De Villiers Steers South Africa To Opening Victory
South Africa 254-4 (de Villiers 106no, du Plessis 66no) beat
New Zealand 253-9 (B McCullum 56) by six wickets
First One-Day International, Wellington
South African captain AB de Villiers stroked an unbeaten century to guide his side to a six-wicket victory over New Zealand in the first One-Day International in Wellington.
De Villiers hit 106 not out and Francois du Plessis an unbeaten 66 as South Africa recovered from 35 for three to strike first in the three-match series by closing on 254 for four in reply to New Zealand's 253 for nine.
The pair put on 120 for the fifth wicket after JP Duminy (46) was dismissed having helped de Villiers begin the fightback.
Batting first, half-centuries from Brendon McCullum (56) and Kane Williamson (55) helped New Zealand post a competitive score.
James Franklin added 32 and Rob Nicol got the innings off to a good start with 30 but the home side were kept in check as Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Morne Morkel, Robin Peterson and Jacques Kallis all took two wickets.
The bowlers continued in the ascendency when South Africa came out to bat. Tim Southee bowled Hashim Amla for eight and Kyle Mills had Graeme Smith caught by Jesse Ryder for nine.
When Kallis was caught by Wiliamson off the bowling of Doug Bracewell South Africa were 35 for three and in trouble but Duminy and de Villiers then put on 90 runs for the fourth wicket.
Duminy hit two fours, playing patiently and facing 74 balls while de Villiers was able to accelerate after Duminy had departed and du Plessis came to the crease.
The captain struck three fours and four sixes as du Plessis blasted 66 in just 49 balls, with nine fours and a six as South Africa got home in 45.2 overs.
The second match is in Napier on Wednesday (29th February).
© Cricket World 2012