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December 18, 2012
New Zealanders 140 for 8 (Munro 39, Abbott 4-16) beat South Africa A 116 for 9 (van Jaarsveld 43, McClenaghan 3-19) by 24 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Earning a victory first-up was the main goal for Brendon McCullum when he discussed the 20-overs practice match against South Africa A, and that is exactly what the New Zealanders did. On a slow, low Pietermaritzburg pitch, the batsmen made steady by unspectacular progress with the bat before the bowlers showed venom with the ball.
Of particular importance for the New Zealanders will be the performance of two of their rookies. Here, Colin Munro top-scored and left-arm paceman Mitchell McClenaghan had the best return of the bowlers, reaching speeds over 140kph. With McCullum anxious for the newcomers to step up, these two did.
South Africa A only had two players in their camp who are also part of the senior squad. Justin Ontong was called up for the T20s earlier today after AB de Villiers withdrew, but here he only scored 5. The other in the senior squad for the T20s, left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso, conceded 25 runs in his three overs without taking a wicket and blitzed 17 runs off the last over, although by then the match was already lost.
A display of poor strokes combined with wily bowling accounted for most of South Africa A's early trouble. Davy Jacobs and Stiaan van Zyl were both bowled before Mangaliso Mosehle failed to read the spin of Ronnie Hira and Dane Vilas edged behind. In the fifth over, South Africa A had collapsed to 22 for 4.
Vaughn van Jaarsveld, who is from Johannesburg but plays his domestic cricket with the Dolphins in Kwa-Zulu Natal, was familiar with the conditions and it showed. He found the deep-midwicket, cow-corner and third-man boundaries before Ontong tried to reverse sweep a Hira yorker and was bowled.
Any hopes of staging a recovery were dashed when David Wiese was caught and bowled by Nathan McCullum; the rot had set in at 67 for 6. Van Jaarsveld continued aggressively until he also fell to a return catch and although South Africa A had folded, Phangiso had some fun in the last over, striking a few telling blows.
The South African A side's inept show ensured the New Zealanders 140 was enough, although the total seemed a little slender initially. They recovered from 24 for 2, having lost both openers cheaply.
Rob Nicol was stumped off Roelof van der Merwe in the first over but Brendon McCullum anchored the first half of the innings. He took on the spinner, sending him through point three times. He showed the same intent against the seamers and both Hardus Viljoen and Craig Alexander were driven through the covers.
When James Franklin top-edged an attempted pull, Munro's turn came. He faced four balls before playing a short in anger and was dropped at long-on. His next shot was a reverse sweep and the tone was set.
McCullum departed at the half-way mark but Munro continued improvising, playing the upper cut over third man and charging the spinners. With Nathan McCullum, he put on 37 runs in 26 balls before he was caught at short-fine leg.
The New Zealanders lost three wickets in the last three overs, in which they hit just three boundaries but managed 23 runs. In the end, it proved enough and will boost their morale ahead of the first T20 against South Africa on Friday.
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