Proteas crush Kiwis by six wickets to win ODI series
South Africa claimed the one-day international series against New Zealand after a performance of brilliant bowling and fielding saw the Proteas to a six-wicket demolition in the fifth and final ODI on Saturday.
New Zealand forced a decider in Auckland after easing to a seven-wicket win in Wednesday's fourth ODI but the hosts were no match after being skittled for a woeful 149.
The Black Caps' top order failed to deliver, losing four wickets for only 51 runs inside 17 overs and leaving their bowlers with an uphill task as South Africa chased down the meagre total and finishing 150-4 at Eden Park.
While the target was straightforward, Quinton de Kock (6), Hashim Amla (8) - celebrating his 150th ODI appearance - and JP Duminy (3) fell cheaply to see the tourists in a precarious position of 3-48, but the result was never in doubt thanks to Faf du Plessis (51 not out), David Miller (45 not out) and AB de Villiers (23) with 17 overs to spare.
Jeetan Patel (2-26), Colin de Grandhomme (1-16) and James Neesham (1-10) toiled for the Kiwis, whose lost an ODI series at home for the first time in nine fixtures.
New Zealand had no answer to South Africa's bowling and work in the field after being sent into bat by De Villiers, who won the toss for the fifth consecutive time in the series.
The Black Caps found themselves in trouble from the outset after powerful opener Martin Guptill (4) lasted just five overs.
Guptill - the hero from the fourth ODI with his stunning unbeaten 180 from 138 balls in Hamilton midweek - was unable to repeat his heroics with the crowd chanting his name as a sustained spell of top-class bowling saw man-of-the match Kagiso Rabada (3-25) shatter the stumps.
Captain Kane Williamson (9) and Dean Brownlie (24) steadied the ship through the opening 10 overs before the Kiwis collapsed.
Brownlie was at fault as Williamson was run out by De Villiers, who showcased his speed and accuracy, and the former followed three balls later, trapped lbw by Andile Phehlukwayo (2-35) as the Black Caps slumped to 42-3.
It got worse for New Zealand when Ross Taylor (8) stepped across a Phehlukwayo delivery as the umpire raised his finger for another lbw decision and Luke Ronchi (8) did not fare much better, dismissed by Colin Morris (1-34).
Neesham was one of only four batsmen to reach double-figures but fell victim to Rabada and a short ball, with the Kiwis all at sea at 87-6.
That brought De Grandhomme (32) and Mitch Santner (24) to the crease and they were able to add some respectability to the innings as Rabada and Imran Tahir (2-14) cleaned up the bottom order.