Proteas on top
Amla leads South Africa to win over New Zealand
Hashim Amla hit his 21st One-Day International century as South Africa beat New Zealand by 20 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series today.
Amla stroked 13 fours and crunched three sixes in his 124 from just 126 balls against a weakened New Zealand attack that was without strike-bowlers Trent Boult and Tim Southee.
Mitchell McClenaghan did impress, not necessarily with his overall figures –– 2-72 from his 10 overs –– but with one of his wickets, as he broke a stump in half when bowling Rilee Rossouw.
An equally under-strength Black Caps batting line-up, missing their rested captain Brendon McCullum and injured Ross Taylor, made a decent go at their pursuit of their 305-run target before falling to 284 all out in the 49th over.
South Africa lost Morne van Wyk (16) early on in their innings, with McClenaghan picking up the first of his two scalps, before Amla put on 185 with Rossouw (89) for the second wicket.
Rossouw hit six fours and three sixes himself in an impressive knock before his stumps were carved in half by McClenaghan.
With just over eight overs left in the innings it looked to be the perfect platform for some AB de Villiers fireworks but the Proteas captain could only manage nine runs before falling to speedster Adam Milne (2-51).
It was the second of six wickets to fall in the final 10 overs as the home side slightly lost their way –– Amla the next to go, also to Milne, bowled.
James Neesham picked up David Miller next for 14, while Farhaan Behardien (15) and David Wiese (14) –– on debut –– were both run out as South Africa inched past 300.
New Zealand also lost a wicket early in their run-chase, as Luke Ronchi (one) edged Dale Steyn (2-50) to Amla at slip in the first over.
Ronchi had been dropped by Wiese two balls earlier and his opening partner Tom Latham also dropped off the very first ball by Behardien in an otherwise frustrating over for Steyn.
Latham cashed in with 60 in a 104-run partnership with Kane Williamson (47) for the second wicket but just as it looked like the Black Caps were going along nicely, Williamson fell to Imran Tahir (2-40), sparking a mini-collapse in the middle order.
Martin Guptill (25) cracked two fours off the wayward Wiese (2-63) but then fell to the final ball of the over before Vernon Philander (2-51) picked up Grant Elliott (four) and Latham in the same over.
The visitors were reduced to 158-5 after 30 overs with four wickets falling for 51 runs, and three for just 10.
Any thoughts of a routine South Africa win from there were soon dispelled though as Neesham (41) and Colin Munro (33) put on 71 in the next 10 overs, before Nesham fell to a top edge off the returning Wiese in the very next over.
Tahir trapped Munro lbw three overs later as New Zealand’s resilience was finally broken. Kagiso Rabada (1-49) and Steyn added a wicket apiece and then a run out –– off Ish Sodhi –– ended the innings early, South Africa winning by 20 runs with 11 balls to spare.