AB de Villiers slams ton in South African victory
Wellington: South African captain AB de Villiers anchored his side's run chase as they beat New Zealand by six wickets at Wellington Regional Stadium on Saturday to take a 1-0 lead in their three-match one-day international series.
De Villiers stroked his 13th one-day century to finish 106 not out and combined in a 90-run partnership with JP Duminy (46) and for 129-runs with Faf du Plessis (66*) as the visitors overhauled New Zealand's 253-9 with 28 balls to spare.
The result ended New Zealand's unbeaten run of seven matches at the stadium stretching back to January 2006 and was the highest successful run chase at the ground, eclipsing New Zealand's 237-2 against Zimbabwe in 2001.
The decision review system was also put to use by both sides, as it overturned three dismissals given on the field by umpires Chris Gaffaney and Richard Illingworth.
Du Plessis was given out lbw on 10 from the bowling of Doug Bracewell but immediately requested a review and the decision was overturned with replays showing the ball would have bounced well above the wickets.
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, who had top scored with 56 for the hosts, also had two dismissals overturned.
He was given out lbw on the first ball he faced from Lonwabo Tsotsobe and again when he was ruled to have been caught behind by De Villiers from Robin Petersen when he was on three.
Replays showed the lbw delivery would have bounced over the stumps, while he failed to hit the ball from Peterson.
The 30-year-old then combined with Kane Williamson for a 79-run third wicket partnership, with the 21-year-old Williamson eventually making 55.
James Franklin (32) and Andrew Ellis (20) provided some lower-middle order resistance to guide the hosts to their total.
South Africa's fast bowlers had proved to be difficult to get away as they bowled short of a length, while medium-pacer Jacques Kallis cleverly took the pace off the ball to get rid of the dangerous Jesse Ryder and McCullum.
New Zealand innings
A 79-run stand by Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson propelled New Zealand to 253 for nine in the opening one-day international against South Africa in Wellington on Saturday.
On a benign wicket at Westpac Stadium, New Zealand struggled to gain momentum in the early stages, creeping to 75 for two in the first 20 overs before McCullum and Williamson began to pick up the pace.
The next 75 runs took less than 13 overs but the loss of McCullum, and the quick departure of big-hitting Jesse Ryder (6) soon after put the brakes on the New Zealand charge.
McCullum had a charmed life and was saved three times by television replays on his way to 56 off 67 balls including two boundaries and two sixes.
The New Zealand skipper was given out first ball but the decision was overturned on appeal when replays showed the Lonwabo Tsotsobe delivery would have bounced over the stumps.
On three, McCullum survived a caught behind appeal off Robin Peterson when the replay showed there was no edge and on 11 South Africa claimed a leg-before dismissal and this time the replay showed there was an edge. But his run of luck came to an end when he attempted to crack Jacques Kallis out of the park and was caught at deep point by a diving Peterson.
Williamson, who was content to look for the singles, appeared intent on batting through the innings and reached his 55 in 69 balls when he had an uncharacteristic slash at Tsotsobe and was caught behind.
Rob Nicol made 30 at the top of the innings when Dale Steyn was producing exaggerated swing while James Franklin added 32 in the middle of the innings.
But elsewhere the New Zealand batsmen were unable to attack the South African bowlers and when Nathan McCullum hit a six in the final over it ended a run of four overs when only singles were scored.
Tsotsobe was the most economical of the South African bowlers with two for 31 and Peterson and Kallis both finished with two for 45.
With PTI inputs