New Zealand vs S Africa
New Zealand Win By Six Wickets
First blood of the three-match series to the Kiwis, with South Africa's lengthy tour off to a defeated start. The visitors missed a trick in not playing an additional spinner. Guptill continued his rich run of form with another half-century and lands the Man of the Match award for his effort. The next game is in Hamilton on Sunday. Catch you then.
Over 19.2 Botha 2-
148-4 - The spinner is asked, probably told, to bowl the last over of this fixture. Franklin just needs two of those deliveries to milk a couple down the ground and smash the winning runs to the cover fence.
Over 19 M Morkel W-1-1-1-1-2
142-4 - WICKET! De Grandhomme wanted nothing but big hits today. He didn't have the carry on any of them, especially this one that holes out to Levi at midwicket. The left-handed Franklin is in now. Morkel, meanwhile, isn't happy with the ball. He doesn't want it changed, just some loose stitching snipped off. New Zealand seem content to let this over go down to the last over. Six from six needed.
Over 18 Theron 1lb-1-1-2-0-4
136-3 - De Grandhomme almost falls for a first-ball duck as the umpire incorrectly decides Theron's yorker was angling down the leg-side too much to have the right-hander out lbw. Theron finding the blockhole very consistently now, but he is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't, as the batsmen squeeze 'em out for singles and twos. The fast bowler follows it up with a short ball, which floors Guptill with a flush blow to the helmet. Levi endured something similar earlier in the day, but he walked it off rather than falling to the deck.
Over 17 M Morkel 0-2-1lb-1wd-1-4-W
127-3 - Williamson wants a quick single, but Guptill turns him on his heels, with dear Kane returning to his crease at the last possible moment as de Villiers topples the bails - close call for the Kiwis, indeed. Williamson then decides he'd best tee off, with two lofted over the head of the gangly Tsotsobe, who put in the hard yards but couldn't get close enough for a catch. The backward point fence is the right-hander's next area of choice, whose weighty heave travels for four. WICKET! Those prove to be his last runs of the day, though, with Albie at midwicket's direct-hit at the non-striker's end beating Williamson to the punch. He is out, off he goes. De Grandhomme in now. 21 needed off 18 by the Kiwis.
Over 16 Theron 2-1-1lb-0-0-1lb
118-2 - The asking rate isn't a big one, so nothing fancy needed from New Zealand, who can afford to do this in singles and the odd two for the next over or two.
Over 15 Duminy 4-0-4-1-1-1
113-2 - Williamson on the pull and then the slap over long-on fetching four and four more for his cross-bat effort. The second shot almost travelled for six, but fell a millimetre or two short of the rope. Very measured stuff, this, form Williamson, with the game steadily slipping away from South Africa.
Over 14 A Morkel 0-0-2-1-0-2
102-2 - Morkel returns to the attack and strings together some handy economy, and almost enjoys a breakthrough too. Williamson meets the ball on the up on the pull, lands it in the midwicket area, where Botha misses the catch to field the ball on the bounce. Botha backtracked initially, then belatedly running and falling forward all too late. 100 up for the Kiwis. New Zealand need 46 more runs from 36 balls to win the match and clinch first blood of the three-match series from here on in.
Over 13 Duminy 2-W-1-1-1-4
97-2 - The left-arm spinner gets a go and enjoys immediate success. WICKET! A severe lack of footwork proves the undoing of McCullum, who chops a bit of turn onto his stumps. The right-hander knows full well he should have played at that with a bit more motivation than the lazy shot that ultimately proved his demise. He mopes off. South Africa have the breakthrough to keep themselves in the contest. Williamson in now. Unperturbed by the loss of his captain, Guptill keeps going strong, swatting four through the off-side with some superb timing.
Over 12 Theron 1-1-2-1-1-1
88-1 - South Africa have been lucky to get away with a slew of leg-side full tosses today, with the New Zealand right-handers unable to beat fine-leg time and time again. Theron, in the meantime, is struggling with his run-up, which probably explains his lack of consistency in line.
Over 11 Botha 1-0-1-1-0-1
81-1 - McCullum doing his best to work Botha's awkward length around the corner, not succeeding, so settling on a single pushed down the ground. Nice, tight over from the spinner to keep his side in the contest.
The 'C' Word
"I hope all the hype before this match was not another sign of the 'chokers' tag from the Proteas. The Black Caps are on a high and could be the Proteas' nemisis," insists Farouk Ally. More opinion welcome at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over 10 M Morkel 2nb-0-2-1-6-1-0
77-1 - McCullum, this time, is afforded a free-hit as the lanky fast bowler returns to the attack with a big overstep. The Kiwi captain, also, can't oblige, swinging and missing at the freebie delivery. Guptill later moves to his 50 with a big six slapped down the ground - that's six half-centuries on the trot for the right-hander, five against Zimbabwe and now this one against the Proteas. Just 37 balls, three fours and four sixes included, for this one. So arrives the halfway mark of the innings and the hosts are 20 runs better off than South Africa were at the same stage of their innings.
Over 9 Botha 1-1-4-0-1-2
65-1 - An 18,000-strong crowd are collectively bored by a couple of singles, until Guptill rocks onto the backfoot to smear four across the on-side. No half measures from this man. Great commitment on the cover fence from a diving Morkel, Albie not Morkel, meanwhile.
Over 8 Theron W-1wd-0-0-1-1nb-2-1
56-1 - Theron copped some severe tap against Canterbury, and almost cost the Proteas the game. He'll want much better this time around, and duly achieves as much. WICKET! Nicol's off-colour innings meets its end as an attempted loft down the ground doesn't have the carry, with Amla swooping across from long-on to take a good catch on the fall. McCullum, Brendon not Nathan, in now. The seamer later reckons he has Guptill out lbw, but the right-hander was standing far down the leg-side, and the umpire could pretty much see all three stumps. A rather topsy-turvy keeps going as Theron oversteps, and the free-hit is there for Guptill to tonk. He obliges, to an extent, lofting a couple down the ground. 50 up for the chasing Kiwis.
Over 7 Botha 1-1-1-0-1-1
49-0 - He perhaps should have opened the bowling like McCullum did earlier, but the spinner eventually gets his turn. Tidy enough stuff from him, though Guptill will be aggrieved at not cranking an awful full toss over midwicket. Nicol, though, happy on the sweep.
Over 6 Tstostobe 0-6-1-1-6-0
44-0 - Picking the slower ball perfectly or a remarkable piece of premeditation, you decide, but Guptill tonks a huge six over midwicket. The next six is even bigger, sailing high and hard into the top tiers of the stands on the off-side. Tsotsobe is rattled, and duly cowers back to his fielding position with his tail between his legs.
Over 5 M Morkel 0-0-0-0-1lb-0
30-0 - The lanky fast bowler enters the attack, troubling Guptill with height and bigger bounce. Just the leg-bye in the over, and this isn't the ideal start New Zealand were hoping for. Wickets in hand, though, so they're still the team in front.
Over 4 Tsotsobe 1-0-0-4-1-1
29-0 - Nicol still struggling, missing heaves across the line and largely flummoxed by the slower ball. He rectifies his woe to an extent, banging four down the ground, and is later almost involved in the run-out of Guptill, whose last-gasp effort brings him safety at the non-striker's end.
Over 3 A Morkel 4-6-1-0-0-2
22-0 - In the form of his life, Guptill is determined to cash in and commences as much with four mishit over cover and six middled over midwicket. Anything marginally short will travel it seems, so Morkel does the right thing by pegging his length back a touch. Nicol, meanwhile, is looking to play nothing more than the sheet-anchor role.
- 17th Feb 2012
- Westpac Stadium, Wellington
- G A V Baxter and B G Frost
new zealand BATTING CARD
|Nicol||c Amla b Theron||13|
|de Grandhomme||c Levi b M Morkel||2|
|Extras||2nb, 2w, 3lb||7|
|Total||Close, 19.2 Overs||148 - 4|