Gibbs, Kemp lead Proteas to victory

Herschelle Gibbs scored 81 and Justin Kemp hit 30 off 19 balls to give South Africa a four-wicket win over New Zealand.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:53 IST
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Herschelle Gibbs scored 81 and Justin Kemp hit 30 off 19 balls to give South Africa a four-wicket win over New Zealand and an unassailable 3-0 series lead in the third of five one-day internationals on Sunday. Set 244 to win by New Zealand at St. George's Park, South Africa needed 39 runs off the final five overs, and Kemp's big hitting brought the Proteas home. He smashed fast bowler Shane Bond for a huge six off the first ball of the final over when the home side needed nine off the over, and then pulled him for four to complete the victory. Gibbs came in after South Africa's fast start to the run chase was derailed by a loose shot from captain Graeme Smith, which had him dismissed for 18. When A B de Villiers - who also hit Bond out of the ground for a six - departed soon after for 29 to a prod outside the off stump, Gibbs had to play an uncharacteristically consolidating innings. But he took on the role with relish and played some of his trademark audacious pulls from outside the off stump after he reached 50. His dismissal was the only bright spot in a bad day for Bond, who finished with 1-73 off 9.2 overs. Gibbs misread a slower ball and chipped to point, where Hamish Marshall took a fine diving catch. Then came Kemp. He was joined by Shaun Pollock who hit 21 off 14 in the final scramble. Earlier, Scott Styris scored 78 for New Zealand. He came in with the Black Caps struggling on 49 for three after Smith had won the toss and elected to field on a pitch which promised to help the seam bowlers. Makhaya Ntini delivered on that promise when he had Nathan Astle caught at slip for 11 and then induced an unnecessary flashy drive from Lou Vincent to have him caught by wicketkeeper Mark Boucher for three. New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming played some glorious straight drives as he tried to rebuild the innings, but he eventually fell victim to such a shot from his batting partner at the time. Styris' straight drive deflected off bowler Kemp's boot and cannoned into the stumps at the bowler's end to leave Fleming run out for 54. Styris was eventually bowled trying for fast runs at the finish, giving Charl Langeveldt his only wicket in 10 overs which cost him 76 runs. Ntini was the best of South Africa's bowlers with 3-37 off 10 overs. Shaun Pollock was economical, conceding just 23 runs off 10, and that helped South Africa keep New Zealand in check for much of the innings. Andre Adams came in and finished with a flourish as he hit 25 off 14 balls, with Langeveldt conceding 29 runs in his final two overs. The next match will be played in Durban on Friday. (AP)