Daniel Vettori, the New Zealand captain, has said that they "mucked it up" during the first one-day international against South Africa. New Zealand's dismal tour of South Africa continued after they lost in Durban off the last ball of the match.
The game went down to the wire with 11 runs needed off the last over before Andre Nel scored nine off the last three balls to give South Africa a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Vettori, however, said the game should have never got that close and said their poor fielding effort contributed significantly to the defeat. Man of the Match AB de Villiers, who scored 87, was dropped on 21 by Ross Taylor at point; Mark Boucher was let off by Mathew Sinclair on 5 while Scott Styris dropped a difficult chance of Nel in the final over.
"We missed chances in the field again," Vettori told NZPA. "We should have finished the game off and should have won it comfortably. I've been saying all along that we're probably more comfortable in the one-day form of the game and the way we played today was an indication of that. But we're still not winning, so we have to move forward and try to find a way of winning the next one."
One of the positives for New Zealand was the form of fast bowler Kyle Mills, who took career-best figures of 5 for 25.
"It's a nice feeling [career-best figures], but I'd trade it for a win any day. Any win over here is pretty special," Mills said. "Normally we have world-class fielding efforts, but in the last couple of games we've been missing the 50-50 chances that we usually take. I can't put my finger on it; we've been training damn hard. We put our heart and soul into it but it's just one of those things."
The second one-day international, which is a must-win game for New Zealand to stay alive in the series, is on November 30 in Port Elizabeth.