New Zealand v South Africa, 1st ODI, Wellington

Nicol looks up to Steyn

ESPNcricinfo presents Plays of the Day for the first one-dayer between New Zealand and South Africa in Wellington

Andrew Fernando

February 25, 2012

Comments: 5 | Text size: A | A

Faf du Plessis scored a rapid half-century, New Zealand v South Africa, 1st ODI , Wellington, February 25, 2012
Faf du Plessis' (partial) redemption? © Associated Press
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Non-verbal exchange of the day
Dale Steyn's vicious outswingers had troubled Rob Nicol early on, but the batsman had managed a few streaky fours, much to the chagrin of a typically grumpy Steyn. Steyn's frustration was exacerbated in the eighth over, when a terrific bouncer deflected off Nicol's helmet and flew for four leg byes. Steyn walked down the pitch and fired Nicol a look of searing disdain. Nicol, still on his haunches having attempted to duck, bobbed his head up as if to say, "I meant for that to happen". Even Steyn, in all his enraged glory, couldn't prevent a smile at Nicol's cheek.

The DRS reprieve
Brendon McCullum's first delivery at the crease was a dramatic one. Having dismissed Guptill with a straighter one, Lonwabo Tsotsobe brought one back into McCullum, who shouldered arms only to be struck on the pads right in front of the stumps. It looked out immediately, and was judged as such by the umpire. But McCullum, wise perhaps to the extra bounce in the pitch, reviewed the decision and survived to produce one of the two crucial knocks in the New Zealand innings.

The partial redemption
The last time these teams met in an ODI, Faf du Plessis made perhaps the crucial mistake in a failed chase that resulted in South Africa exiting the World Cup. On that occasion, he ran out AB de Villiers after calling him through for a non-existent single, and was peppered verbally by New Zealand for the mistake, with even 12th man Kyle Mills having a go at him during a rehydration excursion. This time though, du Plessis could hardly have partnered de Villiers more perfectly. He accumulated to start with, before accelerating during the batting Powerplay, and then closed out the game with a big over off Doug Bracewell. He ended with an unbeaten 66 from 49 balls.

The haircut
James Franklin had made a useful contribution with the bat, but when he returned to the crease to bowl, this time without a helmet, spectators were treated to a hilarious fashion faux pas. Sporting a bowl cut that would have even been uncool in the 80s, it was difficult to believe Franklin was on good terms with his barber. The on-air commentators even suggested it may even be the handiwork of Franklin's son - a toddler.

The DRS reprieve II
With South Africa at 148 for four in the 34th over, the match was still in the balance and a wicket might have swung it New Zealand's way. The hosts thought they had their scalp when du Plessis was given out lbw off Doug Bracewell, but the DRS rescued another batsman and the 'Caketin' bounce had once again fooled the umpires.

Andrew Fernando writes for The Pigeon and has a column here

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2012, 3:24 GMT)

Hmmm clearly NZ lack batting depth against fast paced attacks... and why did NZ bat first!! Pretty bad call when I heard Brendon won I thought! Lets hope Ryder gets back to playing proper strokes to spin and running 2s, not jogging 1.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2012, 15:32 GMT)

Chockers? Who? Where? ... Forget it. Excellent chase. Good show from AB(C)D. (C) was added for 'C'aptaincy!

Posted by Batterup1 on (February 25, 2012, 14:54 GMT)

Guptill who....................?

Posted by Tjoeps on (February 25, 2012, 13:58 GMT)

Not a bad article Andrew, but where is Findosa? I enjoy the krieket ladies! AB & Faf played well, but the first 3 were totally out of touch... OK, Jacques were rusted, Amla became a Dad en Smith has got no excuse... You are walking a fine line, you better call in al your markers... I think you are one bad innings away from being dropped... Vasbyt Bro! Go the Saffers! Flower power!

Posted by SICHO on (February 25, 2012, 12:20 GMT)

That was a great victory, from 36 for 3 to 254 for 4. Thats classy

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