Martin Guptill hits final ball for four to seal victory for New Zealand

Last updated: 23rd December 2012  

Faf du Plessis South Africa batting against New Zealand second T20I

Faf du Plessis: top-scored for the home team with 63 from 43 deliveries

New Zealand v South Africa Martin Guptill

Martin Guptill: smashed the final ball to the boundary to win the match for New Zealand

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A superb unbeaten hundred by Martin Guptill helped New Zealand to an eight-wicket win over South Africa at Buffalo Park, levelling the Twenty20 International series in the process.

Needing four off the final ball to not only reach three figures but also win the match, the Kiwi opener sliced a full toss from Rory Kleinveldt through the covers to see his side home.

Guptill finished up on 101 not out from 69 balls, including six sixes and nine fours. His knock was even more impressive considering he had missed the opening match on Friday, a game that saw New Zealand shot out for just 86, due to illness.

He dominated an opening partnership worth 76 with Rob Nicol (25) and then added 73 with captain Brendon McCullum (17) to get the tourists in sight of a revised target of 169 from 19 overs after an earlier delay for a floodlight failure.

Guptill is just the second New Zealander to hit a century in the shortest form of international cricket, though he needed the odd moment of good fortune. He was caught off a no ball from Ryan McLaren and then dropped by Robin Peterson in the penultimate over.

South Africa had amassed 165-5 from 19 overs after being put into bat, skipper Faf du Plessis leading the way with 63 from 43 balls.

The new captain, who hit eight fours and a six, played second fiddle in a second-wicket stand of 68 with Henry Davids (55) before putting on a further 79 with David Miller, who blasted 33 from 18 deliveries.

South Africa had reached 128-2 after 16.1 overs when the lights on one of four towers went out, resulting in proceedings being held up for 50 minutes.

By that stage Davids had already departed having made his maiden T20I half-century, Jimmy Neesham taking a stunning catch' after running back towards the extra cover boundary, the fielder dived full length just inside the rope.

Du Plessis and Miller picked up the pace once play resumed before both fell to Doug Bracewell in successive deliveries. The seamer also dismissed Peterson in the same over, giving him final figures of 3-33 from his three overs.

New Zealand's triumph in East London sets up a winner-takes-all showdown in the third and final T20I, which takes place in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.

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