New Zealand fired late to finish on 207-7 in the first ODI against the Proteas in Hamilton.
Heavy rain in Hamilton delayed the start of this fixture by more than three hours. More significantly, it resulted in the contest being reduced to 34 overs a side.
AB de Villiers won the toss and put New Zealand into bat. The Proteas skipper felt confident that his attack, which included two spinners in Imran Tahir and Tabraiz Shamsi, would exploit the slow conditions and keep the Kiwi batsmen honest.
While the spinners played their part, it was Chris Morris who did the early damage for the South Africans. The fiery fast bowler made the initial breakthrough, trapping Tom Latham in front.
Dean Brownlie and Kane Williamson then clubbed together for a 60-run stand. They were beginning to take control of the contest when Morris was brought back into the attack and dismissed Brownlie.
This proved to be but the start of a crucial spell for the Proteas. Morris caught Ross Taylor off his own bowling and then hurried Neil Broom into a pull shot that went as far as the hands of Farhaan Behardien at square leg.
After racing to 50 off just 48 deliveries, Williamson chopped a delivery by Shamsi back on to the stumps. At 108-5, surviving the remaining 13 overs was suddenly a priority for the hosts. Kagiso Rabada (21) became the youngest South African to take 50 wickets in ODIs when he had James Neesham caught behind.
But thanks to the urgent batting of Colin de Grandhomme (34 off 19) and Tim Southee (24 off 13), New Zealand piled on the runs in the latter overs and surpassed the 200-mark. Morris was particularly expensive at the death, and finished with figures of 4-62 in seven overs.
NZ 207-7 (34 overs) – Kane Williamson 59, Colin de Grandhomme 34 not out, Chris Morris 4-62, Kagiso Rabada 2-31
South Africa need 208 runs to win
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