Captain AB de Villiers and young Andile Phehlukwayo kept their nerves as South Africa defeated New Zealand in the first ODI of the five-match series by four wickets at Seddon Park, Hamilton on Sunday.
Chasing 208 in 34 overs in a rain-effected match, the visitors were going smoothly till the 20th over, when Kiwis veteran pacer Tim Southee claimed two wickets in an over to turn the game on its head.Proteas lost five wickets for just 39 runs in just 40 balls to hand advantage back to hosts. However, an unbeaten seventh-wicket partnership of 54 runs between skipper De Villiers and Phehlukwayo took visitors over the line with a ball to spare.
De Villiers remained unbeaten on 37 off 34 balls, whereas young Phehlukwayo remained not out on 29 off just 23 balls.Wicket keeper batsman Quinton de Kock finished the innings with the top score of 69 off 64 balls, which included nine fours and one six.For New Zealand, Southee claimed two, whereas Trent Boult, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi and Kane Williamson picked a wicket each.
Earlier, after being sent in to bat first, New Zealand managed to score 207 for the loss of seven wickets in their allotted 34 balls.Captain Williamson finished the innings with the top score of 59 off 53 balls, whereas all-rounder Collin de Grandhomme (34 off 19) and Southee (24 off 13) played useful cameos lower down the innings.For South Africa, pacer Chris Morris claimed four, whereas Kagiso Rabada picked two wickets.