Mon, Feb 20, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Calm De Villiers leads South Africa over New Zealand

Reuters

Captain A.B. de Villiers yesterday calmly guided his side to a tense four-wicket victory over New Zealand with one ball to spare in a rain-affected first one-day international at Seddon Park in Hamilton, New Zealand.

De Villiers scored 37 not out and ensured No. 8 batsman Andile Phehlukwayo (29) kept a cool head as the pair put on 54 runs to overwhelm the 208-run victory target and earn a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

The visitors, who had looked to be cruising to victory at 117-1 with 14 overs remaining, lost four wickets in 14 balls to slump to 126-5 before Chris Morris helped his captain to a 30-run partnership.

However, Morris fell with still plenty of work to do on a pitch that had been difficult to score from throughout the entire game.

South Africa needed 22 runs from the final two overs and scored 10 from Trent Boult in the penultimate over, which included a six from Phehlukwayo, who then repeated the dose against Tim Southee in the final over.

De Villiers then belted Southee for four off the penultimate ball to clinch the victory.

New Zealand made 207-7 in their innings after heavy rain over the past three days in Hamilton had forced a delay of more than three hours and reduced the match to 34 overs per side.

New Zealand struggled for much of their innings, particularly up front against tight bowling from Morris, who took the first four wickets as the hosts slumped to 82-4 in the 16th over.

Kane Williamson notched his 28th one-day international half-century as he took on the mantle of anchoring his side’s innings, which he did in scoring 59 of his side’s 108 runs before he was bowled by Tabraiz Shamsi.

All-rounders Jimmy Neesham (29) and Mitchell Santner (17) took their side through to 156-7, but with less than four overs remaining the hosts looked well short of a competitive target, despite the wicket proving to be difficult to score from.

However, Morris, who had figures of 4-24 from his first five overs, was then taken apart by Colin de Grandhomme (34 not out) and Southee (24 not out) in his final two.

De Grandhomme and Southee blasted 51 runs from 23 balls, including smashing 38 runs from Morris’s final 12 deliveries to blow out his figures to 4-62 from seven overs.

The second match is scheduled for Hagley Oval in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Wednesday.

AUSTRALIA VS SRI LANKA

Reuters

All-rounder Asela Gunaratne yesterday struck a superb 84 off 46 balls to inspire Sri Lanka to a dramatic two-wicket victory over Australia in the second Twenty20 international in South Geelong, Australia.

The touring side needed 48 runs off the last three overs to clinch the series and Gunaratne, who smashed five sixes and six fours, led them home.

Australia got off to a flying start, hitting 60 runs in the first six overs, and although medium-pacer Nuwan Kulasekara took four wickets, Moises Henriques made an unbeaten 56 off 37 balls to lift the hosts to a decent total of 173.

Sri Lanka stumbled early as their top order collapsed, losing five wickets for 41 runs in the first five overs.

However, a spirited 52-run partnership between Gunaratne and Chamara Kapugedera steadied the innings, before 31-year-old Gunaratne took charge to guide his side to an unlikely victory.

“Asela’s was an amazing innings,” Sri Lanka captain Upul Tharanga said. “We lost too many wickets early, but Asela finished the game for us. Winning in Australia is a huge achievement. This is Asela’s first tour to Australia and we are happy.”

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