NZ v SA 1st ODI Review: South Africa inch past the Kiwis in the opening ODI

NZ v SA 1st ODI Review: South Africa inch past the Kiwis in the opening ODI

AB de Villiers of South Africa
AB de Villiers of South Africa celebrates with teammate Andile Phehlukwayo after winning the First One Day International match. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

South Africa have had a fascinating season, they first defeated the Australian team 5-0 in an ODI series at home then travelled down under to beat them in the Test series hosted Sri Lanka didn’t let them win a single among the three Tests and five ODIs they played and now having landed in New Zealand have started things on a great note. They won the one-off T20 a couple of days ago and continued to sprint with that momentum in the ODIs as well.

In a rain affected 34-over a side match, AB de Villiers’ and team eclipsed the Kiwis in a thrilling game. It was the Proteas skipper who won the toss and like the rule is decided to chase. Pacer Chris Morris was on the money to start with and ended Tom Latham’s 16-ball struggle at the crease during which he failed to score a single run.

After a 50-run partnership between Dean Brownlie and Kane Williamson Morris came back to dismiss Brownlie for 31 and on the last ball of the 14th over also caught and bowled Ross Taylor. The spell was getting hotter – in his next, he had Niel Broom caught by Farhaan Behardien for 2 and despite Williamson manning one end, the Black Caps were in trouble 4 down for 82.

The change in bowling worked for AB as left-arm chinaman bowler Tabraiz Shamsi got him the wicket of Williamson who had batted well for his 59 that comprised of four boundaries and two sixes. It was now Kagiso Rabada’s chance to get into the party. He induced two edges and Quinton de Kock accepted them gleefully to see the back of Jimmy Neesham and Mitchell Santner who were getting together a bit of a resistive partnership.

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But the excitement was to increase and the innings was not to end in such a predictable manner. Morris who breathe fire in his early spell was hit apart by Tim Southee and Colin Grandhomme they scored 25 in his last over to diminish his exceptional figures and he was the most expensive bowler economy wise. Grandhomme’s 34 off 19 and Southee’s 24 from 13 helped New Zealand post 207/7 in 34 overs.

South Africa in their chase were off to a smooth start with Quinton de Kock continuing his beautiful form and scoring runs at ease. After the opening bowlers didn’t pick a wicket Williamson took the ball himself in the 16th over and managed to get hold of Hashim Amla who was batting on 35. Faf du Plessis was Ish Sodhi’s first and only wicket after scoring 14 runs.

De Kock had in the meantime completed his fifty and had skipper AB de Villiers for company now. Trent Boult in the 22nd over had him caught by Taylor thus ending his 64-ball stay. Tim Southee then unleashed the off-cutter – it turned enough to make an off-spinner proud. He had back to back wickets as JP Duminy and Behardien were dismissed for 1 and duck.

Morris hit three boundaries in his 16 but couldn’t last longer. Andile Phelukwayo then showed he has some ability with the bat as well. He stood with de Villiers and scored 29 runs from 23 balls with two boundaries and 2 sixes to take the team home. AB at the end was unbeaten on 37 as his team was over the line with 4 wickets and a ball to spare.

Brief Scores:

New Zealand: 207/7 in 34 overs (Kane Williamson 56; Chris Morris 4/62)

South Africa: 210/6 in 33.5 overs (Quinton de Kock 69; Tim Southee 2/47)