New Zealand in South Africa 2012-13, ODI series

New Zealand improve woeful SA record

New Zealand have won as many matches in this ODI series as they had in 18 previous ODIs against South Africa in South Africa

S Rajesh

January 23, 2013

Comments: 10 | Text size: A | A

Kane Williamson drives, Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 4th ODI, Hambantota, November 10, 2012
Kane Williamson's unbeaten 145 is the highest ODI score by a New Zealand batsman against one of the top sides © Associated Press
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  • New Zealand's series win in South Africa is their first in their last ten attempts against a team other than Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. The last time New Zealand won an ODI series against a top side was in November 2009, when they beat Pakistan 2-1 in the UAE. Since then they lost a couple of times to Sri Lanka, India and Australia, and also a series each to West Indies, South Africa and Pakistan. (Click here for New Zealand's series results against the top sides since 2000.)

  • It's only the second time New Zealand have won a bilateral series against South Africa, but it's their first in South Africa: they'd beaten South Africa 5-1 in a home series in 2004.

  • Before these two wins, New Zealand had won only two out of 18 ODIs against South Africa in South Africa (with two being washed out). Their win-loss ratio of 0.14 was their worst against any host team.

  • Kane Williamson's unbeaten 145 equalled the sixth-highest ODI score by a New Zealand batsman. However, the earlier such scores were all against the lesser sides - two against Ireland, two against Zimbabwe, and one each against East Africa and USA. That makes Williamson's score the highest by a New Zealander in ODIs against one of the top sides. The previous highest for New Zealand against South Africa was Stephen Fleming's unbeaten 134 in that memorable World Cup game in Johannesburg in 2003. Williamson's score is also the joint fifth-highest by any batsman against South Africa.

  • Williamson's form was good news for New Zealand, but Martin Guptill's early dismissal will worry them. In his last ten ODI innings, Guptill has scored 168 runs at an average of 16.80, with six single-digit dismissals, including three ducks. During this period his Test form has also been poor: his last 22 Test innings have fetched him 566 runs at 25.72.

  • For South Africa, this was yet another setback in a home series - they've lost two of their last three, and three of their last six, against England, Australia, and now New Zealand. Before November 2009, they'd won 17 home series in a row, dating back all the way to October 2002.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

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Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (January 25, 2013, 13:38 GMT)

It was SA's inability rather than NZ's ability. NZ was a better side and were able to beat any top team when Chris Cairns, Astle, Fleming etc were there. But later they lost their enthusiasm and there is only few players of international standards in this team. SA take NZ lightly and played a lot of new players in their team due to which they lost 'team effort' factor.

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 25, 2013, 10:10 GMT)

Keep up the good work NZ and I hope to see an improvement in the tests against England. Hope the return of Southee will help. I will never forget his batting heroics on his test debut.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (January 25, 2013, 8:03 GMT)

@Dhutugemunu you need to read the article carefully. It mentions NZ wins (not losses) to top sides since 2009.

Posted by Dhutugemunu on (January 24, 2013, 20:35 GMT)

So Rajesh (stat analyst) does not count Sri Lanka and England as a top sides. Interesting.
Author's note: Sri Lanka and England are counted as top sides. The piece clearly states that Fleming's 134 was the previous-highest for New Zealand against South Africa, not all teams.

Posted by haq33 on (January 24, 2013, 20:21 GMT)

Would love to see the new NZ rediscover the lofty heights of their predecessors in the early 90's. Back then everyone really feared facing NZ as they were a top odi team because they were so fearless in their batting. Guptill needs to sort it out at the top. No doubt he is the best for the job but he has been throwing his wicket away too much recently. If he can properly anchor things, with Taylor on his way back, then this team's batting will be sorted.

Posted by kiwimeeky on (January 24, 2013, 20:08 GMT)

worth pointing out that since that 2009 series New Zealand has only had 2 ODI series at home against Top 8 nations. Winning in the sub-continent is tough for the greatest of sides so its not surprising we have multiple series losses to Sri Lanka & India recently, maybe they should come play in our conditions and see how they fair. I think we have a good shot at taking out the England series at home next month, it's just a shame that once again we only have one home series all season.

Posted by 4cricketluv on (January 24, 2013, 10:57 GMT)

I wouldn't keep my hopes up too high if I were a NZer! If they have their eyes and ears open, they will realise who they played against. There was no lion in their faces and no roar at all!

Posted by Romanticstud on (January 24, 2013, 7:59 GMT)

It is inexcusable for any side to throw away a game like South Africa did here and in WC2011 when they lost their umpteenth knockout game ... South Africa have played an unaccustomed game with Kallis, Steyn, Amla and DeVilliers missing from the line-up for various reasons ... Smith and Ingram did well ... until the run-out ... But lately the stats that if Smith does well South Africa do well has become a misnomer ... because he has had Two hundreds since 2009 and on both occasions South Africa have lost ... Amla has normally been our go to man since Kallis was rested ... but there was no excuse for 5 run-outs ... we had the run-rate in check for most of the inninngs ...

Posted by corzaNZ on (January 23, 2013, 18:34 GMT)

Sorry cricinfo the previous high score by a New Zealander against a top nation is Scott Styris 141 against Sri Lanka also in the 2003 world Cup.
Author's note: The piece clearly states that Fleming's 134 was the previous-highest for New Zealand against South Africa, not all teams. As you've mentioned, against all top teams it was Styris' 141 against Sri Lanka.

Posted by PakoP on (January 23, 2013, 15:47 GMT)

Excellent work by NZ. Keep up the good work. Fan from Pakistan

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
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