At Wellington, February 15. Australia won by three wickets. Toss: South Africa. International debut: R. T. Ponting.
The pitch, on which New Zealand had just lost to West Indies inside four days, favoured the bowlers. Steve Waugh, whose 44 was easily the biggest and best innings of the day, said the spinners and slower seamers were more difficult than the pace attack; Warne's first spell was near-unplayable, though Reiffel had most profit.
South Africa were 55 for five and even a recovery brought them only 123. But De Villiers led the counter-attack and Australia were five down for 56. It was nearly six: Rindel, dazzled by the sun, dropped Healy before he had scored. He survived and nearly doubled the total with Waugh. An Australian batting line-up featuring two Tasmanians, Boon and Ponting, was a novelty, but they scored only one each.
Man of the Match: S. R. Waugh.