Thanks to couple of crucial half-centuries by Morne van Wyk and AB de Villiers, South Africa posted a challenging 280 for six against New Zealand in the third and final One-Day International (ODI) at Durban. Batting at No. 6 Farhaan Behardien also played a handy knock of 40 of just 28 balls and provided the hosts a nice little finishing touch. The series is currently tied at 1-1 and the South African batsmen have done their job and have thrown a stiff challenge to their counterparts. This target in the decider match will test the capability of this young Kiwi batting line-up. Follow: Live Cricket Updates: South Africa vs New Zealand 3rd ODI at Durban
Earlier the hosts won the toss and decided to make the first use of the wicket. Their openers, Hashim Amla and van Wyk took their time initially. The new ball swung a bit and the Kiwi bowlers were bowling a tight line. But both Amla and vs Wyk played out the difficult session and gave the team 89-run opening partnership. READ: AB de Villiers becomes fastest cricketer to reach 8,000 ODI runs
For New Zealand it was the medium pace of Grant Elliot, which did the rescue act. Elliot removed Amla in the 21st over. The hosts lost the wicket of No. 3 batsman Rilee Rossouw in the next over. Elliot against struck in the 31st over as Van Wyk also got out just after reaching his half-century. Form 89 for no loss, South Africa were struggling at 134 for 3. From there De Villiers and David Miller took over and shared a counter attacking 86-run partnership.
De Villiers, the South African captain was looking in a different mood. All the Kiwi bowlers failed to tame as he scored yet another half-century. In the course of the innings he also became the fastest cricketer to reach 8,000 ODI runs. His innings was rapidly developing as one of “AB’s special”, when an in-swinger form Doug Bracewell got past him and disturbed his off stump. Soon Miller followed him, who was brilliantly caught behind the stumps by Luke Ronchi of Adam Milne. However, Behardien’s knock in the late overs kept the dressing room relaxed, at least in the innings break.
South Africa made two changes in the playing eleven. They brought back fast bowler Kagiso Rabada for spinner Aaron Phangiso and Kyle Abbott replaced Vernon Philander. So, on this track, which has bit of bounce, Dale Steyn is expected to get good support from both Rabada and Abbott.
South Africa 283 for 7 in 50 overs (Morne van Wyk 58, AB de Villiers 64; Ben Wheeler 3 for 71, Grant Elliot 2 for 41) vs New Zealand.
(Sandipan Banerjee is a reporter at CricketCountry. Cricket has been the biggest passion for him since his childhood. So, when it came to choosing his career, he chose to turn his passion into his profession.Apart from cricket he likes mountain trekking, river rafting, and photography. His twitter handle is @im_sandipan)
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