Du Plessis guides South Africa to series win over New Zealand
AUCKLAND (Reuters) - Faf du Plessis made a successful review of an lbw decision against him before guiding South Africa to a series-clinching six-wicket victory in the fifth and final one-dayer against New Zealand at Eden Park on Saturday.
Du Plessis, who was originally given out on 27 when he was trapped in front by Jeetan Patel but had the decision overturned on review, finished unbeaten on 51 as the Proteas made 150-4 after they bowled the hosts out for a paltry 149 in 41.1 overs.
David Miller produced a counter-attacking 45 not out to help the test captain ensure a 3-2 series victory, which vaulted them back to the top of the one-day rankings.
New Zealand had threatened to make the run chase much more difficult than it should have been, reducing the visitors to 88-4 when they captured the important wicket of AB de Villiers, who was caught behind by Luke Ronchi for 23.
Du Plessis and Miller, however, shook off some nervous moments with a 62-run partnership that the left-handed Miller dominated with his 45.
New Zealand were never able to settle against a superb South African bowling attack, who created consistent pressure from both ends with numerous dot balls that was supported by strong work in the field.
Kagiso Rabada started the rot early when he bowled Martin Guptill for four, ensuring there would be no repeat of the right hander's match-winning 180 not out in the fourth game in Hamilton on Wednesday.
From then on it was a constant stream of New Zealand batsmen heading back to the pavilion, with six falling for single figures.
The only resistance came from opening batsman Dean Brownlie (24) and the middle order of Jimmy Neesham (24), Mitchell Santner (24) and Colin de Grandhomme (32), who was the last man out on the first ball of the 42nd over.
Rabada, who was generating good bounce off a length and troubled the batsmen as the ball hurried through, finished with 3-25 from 7.1 overs.
Leg-spinner Imran Tahir, who conceded just 10 runs from his first seven overs, finished with 2-14 from his full complement.
The two sides now head to Dunedin for the first match of the three-test series, starting on March 8.
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by John O'Brien)