NEW ZEALAND regained a touch of their self-respect on the last morning at the Basin Reserve. First their last three wickets added another hectic 74 and then they removed two South African batsmen when they went in to make the 16 they needed to win the match and the series with it, 1-0.
The South African opening bowlers may have been guilty at the start of thinking that they had to do nothing more than go through the motions with the new ball only four overs old, however they found Dion Nash in a most determined mood. He began with a glance for four off Shaun Pollock and then drove Steve Elworthy backward of square for another. Sixteen more runs had been scored when Daniel Vettori was trapped on his crease by a beauty from Pollock which nipped back and bowled him.
Simon Doull, who is no great shakes with a bat in his hand, now played a most engaging little innings. He began by on- driving Paul Adams for six and then took three good fours off him in his next over which produced 14 runs.
Two more fours came in Adams' next over but after a last on-drive against Elworthy which took New Zealand into the lead, Nash swung at Adams and skied a catch to Mark Boucher.
A lovely square drive off the back foot took Doull past his previous highest Test score of 31 before Shayne O'Connor was well caught by Jonty Rhodes off Adams running across the pitch from silly point to conclude the New Zealand innings.
South Africa then lost Herschelle Gibbs when he and Gary Kirsten got into a real muddle over a single to mid-off. Jacques Kallis was bowled when he made room to play a square cut to a ball from Vettori which was too far up and it was Kirsten and Daryll Cullinan who saw South Africa home.
That enabled Bob Woolmer to complete his five-year reign as coach of South Africa's Test team on a high note. The former England Test batsman, who took over the South African job after a player rebellion against Mike Proctor in 1994, has produced the second best Test team in world cricket behind Australia, according to the rankings. His influence has also made South Africa the most innovative one-day team and he will bow out after the World Cup which starts in May. "I can say modestly, that I leave South African cricket in reasonable hands," Woolmer said.
The South African captain, Hansie Cronje, said: "Bob took over when it was a youngish side... he did a tremendous job. He helped me find my own feet. Sometimes your confidence goes as a captain when your form is not right. He has been tremendous in that."
Final day; New Zealand won toss
NEW ZEALAND - First Innings 222 (G R Stead 68, C Z Harris 68; S M Pollock 5-33).
SOUTH AFRICA - First Innings 498-8 dec (H H Gibbs 120, D J Cullinan 152, W J Cronje 72)
NEW ZEALAND - Second Innings
(Overnight: 217 for 7)
*D J Nash c Boucher b Adams 27
D L Vettori b Pollock 16
S B Doull not out 38
S B O'Connor c Rhodes b Adams 2
Extras (b9, lb7, nb3) 19
Total (105.3 overs) 291
Fall: 1-8, 2-35, 3-35, 4-100, 5-152, 6-196, 7-199 8-233, 9-281.
Bowling: Pollock 25-8-54-2 (nb1); Elworthy 28-5-93-4 (nb1); Kallis 19- 7-50-0; Klusener 11-7-15-0 (nb1); Adams 22.3-6-63-4.
SOUTH AFRICA - Second Innings
G Kirsten not out 12
H H Gibbs run out 0
J Kallis b Vettori 4
D J Cullinan not out 0
Total (for 2) 16
Fall: 1-6, 2-14.
Bowling: O'Connor 4.1-0-9-0; Vettori 4-0-7-1.
Umpires: D B Cowie (NZ) and S Venkataraghavan (Ind).