South Africa have been on an amazing ODI streak they had won the series against Sri Lank, and now it was onto the New Zealand test. South Africa won the T20 match quite comfortably against a rampant New Zealand side, who are known as one of the big hitters of the game.
The 1st ODI had come around and both New Zealand and South Africa, are two teams who always have been known as underdogs. New Zealand in the World Cups have edged passed South Africa to progress further into the tournaments. So a series between these two teams is always going to be scintillating to watch.
New Zealand were batting first and Latham departed for a duck, but Brownlie and the captain Williamson built a partnership. Williamson under the pitch conditions definitely played a captain’s innings. The rest of the team chipped in with the runs and made sure they were at a reasonable total nonetheless.
Contributions of 20-30 runs each from the lower order batsman definitely helped New Zealand, and they got themselves to a total of 207 runs. The South African bowlers had bowled well, and Morris had picked up 4 wickets and Rabada picked up 2 wickets as well. Both these players were definitely the standout bowlers for South Africa in this match.
Now it was the South African’s turn to chase down this total, and they would have been really confident as they have had a glorious run in ODI’s so far this year.
De Kock played a fine innings, alongside Amla they built up a nice opening partnership to steer the ship for South Africa. It was the start that South Africa would have wanted, but South Africa did stumble in between when they lost wickets as Southee was bowling very well.
De Villiers though played a sensible innings alongside Phehlukwayo, who played a good innings as well and finished off the innings well. Both De Villiers and Phehlukwayo lead South Africa to victory, on this very patchy pitch. This was a well-deserved victory and their 12th one in a row they have equaled their second best ODI run. South Africa won this match by 4 wickets and with 1 ball to spare so it was a close match indeed.
New Zealand will be back though stronger in the next game, as they are on home turf and cannot be kept quiet for long.
Post-match commentary (credit espncricinfo.com)
Quinton de Kock is the Man of the Match for his 69 off 64 balls on a slow, turning, tacky pitch.
“We never expected it to turn like that in the evening here in Hamilton. I thought we adapted exceptionally well. I certainly learned a lesson today on looking at wickets. It was a good win… We had to fight for every run here,” AB de Villiers says
10.55 pm What a game! ODIs in New Zealand are becoming instant classics. At the start, Chris Morris picked up four wickets in no time. Then he gets carted around for 25 runs in the final over. New Zealand were struggling all through the middle overs, until an explosion at the end from Colin de Grandhomme and Tim Southee – 51 in 23 balls.
But Quinton de Kock played another innings that should mark him out as a player to watch out for in the future. An effortless half-century to put South Africa ahead, but Southee was front and centre in the second innings as well, picking up two wickets in two balls as New Zealand took four wickets in two overs to make a match of this.
Then AB de Villiers took over, playing serenly on a pitch that was turning square, so much that the offcutters Southee was bowling seemed like offbreaks from R Ashwin. Let’s not forget 20-year old powerhouse Andile Phehlukwayo’s contribution, nailing key boundaries in the last two overs to make it easier on his captain. So South Africa have won 12 games on the bounce, equalling their best streak in ODIs, and the second best ever. Thank you for joining us. Hope you enjoyed our coverage of a cracking game. Goodnight
Avneet : “My fellow Indians can stop giving references to Dhoni’s ways now. AB, not even half at his mights has won it. He doesnt need to emulate anyone. The guy has collected 20+ runs off dale steyn twice amd 21 runs off Nehra to win for his team in last overs. Hopefully people give their doubts a rest. ” It’s very different in international cricket though and de Villiers, as great as he is, hasn’t quite finished games off under pressure as often as he would like
Andy mac: “Good on ab . He may have lost the World Cup : but here’s a good execution on getting a win. Partner did very well too after the mid order collapse”