New Zealand 1888 & 136 South Africa 383: Steyn seals series win by skittling the Kiwis

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The Independent Online

Dale Steyn took a career-best six wickets yesterday to lead South Africa over New Zealand by an innings and 59 runs and clinch the two-test series 2-0.

Steyn finished with 6-49 at Centurion Park and 10 wickets for the second straight test after South Africa won last week's first test in Johannesburg by 358 runs.

"We were outplayed by a very good South African side," New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori said. "But we always seem to come to South Africa and pick up more injuries than anything else, and that doesn't help us."

South Africa captain Graeme Smith praised his team, saying key players made important contributions at important stages in each match.

"Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla got runs for us and then Dale was fantastic with the ball, but he was very well supported by the rest of the bowlers," Smith said.

Steyn had two wickets before tea, and then started the slide to defeat by dismissing Stephen Fleming leg before wicket for 54 immediately after the break. It was Fleming's 42nd test half century.

Brendon McCullum was next, caught at first slip by Smith for 21 as he drove at an outswinger from Steyn. Mark Gillespie had a similar fate, falling for a duck to a catch by Jacques Kallis at second slip.

Vettori was superbly caught by a diving A.B. de Villiers at cover for 8 off Makhaya Ntini, and then Steyn clean bowled Iain O'Brien for a duck to win the match just 40 minutes after tea on the third day.

"I did some work with bowling coach Vinnie Barnes before the series because I was delivering from too wide and it all worked out perfectly," Steyn said. "The ball just kept hitting the stumps."

In the first session, Gillespie took five wickets on debut as South Africa was dismissed for 383.

South Africa added 111 in the morning session after Amla scored 103 for his third test century, all of them coming against New Zealand. Amla was caught in the covers by Papps off O'Brien after hitting 15 fours in 216 balls.

Gillespie dismissed Kallis for 131 on Saturday, and added the wickets of Ashwell Prince for 13, De Villiers for 33, Mark Boucher for 1 and Paul Harris for a duck on Sunday for figures of 5-136.

Steyn (25) and Andre Nel (25) put on a late 51-run partnership.

Steyn then trapped Lou Vincent lbw for 4 on the fourth ball of New Zealand's innings, but TV replays suggested the ball was going to miss leg stump by a substantial margin.

In his next over, Steyn also removed Michael Papps lbw for 1 to leave the Black Caps on 9-2.

Fleming and Scott Styris steadied play with a 60-run partnership, before Styris was caught at second slip by De Villiers for 29 as he flashed at Kallis' delivery outside the off stump.

Ross Taylor was run out for 8 by Amla when he failed to regain his ground after an unsuccessful lbw appeal.

The two teams meet in a Twenty20 international on Friday before three one-day internationals.