Rain washed out the third limited-overs international between New Zealand and South Africa on Monday, leaving the Proteas with a 2-0 series win. South Africa were 157-3 after 30.4 overs, batting first after New Zealand won the toss, when rain forced the players from Hamilton’s Seddon Park. Umpires Rod Tucker of Australia and Chris Gaffaney of New Zealand decided around 4 p.m. local time that further play was impossible.
South Africa was still able to provide further evidence Monday of the depth and quality of its batting. Wicketkeeper and opening batsman Quinton de Kock was 80 not out when play was abandoned and captain AB de Villiers was unbeaten on 33.
South Africa remain atop the world one-day cricket rankings ahead of their five-match series against Australia next month. “Coming here before the World Cup was all about getting used to conditions,” de Villiers said. “Hopefully, we are fully prepared when we get to the World Cup next year. Our preparation looks good on paper but it doesn’t always work that way. We’d love to go to Australia and win that series as well.”
Both New Zealand and South Africa took the opportunity in Monday’s dead rubber to make minor changes to their lineups, to test their depth and give opportunities to players who had lacked matchplay. For that reason, the loss of the match to rain dealt only a slight blow to each team in the early stages of its preparation for next year’s World Cup.
South Africa stood down pace spearhead Dale Steyn. They also rested batsman Faf du Plessis and spinner Imran Tahir, who are nursing minor injuries. New Zealand brought in spinner Nathan McCullum for Daniel Vettori and young fast bowler Matt Henry for Trent Boult.