South Africa v New Zealand 2007-08
Wisden's report from the first one-day international between South Africa and New Zealand at Durban, November 25, 2007
At Durban, November 25, 2007. South Africa won by two wickets. Toss: South Africa.
New Zealand should have won, but didn't. On a sporty pitch with grass and moisture, a par
score was around 220, but they batted with due caution and smart acceleration to exceed that by
almost 30. How showed great mental strength in overcoming a difficult start - eight runs from
35 balls - to reach a career-best 90, while Sinclair pushed the total well beyond what South Africa
were comfortable chasing. De Villiers made light of the prevailing conditions with a succession
of inappropriate but luscious cuts and pulls, and added 72 with Duminy. But Mills returned to add three more quick wickets to the two from his opening spell (only seven better analyses had
been returned for New Zealand in one-dayers, three of them by the absent Shane Bond), and
suddenly the momentum shifted dramatically. After three balls of the final over, from Gillespie,
the No. 10 Nel was on strike, needing nine to win. To the uncontained delight of crowd and teammates, Nel managed to belt two perfectly good blockhole deliveries to the extra-cover boundary, before slicing the last one just over cover for the winning run.
Man of the Match: A. B. de Villiers.
Neil Manthorp is a South African broadcaster and journalist, and head of the MWP Sport agency