Back to sports fields to start a new year

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport - By STEVEN SA­MUELS

It’s that time of the year again when ev­ery­one re­turns from their sum­mer hol­i­days ex­cited at the prospect of the sport­ing year ahead.

Dur­ing Jan­uary the Black Caps toured South Africa where New Zealand played three T20s, two tests and three ODIs.

The Black Caps played in­cred­i­bly poorly in the tests against the num­ber one ranked Proteas of South Africa.

Bren­don McCul­lum won the toss and elected to bat which seemed like a good idea as the pitch suited bat­ting con­di­tions.

South Africa’s pace at­tack of Morkel, Steyn and Phi­lan­der ripped through the in­nings with Phi­lan­der fin­ish­ing with ca­reer best fig­ures of five for seven off six overs!

New Zealand were all out for 45, their third low­est test score with Kane Wil­liamson top scor­ing with 13. De­spite early success when Bracewell trapped Smith in front for 1, South Africa pro­ceeded to show New Zealand how to play test cricket with a cen­tury to Peter­son, and half cen­turies to Amla, Kal­lis and de Vil­liers which added up to a first in­nings to­tal of 347 and a lead of 302.

New Zealand’s best bowlers were Trent Boult and Chris Martin with three wick­ets each.

New Zealand had a lot to prove in their sec­ond in­nings, but un­for­tu­nately did not start off well with Gup­till caught in the first over for a duck.

Next bats­man out was Kane Wil­liamson who was con­tent in scor­ing sin­gles and keep­ing McCul­lum on strike. How­ever, Kal­lis had him caught for 15.

En­ter Brown­lie, Black Caps tee­ter­ing at 29/2. Brown­lie and McCul­lum man­aged to weather the early on­slaught and es­tab­lished a re­spectable third wicket part­ner­ship of 89.

As you can prob­a­bly guess, McCul­lum was next to go, LBW to Peter­son for 51.

The high­light of the game from New Zealand’s per­spec­tive was Dean Brown­lie reach­ing his maiden test cen­tury, achieved with com­mend­able sup­port from Watling and Franklin. De­spite show­ing much greater re­solve to not throw­ing wick­ets away, New Zealand still lost by an in­nings and 27 runs.

It was the same story a week later when New Zealand had no an­swer to the might and skill of South Africa – this time los­ing by an in­nings and 193 runs.

How­ever, the ODI se­ries was a dif­fer­ent story as New Zealand played a lot bet­ter. New Zealand won the toss in the first game and elected to field. Amla was first to go, taken by Mills, fol­lowed in quick suc­ces­sion by Smith and de Vil­liers for 7 each.

In­gram and du Plessis got starts but were un­able to kick on. To­wards the end, McLaren and Klein­velt put on a late stand to bring some re­spectabil­ity to the score. South Africa all out 208.

Best bowl­ing fig­ures were Wil­liamson with 4 for 56 off 7.2 overs and McCle­naghan 4 for 20 off 10. A few days later, aided by a mag­nif­i­cent cen­tury by Kane Wil­liamson, New Zealand won the sec­ond ODI to claim our first ever se­ries win in South Africa in any cricket for­mat.

Over this last week­end the Welling­ton

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