Published on Saturday 25 February 2012 09:48
An unbeaten century from AB de Villiers led South Africa to a comfortable six-wicket win over New Zealand in the first one-day international in Wellington.
The Proteas were in trouble at 35 for three when captain De Villiers (106 not out) came in, but he put on 90 with JP Duminy (46) to steady the ship, then an unbroken 129 with Faf du Plessis (66no) in double quick time as the tourists swept past New Zealand’s 253 for nine.
That total came on the back of half-centuries from Brendon McCullum, who rode his luck in the early stages of his innings to reach 56, and rising star Kane Williamson, who made 55. But the Black Caps lost wickets at regular intervals and their total never looked better than par.
Lonwabo Tsotsobe had Martin Guptill caught behind – and thought he had trapped new man McCullum leg before, shouldering arms to the next ball, only for the batsman to overturn the dismissal on review. DRS saved McCullum again after he was initially adjudged to have edged Robin Peterson to keeper De Villiers, and the Kiwi skipper brought up his side’s 50 in the 14th over.
Peterson soon struck as Rob Nicol edged to Jacques Kallis at slip having made 30, before McCullum broke out of his shell with his first boundary as he hit his 42nd delivery over mid-wicket for six.
Another maximum followed before two fours in successive overs saw him to his half-century from 62 balls but his innings came to an end soon afterwards when he hoisted Kallis to the cover-point boundary, where Peterson took a well-judged catch diving forwards.
Jesse Ryder fell cheaply, but Williamson made an impressive 59-ball half-century, before edging to De Villiers soon after. And the lower order struggled to contribute any significant runs as they attempted to up the rate.
South Africa were quickly in trouble in their reply as Hashim Amla was bowled by Tim Southee, Graeme Smith edged Kyle Mills to slip and Kallis pulled Bracewell to square leg. That led to a substantial period of rebuilding from Duminy and De Villiers, who showed signs of intent when he pulled Nicol for six.
Duminy claimed two fours in three balls off Andrew Ellis, but was caught and bowled by Nicol soon after four runs short of 50. South Africa were 125 for four at that point with 20 overs to go and the game in the balance. But De Villiers passed 50 soon after before Du Plessis survived being given out lbw when the DRS showed the ball was going over the stumps.
A flurry of boundaries saw South Africa speed towards their target, typified by successive sixes which De Villiers plundered off Nicol. De Villiers reached his faultless 100 in 101 balls, and De Plessis hammered Bracewell for six to pass 50 in an over which cost 16. A Du Plessis single gave South Africa a victory which put them 1-0 up in the three-game series.
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Category: Africa News