A brilliant bowling spell from Kyle Mills (10-2-25-5) wasn’t enough for the Kiwis to beat South Africa in the first One Dayer at Durban. Like the T20 match, this first ODI went right till the end with the homeside clinching victory in the final ball of the match. Andre Nel was the hero of the match with a good bowling show and then smashing a couple of boundaries in the fourth and the fifth balls of the final over in which SA needed 11 to win! South Africa just scraped through by 2 wickets in a match that was well under control of the visitors until the last few overs.
SA once again asked New Zealand to bat first considering that the top order batting for the tourists has always failed on this tour. Ntini got an early break but for a change there was a good partnership at the top of the order through makeshift opener Brendon McCullum (40 from 67 with 4 fours) and Jamie How that saw any threat off the seamers. New Zealand then carried on solidly but at the same time the runs weren’t coming at a thick pace. Jamie How top scored with 90 facing 124 balls with the help of 11 fours to play the sheet anchor’s role. Styris got a well paced 40 from 45 while there were useful contributions Ross Taylor (20) and Mathew Sinclair (an unbeaten 32 from 23 with 3 fours and a six).
New Zealand posted 248 for 6 which was a fighting total as Kingsmead always has life for the fast bowlers. Andre Nel was the most successful bowler with 3 for 46 in his 10 overs. Shaun Pollock was wicketless but he was very mean in his bowling conceding just 21 in his 10 overs which included four maidens! In their chase, SA were rocked back by a double blow at the start by Kyle Mills which saw the backs of Morne van Wyk and Jacques Kallis.
SA fought back into the game through a solid stand between Skipper Graeme Smith (44 from 64) and AB de Villiers which took them to 100 for 3 in the 26th. AB de Villiers carried his Twenty20 form into this match to go onto make 87 in 103 with 9 forus. But his dismissal came at a point when SA still had to get another 77 with six wickets in hand. A 39-run partnership between Jean-Paul Duminy (46 from 59) and Mark Boucher for the fifth wicket released the pressure. Kyle Mills had returned back for another spell and this time he bowled his side back in the game with the key wickets of Pollock and Morkel leaving SA at 222 for 7 in the 47th. SA though kept their cool with Mark Boucher staying unbeaten with 35 from 37 while it was Andre Nel (10 not out from 5 balls with 2 fours) striking the winning shots.