NZ vs SA, 1st ODI: De Villiers guides Proteas to thrilling win against the Kiwis

South Africa won the first ODI against New Zealand by 4 wickets in a nail biting encounter at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Sunday.

South Africa won the toss and elected to bowl in a rain-shortened opening one-day international. The match was reduced to 34-overs per side after three hours were lost because of the pouring weather.


Kiwis lose wickets at regular intervals

Batting first, Chris Morris took the wicket of Tom Latham who was adjudged lbw. Dean Brownlie and skipper, Kane Williamson, played steady knocks to steer the side to relative safety but Brownlie departed soon after participating in a 50-run stand. De Villiers used his bowlers wisely. Looking to save Tahir’s overs at the death, he brought in Morris, who removed Brownlie (31) and Ross Taylor (1) quickly and dismantled the Kiwi top order. He also made Neil Broom to depart off a short ball.

Williamson stood firm at the crease and played some beautiful shots before being dismissed for 59 by Tabraiz Shamsi

Jimmy Neesham came to the crease and went for 29 with another short ball ploy working for Rabada. Colin de Grandhomme (34 off 19 balls) and Tim Southee (24 off 13 balls) came towards the end and hammered the South African bowlers in the last 3 overs. Both smacked Chris Morris for 25 runs in the last over of the Kiwi innings to post a target of 208 for the Proteas.



De Kock and De Villiers steer the Proteas home

South Africa got off to a solid start with their openers de kock and Amla both standing their ground. While Amla was dismissed by Williamson, de kock smashed his 10th ODI half century as he scored 69 off 64 balls before being caught by Ross Taylor off Boult. Having both their openers back in the pavilion, South Africa got into some trouble with their middle order collapsing. 

Faf du Plessis was adjudged lbw to Ish Sodhi while Southee chipped away with the wickets of Farhan Behardien (1) and JP Duminy (0). Chris Morris and De Villiers tried to steady the ship but Morris fell for 16 to Santner. Andile Phehlukwayo came to the crease to accompany De Villiers when the Proteas were 156-6. Both batted sensibly and put on a 54 run stand together at a crucial time while continously rotating the strike and scoring singles without going for the big hits. They took the game till the end with South Africa needing 22 runs in the last 2 overs.

While it was De Villiers who was expected to lead the onslaught, it was Phehlukwayo who came out all guns blazing. He smashed Boult for a Six in the second last over releasing some pressure. He again hit a six in the last over off Tim Southee's bowling before De Villiers closed the game out with a boundary.



Quinton de kock was adjudged Man-Of-the-Match for his 69 off 64 balls.

The focus now shifts to the second ODI which is scheduled to be held at Hagley Oval, Christchurch on 22th February where the hosts will look to level it out.

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