New Zealand win Twenty20
21 Oct 2005
By: Richard Edmunds
Despite the fact that the match was largely insignificant, New Zealand's five wicket win in the Twenty20 at Johannesburg, the first meeting between the two sides of the series, gives the tourists a psychological advantage going into the five match ODI series which follows.
Having lost the toss and been put into bat in front of a packed New Wanderers Stadium, the South Africans' batting effort was well below par with the exception of captain Graeme Smith, who with 61 scored nearly half of the team's total. Despite getting by far the highest score, Smith was the first to be dismissed, out caught and bowled to Nathan Astle for those 61 runs which came from just 43 balls. His opening partner Jacques Kallis followed in the next over, clean bowled by Jeetan Patel for 20 from 18.
But then the series of embarrassing scores began. Herschelle Gibbs lbw to Patel for 9 in his comeback match, Justin Kemp, certainly a dangerous player for New Zealand to look out for in the ODI series, out in the same way as Smith for 8, Mark Boucher Astle's third victim when clean bowled for 4, Shaun Pollock out to Andre Adams without scoring and Ashwell Prince run out for 5. All in all, South Africa had collapsed from 84-0 to 117-7.
Albie Morkel briefly looked to stage a recovery but he could only reach 11 before edging a ball from Patel into McCullum's gloves, Patel's third wicket. And then the ball was given to Shane Bond to clean up the tail which he comfortably did, South Africa all out for 133 in 19.3 overs.
In reply, Stephen Fleming started in similar fashion to his opposite number, scoring quickly and dominating the partnership. Nathan Astle reached 10 before being clean bowled by Nel in the sixth over, and the same bowler continued Hamish Marshall's poor run of form, out caught behind for 3. Fleming then disappointingly followed for 31 from 25 balls, a very promising start, when he was caught by Morkel off the bowling of Charl Langeveldt.
But the mediocrity of South Africa's total meant that the New Zealanders only required average contributions from each batsman, and that they got. Craig McMillan added 15, Scott Styris 24, and then Jacob Oram and Brendon McCullum guided them to the target of 134, scoring 23 and 17 respectively.
Overall it was once again a bit of fairly meaningless fun, once again a huge success in regard to the crowd turnout, but New Zealand can certainly take a lot of confidence from the win, especially the collapse of the South African middle order.
South Africa 133
Graeme Smith 61, Jacques Kallis 20
Nathan Astle 3-20, Jeetan Patel 3-20
New Zealand 134-5
Stephen Fleming 31, Scott Styris 24
Andre Nel 2-19, Charl Langeveldt 2-14
New Zealand won by 5 wickets
Cricket Web Player of the Match - Graeme Smith (61).