Victorious start to Kiwis' SA visit

New Zealand won the first Standard Bank one-day international against South Africa A at Willowmoore Park on Friday, after rain and lightning stopped play after 43 overs.

When the match was called off, South Africa A, chasing 273 for victory, had 199 for four. New Zealand won the match by 19 runs according to the Duckworth-Lewis formula.

South Africa A got off to a disastrous start, losing their first wicket for just two runs in the fourth over, when Andrew Puttick was bowled by Kyle Mills for nought.
New Zealand fast-bowler Shane Bond looked particularly venomous, and the South Africans battled to put runs on the scoreboard, making 17 runs in the first 10 overs and needing 125 balls before they reached their first 50.

Loots Bosman was caught in the slips by Stephen Fleming for 16 in the 16th over, and Zander de Bruyn and skipper Jacques Rudolph gradually started accumulating runs. They put on 76 runs together off 103 balls before De Bruyn was brilliantly caught by Mills for 40 off 80 deliveries.

Justin Ontong faced just 10 deliveries before he was caught by Lou Vincent off Jeetan Patel, who had been brought on as super sub for Craig McMillan.

By the time Albie Morkel joined Rudolph at the crease, the home side needed more than eight runs an over to win, and with lightning flickering all around the ground, the task seemed hopeless.

Rudolph, batting smoothly, moved to his 20th international half-century and Morkel made merry with the bat. When rain interrupted play, Morkel was not out on 48 off 28 balls, and had hit five fours and three sixes. He had some luck, though—Fleming dropped a high, swirling catch when he had 20, and Patel dropped him on 47. Rudolph was 73 not out off 88 balls, and their 81 partnership came off 60 deliveries.

Earlier, McMillan made 105 at nearly a run a ball to boost New Zealand’s score after they had found themselves in trouble on 42 for four. He shared a partnership of 161 with James Marshall, who scored 64. After a mini collapse, Mills and Adams put on 42 runs off 30 balls to finish New Zealand’s innings on 272 for nine.

Tyron Henderson bowled superbly for South Africa A, taking five wickets for 38 runs in his 10 overs, and wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile was involved in four dismissals, with three catches and a run-out.

The second match against South Africa A takes place at Sedgars Park in Potchefstroom on Sunday, and the visitors open their series against South Africa with a Pro-20 match at the Wanderers on Friday. They then play five one-day internationals, starting in Bloemfontein next Sunday.—Sapa

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