Back to sports fields to start a new year
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