About the Match
That’s it then! A tit for tat game theory of Proteas was withering return mortar fire; the hosts looked to exact revenge on the Black Caps by making a massive 305 runs at the Centurion grounds, making it difficult for the visitors to chase and emerged victorious in the first ODI. The Kiwis struggled to beat the score but could make it till the end with some 20 runs short after the middle order put up a good fight. The team will bounce back with all the strategies needed to face the Proteas head to head in the 2nd ODI of the 3-match series that will be held at Potchefstroom on August 23.
The Proteas very well knew how to give a tough fight to the Kiwis after their collapse in the 2nd T20; and yes, AB De Villiers’s men surely kept the respect of the fans by winning the first ODI giving the visitors a hard time. Hashim Amla, the man of the match contributed a big share to the team’s success by posting a spectacular 124 runs and registering the record of being the fastest batsman to reach 21 ODI centuries.
Rilee Rossouw provided good support to Amla, together putting up a 185-run partnership; AB de Villiers fell cheap to Adam Milne making only 9 runs. Fine bowling attacks from Dale Steyn, Philander and Wiese contributed with 2 wickets each while Tahir restricted the runs from the visitors and took two crucial wickets.
The team needs to concentrate on the fielding strategies to stop the visitors from posting big totals or chase easily in the next match, as per the situation; the batsmen must also try and combine their strengths, instead of depending heavily on couple of players.
The Black Caps could not pull off a good start as the teams vital player Guptill suffered from a hand injury and walked in at No.4; although he could not stay for a longer time, the partnership of Latham and Williamson put together 100 runs to chase 305.
McCullum and Sodhi took the limelight by proving to be economical with the ball while McClenaghan, Milne and Neesham took crucial wickets to slow down the opposition. Absence of players like Ross Taylor and Brenden McCullum hampered the strength of the batting squad.
The team has to work hard in the next ODI, although they have been good observers and always tried to correct their mistakes from the previous battles. Strengthening the batting squad is very much needed at this point of time, as the absence of some of its important players is affecting their game. Other players have to come up with good batting and bowling instincts to give a tough fight to the opposition.
The Proteas have got good batting and bowling strengths compared to the visitors; with bowlers like Dale Steyn in the pace attack and massive hitters like Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers in the batting line-up, there is a good balance between attack and defense. Being the victors of the first ODI, a win at Potchefstroom will give them the series; on the other hand, the Kiwis who still have a chance to buck up and draw level, will definitely come out all guns blazing to win the match on Sunday.