South Africa shake off opening loss
AB de Villiers starred with the bat and Wayne Parnell with the ball as South Africa got their ICC Champions Trophy campaign back on track with a comfortable five-wicket victory over New Zealand at Supersport Park.
The hosts, who were surprisingly beaten by Sri Lanka in their opening game, were determined not to repeat their performance from two days earlier.
After asking the visitors to bat first, Parnell made amends for his loose bowling by snapping up a career-best 5-57 as the Black Caps were dismissed for a mediocre 214 in 47.5 overs – Ross Taylor top-scoring with a far from free-flowing 72.(38) (36)
In response De Villiers hit an unbeaten 70 and received good support from Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis as they chipped in with 38 and 36 respectively to help guide South Africa home with more than eight overs to spare.
The day began with the New Zealanders making a cagey start and they lost Jesse Ryder for eight after just four overs – the opener excellently snapped up by Roelof van der Merwe back-pedalling from mid-wicket off Parnell.
Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill slowly started to rebuild, putting on 46 together, before the latter pulled the same bowler straight to Amla on the square-leg boundary for 21.
Another period of consolidation ensued with a 34-run stand between Taylor and McCullum, but again the visitors were pegged back, this time when their wicketkeeper swept Johan Botha to JP Duminy at short fine leg for 44.
South African-born Grant Elliott came in and helped take his adopted New Zealand pass the 100 mark in the 27th over, followed by the 50 partnership in 75 balls with Taylor.
But after making 39, Elliott played down the wrong line to Van der Merwe and was bowled.
The Proteas all-rounder then trapped new man Neil Broom leg before wicket with a delivery that kept low, but Taylor continued to fight and raised his fifty from 90 balls – the 200 coming not long afterwards, in the 45th over.
Gareth Hopkins and Kyle Mills went cheaply for 13 and nought respectively as they offered up simple chances in the infield before Parnell ended the 106-ball knock of batting mainstay Taylor, trapping him lbw with a full ball as New Zealand folded.
South Africa’s innings followed a similar pattern to that of their visitors – captain Graeme Smith handing their opponents an early wicket when he aimed a drive too early at Daryl Tuffey and lifted a simple chance to opposite skipper Daniel Vettori at mid-on.
Kallis then joined Amla and the pair began to rebuild.
They brought up a fifty stand in 57 balls, but veteran all-rounder Kallis then edged a fiery-looking Shane Bond to McCullum for 36.
Amla was next to go, trapped plumb lbw after not moving his feet to Vettori, and South Africa met further trouble with the score on 138 with Kyle Mills and McCullum combining to send Duminy (11) on his way thanks to a great low catch from the wicketkeeper.
De Villiers continued his march, reaching his half-century in 54 balls with a single off Elliott, but lost Mark Boucher for 28 in the process after was was caught behind trying the run the balll down to third man. McCullum, standing up to the stumps, did the rest as he snared another great catch.
Albie Morkel (19 not out) then joined his domestic provincial team-mate to see the Proteas easily over the line in the 42nd over.