South Africa have comfortably beaten the BLACKCAPS by five wickets in the ICC Champions Trophy match at Centurion.
The home side struck early after winning the toss and electing to bat with Roelof van der Merwe taking a stunning catch to dismiss Jesse Ryder for eight off the bowling of Wayne Parnell.
Martin Guptill (21) looked to be in good touch, playing four well timed shots to the boundary but a lapse in concentration saw him lob a ball to deep square leg, becoming Parnell’s second wicket.
The introduction of spin dried up the runs and built pressure on the BLACKCAPS. Brendon McCullum (44) attempted to break the shackles by playing an aggressive sweep shot but got a top edge and was caught at short fine leg.
Grant Elliott and Ross Taylor then combined to put on 71 runs for the fourth wicket before Elliott was bowled for 39 by van der Merwe.
It was a subdued but solid batting display by the top order but the rest of the line up wasn’t able to take advantage of the platform set, with the loss of Elliott sparking a collapse that saw them lose their last seven wickets for 51 runs as the BLACKCAPS went from 171 for four to be 214 all out.
Taylor was the mainstay of the inning hitting a superb 72 including six fours and two sixes. He had to work hard for his runs bringing up his first 50 off 90 balls but increased this strike rate during the powerplay overs.
Strike bowler Parnell was the main destroyer taking two early wickets then ripping through the tail to finish with five for 57.
In reply, South Africa got off to a decent start despite losing Graeme Smith for seven with Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis sharing a 52 run partnership for the second wicket.
Kallis was particularly aggressive hitting six boundaries in his 36 before being caught behind off the bowling of Shane Bond.
It was a fair reward for Bond who bowled without luck, regularly finding the edge and having a number of strong appeals turned down.
Captain Daniel Vettori trapped Amla (38) LBW with an arm ball and then Kyle Mills picked up JP Duminy cheaply to have the home team looking nervy at 138 for four but it was short lived as AB de Villiers and Mark Boucher steadied the innings.
Daryl Tuffey picked up the late wicket of Boucher for 28 but it was too late as de Villiers and Morkle steered South Africa to a comfortable five wicket win.
De Villiers was South Africa’s top scorer with an unbeaten 70 off 76 balls.