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Kiwi captain hails series triumph
January 23, 2013 , 9 : 33 pm GST
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New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum on Tuesday acclaimed one of his country's finest One-day series wins — and an innings by Kane Williamson which made victory possible over South Africa. Williamson hit 145 not out to set up a 27-run win for New Zealand in the second one-day international at the Diamond Oval.
It gave the tourists a winning 2-0 lead in the three-match series and was a major turnaround for a team who were thrashed in both Test matches. "It is one of the finest one-day series wins in New Zealand's history, the ninth-ranked team against the top team," said McCullum. "It is incredibly satisfying to finish off the tour this way."
McCullum said Williamson's innings was "one of the best we have seen from a New Zealander." Williamson bounced back from a disappointing Test series with a confident, stroke-filled career-best innings in a New Zealand total of 279 for eight.
Despite Williamson's heroics, South Africa were on course for victory until two run-outs in successive overs derailed their run chase. There were a total of five run-outs as the hosts limped to 252 all out in their reply. New Zealand players shouted for joy and hugged each other on the field as they retrieved some pride after losing both Test matches by an innings.
Williamson and Grant Elliott (48) laid the foundation for New Zealand's total with a third wicket stand of 127 off 128 balls. Williamson reached his third ODI hundred off exactly 100 balls with 14 fours. It was the first century for the tourists since Martin Guptill made a match-winning 101 not out in the second Twenty20 international.
"We didn't play well in the end," said Du Plessis. "From 167 for one you should win the game. The batting unit must take responsibility. But it is a young team and hopefully we can learn from this."
It was New Zealand's first win in any series in South Africa following a tense victory in the opening encounter.
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