McMillan stars in opener

Craig McMillan’s century was the highlight of New Zealand’s rain-affected tour opener against South Africa A at Benoni.

Having won the toss, the New Zealanders decided to bat first. Their innings made a disastrous start as they found themselves at 42/4, with Nathan Astle, Lou Vincent, Hamish Marshall and Stephen Fleming all in the pavillion.

But then McMillan and James Marshall came together and put on 161 for the 5th wicket, Marshall himself getting to 64 before falling to the spin of Jacques Rudolph.

After Marshall’s dismissal, another slight collapse occurred as McMillan’s glorious 105 from 106 balls came to an end and he was quickly followed by Brendon McCullum and James Franklin. But then Andre Adams smashed 32 from 18 balls to guide New Zealand through to 273/9 from their 50 overs. Tyron Henderson was the star of the bowling effort, five wickets in his ten overs, conceding just 38 runs.

South Africa A’s chase started in less than desirable fashion as Mills clean bowled Andrew Puttick for 0 with the score on just 2, and it wasn’t very long before his fellow opener Loots Bosman was caught by Fleming off Franklin for 16.

But after the shaky start, the home side recovered strongly, led mainly by those with international experience, Rudolph with an unbeaten 73, and Albie Morkel on 48, but with the team on 199/4 after 43 overs the rain came, and it was time to get out the calculators as there was no chance of play resuming. The calculations found the South Africa A side 19 runs short of the revised target of 219.

The New Zealanders will be happy with the batting of McMillan and James Marshall, but the lack of batting form of the rest of the top and middle order will be a concern, as will the large number of no-balls they bowled in the second innings. But we can expect improvement as this was the first match of the tour.

New Zealand 273-9
Craig McMillan 105, James Marshall 64
Tyron Henderson 5-38, Dale Steyn 2-46

South Africa A 199/4 (43 overs)
Jacques Rudolph 73no, Albie Morkel 48no
James Franklin 1-11, Andre Adams 1-28

New Zealand won by 19 runs (D/L).

Cricket Web Player of the Match: Craig McMillan 105(106)

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