5th Match: New Zealand v South Africa at Brisbane, 19 Jan 2002|
South Africa innings:
New Zealand innings:
CAIRNS SENSATIONAL AS BLACK CAPS POWER TO THRILLING VICTORYA brilliant unbeaten century from Chris Cairns has guided New Zealand to a four wicket victory over South Africa in the countries' VB Series match here at the 'Gabba ground in Brisbane tonight. With his team chasing a target of 242 for victory, Cairns (102*) thrashed the first ball of the 50th over to the extra cover boundary to simultaneously win the match and raise a richly deserved hundred.
The powerful all-rounder had arrived at the crease with New Zealand at 4/73 in the 19th over as it struggled to stay within touch of the total of 241 registered by the South Africans earlier in the day. When Craig McMillan (6) lost his wicket five overs later to leave the total at 5/98, it seemed that the prospect of four points was all but slipping away from the Black Caps' grasp.
However, with Cairns in increasingly confident touch, the New Zealanders' hopes never faded completely. His strokemaking became increasingly belligerent and, with excellent support arriving from Chris Harris (24) and Adam Parore (21*), the Kiwis were duly able to claim an outstanding victory with five balls to spare.
"It's nice to achieve something that I have always wanted to do and that's score a hundred in Australia," said an elated Cairns after the match.
"We just wanted to get the win tonight. Sometimes you realise that, when you get into that situation, you have more time than what you might think.
"(Our achievement) hasn't sunk in yet."
The New Zealanders' chase had begun disastrously as Mark Richardson (0) perished from just the second ball of the innings. And, when Brendon McCullum (37), Stephen Fleming (23), Lou Vincent (9) and McMillan variously joined the list of victims in the pavilion through the middle stages of the pursuit, there looked few ways out for the Black Caps.
Cairns, though, was not to be denied and his partnerships of 62 and 84 runs with Harris and Parore respectively defined the difference between the teams.
He had also played a major role earlier in the day in a lower order South African collapse that laid a vital platform for New Zealand's first limited-overs victory over South Africa since February 1999.
Together with paceman Shane Bond (4/37), undisputed man of the match Cairns (2/44) triggered a remarkable slide that saw the South Africans surrender an imposing position at 5/231 to be dismissed - with only a further ten runs added to the score - just four overs later. Bond's involvement in the fightback was particularly impressive after he had conceded 16 runs in one over to the aggressive Jacques Kallis (65) in the midst of an expensive first spell.
"The way we fought back and denied them a 270 to 280 score was fantastic," enthused New Zealand captain Fleming after the match.
"What (Bond) is showing is good mental toughness (to come back well)," he said.
With opener Gary Kirsten (43), Kallis added 115 runs in an excellent partnership for the second wicket and then another profitable association between Mark Boucher (51) and Jonty Rhodes (44) offered further momentum. But the innings finished on the same note of wicket-taking as it had started - opener Herschelle Gibbs (0) having perished from the very first delivery of the match - and none of the Proteas was ultimately able to rival Cairns' ability to translate a start into a genuinely big innings.
South African captain Shaun Pollock admitted he was disappointed by a defeat that now hands leadership of the competition to the New Zealanders. He expected that there would be some changes to the side that will take on the so far winless Australia in another important game here tomorrow.
Experienced players Shaun Pollock and Jacques Kallis have done most of the damage for South Africa. Pollock has claimed figures of 2/7 off six overs and Kallis has taken 2/21 from his six.
The Kiwis' innings started dreadfully when Mark Richardson (0) pulled a Pollock delivery straight to Justin Ontong at square leg.
Brendon McCullum (37) and Lou Vincent (9) then nudged the total to 31 before Vincent lost patience and drove errantly at Pollock to present wicketkeeper Mark Boucher with a regulation catch.
Stephen Fleming (23) looked to be over any injury concerns, fluently compiling his runs before miscuing a pull shot off Kallis to Ontong at mid wicket in the 18th over.
McCullum fell in the following over, caught by Kallis at first slip as he attempted to guide a ball from Ntini wide of him to third man.
Craig McMillan (6) then fell to an almost identical shot in the 24th over, this time caught by Pollock at the second grab off Kallis.
Cairns meanwhile, was starting to find the middle of the bat at the other end, square driving both Ntini and Kallis for boundaries.
Veritable New Zealand hero Chris Harris strode to the crease with purpose to the sound of Survivor's 'Eye of the Tiger'. With the required run rate pushing above six an over, the batting of the two New Zealand all-rounders could be crucial in settling the fate of the match.
The start to the Kiwis' innings virtually mirrored that of their opponents earlier in the day given that Herschelle Gibbs was out to the first ball of the match as he played on to James Franklin.
Unlike the Proteas, though, they did not follow the early loss with a barrage of shots to the boundary. Instead, it seemed as though they were prepared to wait for the new ball to lose its shine before pushing towards South Africa's target on a batting strip playing truly in terms of both pace and bounce.
Brendon McCullum (30*) and Lou Vincent (9) pushed the total to 31 in generally unhurried fashion before the former was caught behind as he drove off the back foot at Pollock (2/7) in the 11th over.
New batsman Stephen Fleming (20*) showed that the white ball held few fears for him - and that he was over any injury concerns too - by striking Steve Elworthy deliveries for two fours in the 12th over. He then hit Makhaya Ntini for two more in the next over.
McCullum was lucky to survive in Ntini's second over from the Vulture Street end when he scored a streaky boundary to a fine third man after edging without control between the wicketkeeper and a man at a wide first slip position.
Shane Bond finished with bowling figures of 4/37 and a run out to give New Zealand a good chance of going to the top of the VB Series table when the match reaches its conclusion later tonight.
Following a mid-innings collapse of 3/16, Jonty Rhodes and Mark Boucher had added 73 runs for the fifth wicket at nearly five runs an over to have South Africa at 4/202 in the 40th over.
Rhodes (44) was then caught by Chris Harris at backward point off Chris Cairns (2/44) following an innings of his characteristically busy fare of edges, balls worked into gaps for quick singles, the occasional heave and a missed attempted reverse sweep.
Shaun Pollock hit 15 runs from 16 balls as he and Boucher looked like they might take South Africa toward a total of something close to the 280 mark. However, when Pollock and Justin Kemp were both caught behind, and then Boucher was out for 51 hooking a Bond delivery to James Franklin at deep square leg, South Africa found itself at 8/236 and struggling to set New Zealand a large chase on what has remained a good batting pitch.
After winning the toss and choosing to bat first, the South Africans were off to the worst start possible when Herschelle Gibbs (0) was out to the first ball of the match. He played off an inside edge at Franklin (2/41) into his stumps.
Jacques Kallis helped Gary Kirsten recover and the pair put on 115 for the second wicket.
Kallis (65), returning from an ankle injury, was in great touch, driving Shane Bond to the off side boundary four times in Bond's third over and forcing him out of the attack. He raised a well-deserved half-century off Daniel Vettori (0/58) and then celebrated by lifting a delivery from the same bowler over long on for six.
However, when Kirsten was out caught and bowled by Harris (1/45) for 43, the Proteas suddenly lost 3/16 in a disastrous burst that also had Kallis and Boeta Dippenaar (7) returning to the pavilion before Rhodes and Boucher came together.
New Zealand will be chasing a victory target of 242.
Following the loss of Herschelle Gibbs (0) to the opening ball of the match, Jaques Kallis and Gary Kirsten added 115 runs for the second wicket to guide South Africa into a formidable position at 1/115 in the 22nd over.
Kallis (65) was in outstanding touch, racing to a half-century with some sublime driving - particularly through a tightly set cover field.
Kirsten was also in command as he mixed careful defence and accumulation of singles with some cleverly played shots over the infield at times.
But then all-rounder Chris Harris, back from an overnight visit to New Zealand, had Kirsten caught and bowled for 43. Harris seemed to deceive Kirsten by forcing the ball to hold up off the pitch and having him force back a regulation chest-high catch.
Kallis, apparently disconcerted by the loss of his partner, followed in the next over. He was comfortably caught at extra cover by Lou Vincent off the bowling of Shane Bond after top edging an attempted pull shot. The right hander had earlier forced Bond to be removed from the attack by carving several of his deliveries to the boundary but now succumbed to the very first ball of a new spell.
Another disaster was awaiting the South Africans in the 26th over when Boeta Dippenaar (7) was run out by a direct hit from Bond at square leg. Dippenaar swept at a delivery from Harris and always seemed keen on a second run but third umpire Peter Parker had bad news for him about the wisdom of the decision after viewing a number of replays. The South Africans were 4/131 at that stage.
After winning the toss and deciding that his team would bat first, Shaun Pollock saw his South Africans get off to the worst possible start. Herschelle Gibbs (0) was out to the very first ball of the match, bowled by James Franklin as he defended off an inside edge into his stumps.
But Kallis (58*), returning following an ankle injury, soon put Gibbs' dismissal behind his team.
In Franklin's third over, Kallis unleashed a gloriously straight driven four. It proved an indication that his eye was well and truly in.
In Shane Bond's next over, Kallis drove him four times through the off side - dispatching the ball to the boundary each time. He raced to his half-century with a controlled shot off left arm spinner Daniel Vettori in the fifteenth over and then celebrated his attainment of the landmark by on driving the same bowler for six.
Gary Kirsten (31*), at the other end, lacked Kallis' fluency but bludgeoned and worked his way to a substantial score as well in order to help South Africa into its authoritative position by drinks.
With both teams possessing eight points in their competition scoring accounts to date, the winner of this game will head to the top of the table and establish an excellent platform from which to push for a spot in the finals of this tournament early next month.
South African captain Shaun Pollock has made a good start to proceedings in that sense, winning the toss and deciding that his team will bat first.
That will give his side the chance to avail itself of a pitch likely to favour shotmaking, particularly once the shine comes from the new ball.
And it will also ensure that the Black Caps are forced to field in the warmest part of the day - an outcome which made them the subject of more than one news article the last time they played in Brisbane. Albeit that today's conditions are significantly more mild than when they met an Australia 'A' side earlier in the month, with the temperature resting in the high 20s rather than the high 30s today.
In selection news, Chris Harris will take his place in New Zealand's team after dashing urgently back to his homeland for undisclosed personal reasons yesterday. Captain Stephen Fleming is also in the eleven, his arm having recovered sufficiently from the nasty blow that it received during a pre-match training session on Thursday in Sydney.
All-rounder Scott Styris is the player who makes way for Fleming.
For the South Africans, there are three changes. Jacques Kallis returns to the line-up after overcoming a niggling ankle injury while all-rounder Justin Ontong and pace bowler Steve Elworthy make their first appearances of the series. Paceman Allan Donald, batsman Neil McKenzie and all-rounder Lance Klusener are the players rested.
Date-stamped : 19 Jan2002 - 14:45