New Zealand captain Kane Williamson says it would have been nice if they could have used South Africa’s ‘leaked’ bowling plans to win the first ODI on Wednesday.
Instead, the Black Caps lost by 20 runs chasing a target of 305. News broke before the game started that a piece of paper detailing South Africa’s bowling plans against the Kiwis was accidentally placed under the wrong hotel door.
The recipient, Cassandra Teasdale, posted a picture of the note on Facebook after finding it under her door. The typed memo – addressed to opening bowler Dale Steyn – gives bowling directions and details weaknesses for the New Zealand batsmen.
It was alluded to during commentary by HD Ackerman that Steyn switched rooms and that is why the note was ‘misplaced’.
‘We didn’t make too much of it,’ Williamson said after the game. ‘Everyone’s got plans. It’s often the case that a good area for most batsmen is similar if the ball is doing a little bit.
‘It would have been nice if we could have used it to our advantage but it didn’t work out that way. I don’t even know if it’s accurate. It was on social media, but South Africa have got a world class bowling attack, so from our perspective we are working on our own game to cope with that. They adapt and change their plans all the time; that is certainly what we try to do and what every side does; so what you see on paper is never the end plan.’
Williamson said his team tried to chase the target of 305, but losing Martin Guptill to an wrist injury meant he came in at No 4 rather than opening the batting.
‘It was a very good effort. Obviously losing Guptill set us back a little. Credit goes to South Africa for posting a good total on that surface. But we were right in it all the way. That’s a real positive for us. We were never able to get in front of the game, it’s a cliche but we lost wickets at key times; we came close so there’s a lot of positives to come out of it,’ Williamson said.
He confirmed that Guptill’s injury will be assessed before a call on his availability for the rest of the series is made.
‘It was tough out there, South Africa bowled really well, particularly with the new ball and obviously the class of [Imran] Tahir through the middle overs was shown.
James Neesham (41) and Colin Munro (33) shared a 71-run partnership after Vernon Philander had removed Grant Elliot and Tom Latham in the same over to leave New Zealand in trouble on 158-5.
‘It was nice to get that partnership and get the chase back on track,’ said Williamson. ‘It was just a shame we couldn’t take it a little bit deeper perhaps with that partnership or with the ones that came just to have a bit of power towards the end as appose to exposing our tail to chase the last 20 runs.’