up in the air, and it's DROPPED by Nathan McCullum, spilling through his hands running towards the cover boundary. It was swirling high, high up there in the wind, and he just couldn't take it. Difficult chance, he was unlucky to grass it. Another life for Hash - will he make them pay? NZ were 29/1 at the same stage of their innings.
50 up That's South Africa's fifty up, coming in the 9th over. The Proteas are chugging along at 5.66 runs per over at the moment, and looking comfortable so far. Kyle Mills takes up the challenge now, to see if he can break this opening stand...
Over 9 McKay 1-4-0-0-4-1 A half-chance for a run-out goes begging after Amla drops one to the right of the bowler McKay, who fumbles at the critical moment. Parnell rubs it in by thrashing one past point for a boundary straight after - too much width from the bowler, and it's bread and butter for a left-handed batsman like Parnell. McKay then drops one too short, and the man from Port Elizabeth pulls confidently for the second boundary in this over.
Over 8 Bates 0-4-0-4-0-0 Amla showing some aggressive intent now, and he is punishing Bates for erring even slightly - the first boundary was pulled in front of mid-wicket before a ball that wasn't all that full is driven to the long-on boundary with contempt.
Over 7 McKay 4-0-1-0-1-0 Another left-armer into the fray; captain McCullum juggling his bowlers around and asking Andy McKay to make a breakthrough for him. Parnell tucks his first ball to a wide fine leg, but the fielder makes an absolute mess of it and it slips through his fingers for four runs...oh dear. It was Michael Bates out there, and that's a schoolboy error for a shot that should only have brought one run. The strike is rotated a couple of times, but Parnell can't get the last ball off the square.
Over 6 Bates 0-1-0-0-1-1 Amla turns one around the corner, one of his signature shots, that. A good back-foot drive from Wayne Parnell can only find the fielder at cover; he seems to be finding his timing a little more now. Another tidy over from Michael Bates here on his home ground, but NZ will need more than tidy overs if they're to bowl South Africa out for less than 206.
Over 5 N McCullum 0-1-1-1-1-0 Brendon McCullum decides to bring on his brother, Nathan, to see if his darting off-spinners to glean a breakthrough for his side. He pushes them through quickly, and these two batsmen pick off the singles effortlessly. He was a standout in the last game, was Nathan, but he's got his work cut out for him here today in Auckland. A tidy over, four runs from it.
Over 4 Bates 0-0-1-0-0-4 The pinch-hitter is struggling with his timing a bit, but he has plenty of time and overs to play himself in if need be; Parnell takes off for a single that seems tight, but ultimately he was well in with the throw off target. Bates is coming in over the wicket with his left-arm medium repertoire, and Amla calmly defends before unveiling a sumptous straight drive for four. That's the kind of shot that makes young kids want to pick up a bat; exquisite timing, and it flows to the boundary despite the slightly water-logged outfield.
Over 3 Mills - 1-0-0-1nb-4-0 Parnell opens his account, but Mills oversteps to grant Hash a free hit. Absolutely criminal when you're protecting a small total, and the batsman takes advantage of a full toss and clobbers it in front of mid-wicket. Sloppy cricket from Mills, and his team won't be impressed with that at all.
Over 2 Bates 0-0-0-1lb-0-2 The left-armer Bates takes the second over; Parnell tries to swing a wayward one down to fine leg, but he doesn't connect and they run off the pads. Amla expertly turns one around the corner for a comfortable two runs to end the over, and he's looking to be in good nick. Will he be the hero again for the Proteas today after his 92 in the last ODI?
Over 1 Mills 0-2-0-2-0-0 We're underway, and almost immediately Guptill drops Hashim Amla. Oh dear - that's exactly the way NZ would have wanted to kick off their defence. He didn't seem ready for it, and that could be costly.
Here we go... The players have returned, and it will be Kyle Mills to take the first over of the innings. Hashim Amla is taking guard, and he's joined at the top of the order by Wayne Parnell.
NZ will need to strike early and regularly if they are to halt the South Africans' march to a 3-0 series victory. The ball isn't coming on to the bat as it did in the T20 match here, and there is the threat of further rain hanging over Eden Park. We may still see Sirs Duckworth & Lewis rearing their heads, but hopefully it won't come to that. Join us shortly for the Proteas' run-chase - see you then.
South Africa need 207 runs to win the series 3-0 The Proteas will need to score at 4.14 runs per over to overtake the Black Caps' target of 207. It will be interesting to see how captain AB de Villiers will rejig the batting order, with regular opener Graeme Smith not featuring today and stalwart Jacques "King" Kallis rested with a back strain. There are whispers that Albie Morkel will be sent in at the top of the order to partner the hero of the 2nd ODI, Hashim Amla, while Wayne Parnell has also ventured up the order for his franchise, the Chevrolet Warriors.
Stranglehold South Africa strangled the Kiwis right from the start, and they never managed to shake free from it. Brendon McCullum again got in, and threw it away - his 47 was the highest score for his team. Colin de Grandhomme looked impressive in his first ODI outing, clouting several sixes and looking to kick on before de Lange claimed his wicket. The bowlers very rarely gave their hosts any respite, and Marchant de Lange grabbed four wickets despite being slightly expensive. All the other bowlers chipped in with miserly returns, apart from JP Duminy's lone over that was carted for 11 runs. Dale Steyn went surprisingly wicketless; he bowled extremely well and was unlucky not to snaffle any of the NZ scalps here. Tsotsobe, growing increasingly assured opening the bowling, claimed the big wicket of Martin Guptill.
Over 47 Peterson 1-0-0-0-6-W The 200 comes up, to a cheer from the crowd that has braved the elements here today; a great shot from goes for six over the straight boundary. Wow, what a hit from the tail-ender! It's too good to last, sadly, and Peterson claims his man - that's OUT, LBW. The innings is over, and the Black Caps have failed to bat out their 50; a cardinal mistake in ODI cricket. South Africa will chase 207 to claim the whitewash, and NZ have it all to do if they're to defend a frankly underwhelming total.
Over 46 de Lange 0-0-0-3-0-1 Marchant is unlucky not to get Bates, as he goes aerial just over mid-off. Steyn slips in the wet outfield, and they steal three - he's not amused, is the fast bowler (Steyn, that is). de Lange will be gunning for a five-for here, but he won't get it in this over.
Over 45 Peterson 0-2lb-W-0-0-0 It's all unravelling for NZ now, as Robin Peterson claims his first wicket of the game. It doesn't look like they'll last the full 50 overs here, with that WICKET. Mills is LBW, and refers it in desperation - HawkEye shows that it would have indeed hit middle and leg. Bye-bye Mills, and only Andy McKay is left to partner Michael Bates.
Over 44 de Lange 0-6-1-5-W-4 Nathan's had enough, and he clouts a shorter one high and handsome over the boundary for a maximum. Good hit, that. A drop and run sees the batsman sprint through, and de Lange collects and attempts to throw down the stumps at the non-striker's end. He misses, and it goes for 5 wides. Unlucky - Mills would have been out by miles. Nathan then throws it away, and it's that man Amla again with the catch - OUT! Dear oh dear, NZ just can't find any momentum. de Lange claims four on debut, and he'll be over the moon. The man just has a wicket-taking knack, doesn't he?
Over 43 Peterson 0-1-5w-0-0-0-0 AB brings on the spin of Peterson to toy with the two new batsmen, enticing them to hit out. Robbie bowls a poor one, it goes down leg, beats AB and hits the boundary rope. Spoils a decent over from the left-armer, and NZ will take them any way they can at this point in the innings.
Over 42 de Lange 0-0-W-2-W-0 de Lange picks up his 2nd ODI wicket, with Franklin chipping tamely to Hashim Amla at cover - that's OUT. Soft dismissal, and his 94 minutes at the crease are up. SA are well into the tail now, and will be hoping to wrap this up quickly. Andrew Ellis comes in, and he's OUT almost immediately - the same two players team up to account for another Black Cap. Amla takes another catch, and Marchant has three! He certainly has a knack for picking up wickets in any format, does this young man.
Over 41 Parnell 0-0-1-0-1-0 A wayward one down leg clips the pad on the way through to the keeper, and Parnell gets away with one that should have been punished. Nathan searches for the run to get him off the mark, but he's made to wait until he gets a single by pulling a slightly shorter one to the fielder. Parnell finishes the over with a good yorker, and Franklin can't squeeze any runs out of it. NZ aren't getting the acceleration they would like in these last ten overs.
Over 40 de Lange 4-0-1-0-0-0 Marchant gets clipped in the air for four by Franklin - that was a good shot and a welcome boundary at the start of the over. He hands the strike over to Nathan McCullum, who is greeted with a thunderbolt. No more runs from the rest of that over, and de Lange pulled it back well there.
Over 39 Tsotsobe 1-1w-0-6-0-W-0 A flash outside off to one that took off, and de Grandhomme is lucky not to nick it. He pulls one about waist-high for SIX into the stands at mid-wicket to ease the pressure, before another slash outside off fails to come off for him. All or nothing for de Grandhomme, it seems. He sets off for a single, and DIRECT HIT from Albie Morkel. More great fielding from the Proteas, and he's out by quite a distance. The dive didn't save him, and he's got to go - run out for 36. Vital breakthrough for the visitors!
Over 38 Steyn 0-0-0-0-0-0 de Grandhomme is struggling more against the express pace of Dale Steyn than the gentle spin he carted for a few sixes earlier on in his innings - playing and missing, as well as leaving a few that simply whizz past. A maiden over in a powerplay is no mean feat, and Colin didn't have an answer to Steyn there.
Over 37 Tsotsobe 0-1-0-0-1-4 Lonwabo runs in for his eighth over, as former All Black rugby coach Graham Henry watches from the stands. Eden Park was, of course, the venue for both of the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup wins in 1987 and 2011. More diving efforts in the field save the South Africans some valuable runs, and Franklin is lucky to loft one just over a leaping mid-off to get a boundary.
Over 36 Steyn 0-2-1-0-2-0 de Grandhomme drives the world's number one Test bowler through the cover handsomely, but only picks up a couple before clipping one to fine leg. A slip is installed for Franklin, but isn't brought into play as the batsman gets off strike immediately.
The players are out on the park Let's hope that's the last interruption; we've heard that NZ will still face a full 50 overs. Hold onto your hats (if, for some reason, you're wearing one at this hour). It's batting powerplay time too, for some added excitement. Here we go...
Covers are back on Mark Perham, the head groundsman at Eden Park, is out there with his staff putting the covers back on. Another squall of rain seems to have come through - he's looking grimly up at the sky. Play will probably be delayed a little longer now, hopefully not for too much longer.
Play getting under way shortly We're told that play will start up again in 10 minutes. I'm impressed with how many of the crowd have stuck it out, despite the schizophrenic weather in Auckland today. Let's hope there'll be some exciting cricket in the last 15 overs of this New Zealand innings for them - and us!
The rain has stopped The drizzle seems to have abated, and the umpires are out on the ground. Off come the covers, and we should resume play shortly.
Oh dear The rain has got more insistent, and the umpires take the players off with the game at an interesting stage. There are 15 overs left, and 5 of those will be dedicated to the outstanding batting powerplay. de Grandhomme has impressed with his power hitting, and James Franklin will be looking to stay there to the end with him. Let's hope this rain break doesn't last too long.
Over 35 Tsotsobe 1-0-1-0-1-0 Duminy doesn't get a 2nd over after his last effort, and AB calls back Lopsy for another go. A light drizzle descends upon the ground again, but it doesn't seem to be too bad at this stage. The wind is still fairly stiff as well, so Tsotsobe is putting in a good effort at the moment, limiting these two to three singles in that over.
Over 34 Botha 1-4-0-0-1-0 Back-foot bunt from de Grandhomme gets him a one-bounce four. He's looking good, and that was dispatched to a very wide long-on. He seems a powerful hitter, the ex-Zimbabwean, who's in for the suspended Jesse Ryder today.
Over 33 Duminy 1-1-1-1-1-6 Albie Morkel fields one at long-on from Franklin - we haven't seen him have a bowl yet. He hasn't bowled much, if at all, on the limited overs portion of this tour so far. de Grandomme has a reputation as a big hitter, and he might just take a liking to Duminy here with the shorter boundaries on offer at Eden Park. He does indeed, and clobbers a huge SIX to end off the over. If he gets going here, perhaps NZ can at least post something they can attempt to defend. At this stage, they look to be heading for an underwhelming target. A few more big shots like that would certainly be the right tonic at this stage.
When will NZ take the batting powerplay? The Black Caps still have it in hand - JP Duminy to bowl now. Can "Golden Arm" nip another one out?
Over 32 Botha 1w-1-1-0-1-1 The wind whipping Botha's shirt as he skips in - not gale force, but certainly brisk. de Grandhomme is eyeing the square boundary on the leg-side, but has to settle for a punch down to long-off. Botha dived in vain trying to field it off his own bowling - SA have been great in the field today apart from those early overthrows.
Over 31 Parnell 0-0-1nb-6-0-0-1 No ball from Parnell entitles de Grandhomme to a FREE HIT. He surveys the ground, licking his lips and absolutely canes one right in the slot for SIX. That went pretty far, 94 metres, and he's off the mark in the best possible way. First maximum of the day, and it was bowled cross-seam by Parnell. He clips one off his hip for a single, and looks very fluent does the Harare-born de Grandhomme. Parnell will want to forget that over.
Over 30 Botha 0-1-0-4-W-1w-0 Fielders are throwing themselves around, but they can't stop everything - Franklin paddle sweeps one to the vacant fine-leg boundary. Wouldn't you believe it, Faf swoops on one dropped in front of point, and fires it in to AB right above the stumps - GONE. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. He's been superb in the field as always, has Faf, and that slick piece of work sees Kane Williamson depart. Breathtaking stuff, and NZ look shell-shocked. A wide though from Botha, but new man Colin de Grandhomme doesn't make him pay for the extra ball.
Over 29 Parnell 1-1-1-1-0-0 Good pace from Parnell; a single scampered to mid-off and Lopsy hits the stumps with the batsman safely home. Franklin is hurried for pace, and slips and falls on reaching the bowler's end - it's still a little wet out there, although the park has drained really well. The one hundred comes up for NZ, and a stifled appeal for LBW against Franklin causes NZ hearts to flutter. Going way down leg - no wicket there for Parnell.
Over 28 Botha 1-1-0-1-1-0 Scrooge McDuck, aka Johan Botha, skips in for another over. The best that Williamson and Franklin can do is work him off the back foot for singles where they can, and the over whizzes by.
Over 27 Parnell 0-0-0-2-1-0 It's Wayne Parnell for the first time today, getting Kane to play and miss. Angling across the batsman nicely; Faf cuts off one that the batsman does make contact with. They get 2 runs from an extremely wide one that Williamson has to stretch to reach. Toe of the bat, and Botha cuts it off as Spider-Man and a sumo wrestler look on in the stands (no joke). Half-chance for a caught-and-bowled, but Parnell can't hold on. They're not easy, those, and they either stick or they don't.
Over 26 Botha 0-0-1-1-0-0 Faf pulls off an acrobatic stop to deny Franklin a single off Botha - that was spectacular, and the crowd are roused with that effort. He's really a stand-out in the field, and two catches in the innings have gone to him already. Botha continues with his Scrooge impression, the one he does so well; Franklin desperately tries to sweep and is lucky to have the edge hit his shoulder instead of going straight up. A let-off there, as that would have been an easy catch for AB. The stranglehold continues.
Over 25 Peterson 0-1-1-0-1-0 Still a slip in place for Franklin, who's moved up a position from his usual batting spot at number 6. They're still being limited to singles, with nary a sign of positive footwork against the spinner from either of these two.
Over 24 de Lange 1-1-0-0-0-0 A sharp, well-judged single from these two batsmen, but the replays show that Franklin would have been out had there been a direct hit. His bat got caught in the turf as he grounded it near the crease, and that would have been tickets for the lefty. Marchant throws in an absolute fireball of a yorker, and Kane does well to keep it out. Oohs and aahs from the surrounding fielders there.
Over 23 Peterson 0-1-0-2-0-0 Peterson still unafraid to float them up; Williamson gets a single before Robbie goes around the wicket to the left-handed Franklin. Slip in place for the new man to apply a little more pressure; Franklin duly obliges by nicking one past AB. So close, just flicked the outside of the keeper's gloves there and went between him and first slip. Franklin survives, but only just. Great bowling again from Peterson, he's done well with the wind blowing across the pitch today.
Over 22 de Lange 0-W-2w-2-0-0-1 The first WICKET in ODI cricket for Marchant - McCullum drives, gets the outside edge and Faf takes an easy catch at point (easier than the one he took earlier to dismiss Guptill, that is). Big big wicket for the Proteas, and the captain falls just shy of a half-century. James Franklin is the new man walking in to join Williamson. de Lange greets him around the wicket with one sprayed down the leg-side - express pace though.
Over 21 Peterson 0-4-0-0-1-2 A bitof drift for Robbie P now, but one drifts too far down leg and McCullum murders it to the fence. A lap from Kane seems headed for the same boundary, but the outfield holds it up and Marchant reels it in. A bit sluggish from all the rain, but that's understandable after the amount of water that has beaten down on Eden Park.
Bye-bye powerplay That's the end of the bowling powerplay folks, and NZ only really made use of it in that last over from Steyn. Can they build on it and head towards a total that will test the South Africans?
Over 20 Steyn 4-4-0-1-4-0 The captain breaks the shackles with two crisp boundaries off the SA spearhead, but Dale responds with a beautiful line and length to get Brendon playing and missing. He manages to get off strike with a mistimed force to mid-on. Williamson gets the third boundary off the over by lifting a rising delivery over first slip's head, which leaves Steyn fuming. Better from the Kiwis in that over, much better.
Over 19 Peterson 0-2-0-0-1-0 Robbie P has another go, and Brendon pulls out the reverse sweep. Only a single though; at least he is trying to do something to get some runs here. Will he use his feet? Nope, he is playing Peterson off the back foot, and that's not going to help accelerate the run-rate much at all. Williamson can't get it away either, and the over ends meekly. Kane hasn't had much of the strike, and he might be starting to get frustrated watching McCullum struggling at the other end.
Over 18 Steyn 0-0-0-0-0-1 No respite as Steyn comes motoring in, and McCullum can't get his timing right against the express pace. He can only muster a single off the final ball, clipping one off his hip to the fine leg fielder. It's been an extremely quiet powerplay so far, not that South Africa will be complaining.
Over 17 Tsotsobe 0-1-0-1-0-1 Lopsy back in the attack - he's one of three left-armers in the SA bowling effort today (Parnell and Peterson). A trio of singles brings the hosts to their 50, but its been a slow effort so far. True, the conditions haven't been super conducive to free-scoring but it's also been a superb spell from the South Africans. Will NZ look to kick on in what's left of this powerplay?
Over 16 Botha 1-0-0-0-0-0 Good dedication in the field, as has come to be expected from South Africa. They're cutting off singles close to the wicket off Botha, helping him to strangle the new batsman slightly (not literally of course). Only a single comes off that first powerplay over, and AB will be hoping for more of the same in the next 4.
Powerplay time The bowling powerplay has been taken by the men in green and gold. Will there be runs or wickets...or both?
Over 15 Peterson 0-1-0-0-0-0 The groundsman and his crew are ready and waiting on the golf cart to the side of the field, as Peterson and AB go up for an LBW shout. Going down leg, and the umpire rightly turned it down. Speaking of "going down the leg-side", there is a leg slip still in place - not every day you see that in an ODI encounter.
Over 14 Botha 1-1-1-1-W-0 Spin from both ends now, as the miserly Johan Botha comes on. He's getting some turn, and pushing it through a little quicker than his spin counterpart. Nicol plays a nothing shot, and edges it straight into the keeper's hands - he's OUT! Botha strikes in his first over, and the struggling Nicol heads back to the pavilion. Great breakthrough for the tourists. A little bit of rain begins to fall as an impressive over comes to an end - the impressive Kane Williamson has come to the crease to replace the opener.
Over 13 Peterson 0-1-1-0-1-0 A leg slip in place; Nicol goes for a full-blooded sweep and misses. Peterson is not scared to flight it, when you would perhaps expect him to dart it in a bit more. Two runs on the on-side in that over - slow and steady from these two NZ batsmen.
Over 12 de Lange 0-3-0-1-2-0 Brendon punches one down past mid-off for a triple, before Rob Nicol flicks one to wide fine-leg. McCullum takes note, and punishes a slightly leg-side ball from big Marchant for 2 to deep square. His line hasn't been quite as good as the other pacemen so far, but he has that raw pace and the element of surprise does the young de Lange.
Over 11 Peterson 1-0-1-1-0-0 He's flighting it a bit, is Robbie and bowling into the wind. Nicol barely has time to think before an over has passed by - he gets through his overs quickly does Peterson. He's had a good series so far, and will be hoping for another good performance today to press his case for Test selection.
Time for spin It's Robin Peterson to bowl his left-arm spinners now, fairly early on. Let's see what kind of bounce he can get, with the ball still pretty new.
Over 10 de Lange 0-0-0-0-0-0 Marchant gets Nicol hopping about at the crease, and he ends up on his backside evading a real snorter of a short ball. Deceptively short run-up, but he's bowling at a fiery pace - the quickest ball that over was an alarming 144km/h - impressive. Allan Donald must be loving this in the dugout. It's a maiden from de Lange, and well-earned.
Over 9 Tsotsobe 0-0-0-0-4-4 McCullum is hogging the strike right now, and battles on grimly through the first couple of deliveries before forcing one off the back foot for a much-needed boundary. There was slightly more width on that delivery, and it unsettles Lopsy who puts the next ball in exactly the same place for exactly the same result. A little bit of momentum there, and the skipper will feel a tad better about proceedings now. Lots of work still to do though.
Over 8 de Lange 0-4-1-0-0-0 It's the tall, strapping, barrel-chested boy from Tzaneen into the attack - Marchant de Lange almost gets the Kiwi skipper caught and bowled first up. He hit the top of the bat, and McCullum didn't know much about that at all. He's a tearaway, de Lange, and he errs in line down the leg-side - four runs, but Brendon was hurried there. Unsettling first over from the big man - McCullum not looking comfortable at the crease at the moment. The SA bowlers have applied steady pressure from the start in their quest for a 3-0 series sweep.
Over 7 Tsotsobe 1-0-0-0-1-0 Lopsy rolls his fingers over one, and Nicol swings it to the fine leg fielder, who takes it after one bounce. There's a shout against Brendon for LBW, but its turned down by the umpire. AB has a quick chat with his bowler, but they don't take the review. There was an inside edge there, and it's a good decision.
Over 6 Steyn 0-0-0-0-0-0 Dale Steyn has the wind at his back, and he gets McCullum playing and missing to an utter gem of a delivery just outside off. Superb line, and these Proteas bowlers have got it spot-on so far - simply too good. AB is taking them above his right shoulder behind the sticks. Brendon will do well to leave those teasing deliveries just outside off. It's a maiden for Steyn now, and NZ are going along at 2.33 an over so far.
Over 5 Tsotsobe 0-0-4-0-W-1 Almost a tennis-ball type of bounce at times here so far, evoking memories of many backyard encounters in my youth. The straight boundaries here at Eden Park are almost as short as the garden as well, but Guptill finds the square boundary with a savage cut. He likes to play off the back foot, but it's cost him - a similar cut finds Faf at point. OUT! What a screamer of a catch, Lopsy gets his man. The dangerous Guptill is gone for 7.
Over 4 Steyn 0-0-2-1-0-0 A bullet from Steyn screams down the leg-side, but not called wide by the umpire; they're usually very strict on those in the ODI format. Guptill works one to leg behind square to get off the mark, and then pressures Faf du Plessis into a fumble by stealing a quick single. Nicol has played the rising ball well so far, which will give the Kiwis some encouragement early on.
Over 3 Tsotsobe 0-0-0-0-0-0 The sun is shining now, great to see as Lonwabo bustles in. He puts in a bit of effort and is rewarded with some nice bounce, a snorter that is played well by Nicol, jumping out of the way. AB enjoyed that behind the stumps - who says Steyn, Morkel and de Lange are the only ones with deadly bouncers in the Proteas attack? It's another maiden for Tsotsobe - good start for him.
Over 2 Steyn 0-0-0-0-0-5 Steyn is extracting some steepling bounce from this track already, working up to the 140km/h mark. Nicol calls Guptill through for a cheeky single, and the shy at the stumps misses the woodwork as well as the fielder backing up - four overthrows. Dale will be extremely grumpy with that end to the over - poor backing up from the Proteas.
Over 1 Tsotsobe 0-1lb-0-0-0-0 The bounce is already looking a bit slow, not quite coming on to the bat as Nicol drops one awkwardly for a scrambled single to open the NZ account. That's a leg bye, and a quiet first over to begin proceedings.
Play about to start here at Eden Park Here come the batsmen...play is about to get under way. A cheer goes up from the small but dedicated crowd in the stands, let's hope we get some more locals through the gate once word spreads that the cricket is up and running. The left-armer, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, will take the first over. Two slips in place for the Warriors man, Nicol to face.
Pitch report Mark Richardson out in the middle reckons there could be decent bounce and some sideways movement, although the bounce could be a bit slow. There should be some spice with the new ball, so Guptill and Nicol will have to dig in and weather the storm (excuse the pun). The wind is blowing across the track from west to east as well.
The start We're waiting to hear an official start time - should be fairly soon, it seems. As soon as we know, so will you. Til then, grab a cup of coffee and put your feet up. Stay tuned.
Debuts Colin de Grandhomme and Marchant de Lange will both be making their ODI debuts today - a special moment indeed.
The toss AB wins the toss...and South Africa will bowl first. Jacques Kallis, Justin Ontong and Morne Morkel aren't playing today - Morne gets a rest, whilst Ontong and JK have minor niggles. Johan Botha makes a return to the ODI outfit, as does Wayne Parnell, the left-armer. As expected, Marchant de Lange will be playing, throwing his fireballs at the Kiwi batsmen. Brendon McCullum mentions that he would have liked to bowl first as well - definitely more advantageous with the weather as up and down as it is. The former Zimbabwean Colin de Grandhomme will step out onto Eden Park for the Black Caps today - the impressive Tarun Nethula has been rested. He tested Hashim Amla well in the last game - slightly surprising that he won't get another crack at South Africa's bearded maestro here. The wet conditions, greasy ball and the like will have put paid to his chances, you'd think.
Off come the covers Covers are coming off now - let's hope we can get going here in Auckland pretty soon.
Changes, both forced and unforced In case you didn't know, New Zealand will be without the services of Doug Bracewell and Jesse Ryder for today's game; the two have been suspended for breaking team protocol by going out drinking at a Napier hotel. The Proteas are expected to make a few changes of their own, with the youngster Marchant de Lange likely to slot in to give one of the regular seamers a rest. The Kiwis won't be excited at that news - more pace and bounce, something they've struggled with so far this series.
Here comes the rain again... ...and just as that is said, another intense patch of rain has hit the ground. Oh dear.
Things looking better...for now Out come the umpires to have a look; we are going to have the toss at 1:45pm local time apparently. Some blue skies peering through now - let's hope we'll be getting some action fairly shortly.
Covers still on The covers are on at Eden Park - the drainage system is quite good here though. Groundsman looking frustrated, as do the people who are waiting it out in the stands with umbrellas.
Grey skies in Auckland We'll be sure to update you as to the weather situation shortly; AB de Villiers and his men will be keen to get onto the park to attempt to secure a 3-0 whitewash over the Black Caps. Stay tuned.
Hello Welcome to live commentary of the final match of the series, which unfortunately looks set to be hit by rain. There's some good news and some bad news as I look out the window in Auckland an hour and a half before the first ball is due to be bowled. The good news is that the storm has not been as violent as projected and the sun is currently shining; the bad news is that it's been doing so with intermittent rain all day so far. It looks likely that we'll have a frustrating on-off kind of day. I'll do my best to keep you updated.
Read the views of former England captain Nasser Hussain with skysports.com.