First One-Day International

South Africa v New Zealand 2007-08

At Durban, November 25, 2007. South Africa won by two wickets. Toss: South Africa.

New Zealand should have won, but didn't. On a sporty pitch with grass and moisture, a par score was around 220, but they batted with due caution and smart acceleration to exceed that by almost 30. How showed great mental strength in overcoming a difficult start - eight runs from 35 balls - to reach a career-best 90, while Sinclair pushed the total well beyond what South Africa were comfortable chasing. De Villiers made light of the prevailing conditions with a succession of inappropriate but luscious cuts and pulls, and added 72 with Duminy. But Mills returned to add three more quick wickets to the two from his opening spell (only seven better analyses had been returned for New Zealand in one-dayers, three of them by the absent Shane Bond), and suddenly the momentum shifted dramatically. After three balls of the final over, from Gillespie, the No. 10 Nel was on strike, needing nine to win. To the uncontained delight of crowd and teammates, Nel managed to belt two perfectly good blockhole deliveries to the extra-cover boundary, before slicing the last one just over cover for the winning run.

Man of the Match: A. B. de Villiers.

© Wisden Cricketers' Almanack