Proteas prevail in Hamilton thriller


Andile Phehlukwayo and AB de Villiers proved the heroes as South Africa edged out New Zealand by four wickets in a thrilling, rain-affected one-day international in Hamilton on Sunday.

Inclement weather reduced the first ODI of five to 34 overs a side, but there was no shortage of drama in the shortened contest as South Africa twice seized control only to be pegged back ahead of an absorbing finale.

The tourists proved economical with the ball for much of New Zealand's innings, but Colin de Grandhomme (34) and Tim Southee (24) shared 51 in 23 deliveries - taking 25 off Chris Morris (4-62) in the final set of six - to lift their side to a score of 207-7.

A startling collapse in the subsequent chase saw South Africa slide from 117-1 to 126-5 in the space of 14 balls, Southee (2-47) again coming to the fore.

However, De Villiers (37 not out) and Phehlukwayo (29 not out) saw the Proteas home with one delivery to spare, the latter striking crucial sixes in each of the last two overs having offered a chance early in his innings.

Quinton de Kock top-scored for South Africa with a 64-ball 69, but New Zealand clawed their way back into the match after the left-hander had shared 88 with Hashim Amla.

Home skipper Kane Williamson had Amla caught and bowled for 35, before a frenetic passage of play saw Faf du Plessis (14), De Kock, JP Duminy and Farhaan Behardien fall in quick succession.

Du Plessis was lbw to Ish Sodhi, De Kock dragged Trent Boult to short midwicket and Southee's clever changes of pace - on a surface offering appreciable assistance to the bowlers - put him on a hat-trick.

Morris also departed to Mitchell Santner with 54 runs still required, but Phehlukwayo - who could have been caught by diving wicketkeeper Tom Latham on two - and De Villiers kept their composure to take 22 from the last two overs.

Phehlukwayo's maximums were particularly timely, while De Villiers finished things off with a straight four off Southee to secure South Africa's 12th successive ODI win.

Morris had starred with the ball at the start of New Zealand's innings, claiming the first four wickets - including Latham for an 11-ball duck - as the hosts slumped to 82-4.

Williamson did his best to hold things together, compiling 59 from 53 balls, but it took De Grandhomme and Southee's late hitting to lift the Black Caps to a competitive total.