Cape Town - Proteas skipper AB de Villiers believes that too many soft dismissals cost his side the game, after they failed to chase 290 in the second ODI against New Zealand.
The Proteas fell six runs short of victory after losing nine wickets in their run-chase in Christchurch on Wednesday.
READ: Proteas edged in Christchurch thriller, streak ends
Man-of-the-match Ross Taylor became New Zealand's most prolific ODI batsman when he smashed a record 17th century and ended unbeaten on 102 off 110 balls as the Black Caps set a competitive 289/4.
The Proteas found it difficult to convert starts into substantial contributions as none of Quinton de Kock (57), JP Duminy (34), De Villiers (45) or David Miller (28) could finish the job.
Late cameos from Dwaine Pretorius (50 off 27) and Andile Phehlukwayo (29* off 34) got South Africa close, but a superb final two overs from Trent Boult and Tim Southee saw the Black Caps seal the win.
The loss means that the Proteas have broken their winning streak, which ends at 12 games.
De Villiers says that there is no excuse for the Proteas batsmen, who were unable to seal a thrilling victory for the tourists.
"Too many soft dismissals cost us the game today," De Villiers told the media after the match on Wednesday.
"I thought it was a really good wicket right until the end of play and it played really well in our innings, and there are no excuses for us to lose so many wickets. That cost us at the end.
"We bat until 10 but the top five and six still has to take responsibility to be there at the end.
"Two of us got in - Quinton and myself - but none of us took it through. If one of us was there at the end, it would've been a different result.
"So it was unfortunate, a couple of soft dismissals in the mix, which was unnecessary.
"But all credit to New Zealand, I thought they bowled exceptionally well at the end and handled the pressure better than us and that's why they won the game."
The series is tied 1-1 with the third ODI taking place on Saturday, February 25 in Wellington (03:00 SA time).