VB Series first final

New Zealand v South Africa

At Melbourne, February 6 (day/night). South Africa won by eight wickets. Toss: New Zealand.

New Zealand reserved one of their most inept batting performances for their most important game. Fleming played elegantly and McMillan showed unusual sticking power during a stand of 109, but only one of their team-mates managed double figures. Ntini caused bother with his awkward angles as he cut the ball away off the seam from wide of the crease, while Klusener's bowling proved less easy to milk than earlier in the tournament. New Zealand needed to score quickly in the final 15 overs, but Ntini's return was the beginning of the end, and he finished with a career-best five for 31. In front of a sparse and less than animated crowd, Dion Nash bowled one over before breaking down in what proved to be his final international. South Africa coasted home with almost five overs in hand, courtesy of a 139-run third-wicket partnership between Dippenaar and Kallis, who passed 5,000 runs in one-day internationals.

Man of the Match: M. Ntini.

© John Wisden & Co