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Kemp hits South Africa to victory
by AFP


Ground:Springbok Park, Bloemfontein
Event:New Zealand in South Africa 2005/06

DateLine: 23rd October 2005

 

Justin Kemp hit a power-packed 73 as South Africa squeezed a two-wicket win in the first one-day international against New Zealand at Springbok Park Sunday.

 

Kemp shared successive stands of 65 with Mark Boucher (33) for the sixth wicket and Shaun Pollock (37) for the seventh as South Africa pulled off a victory that stretched their unbeaten streak to 15 one-day internationals.

 

There was a wobble towards the end when Pollock and Kemp were both caught on the boundary within the space of three balls in the 49th over against off-spinner Jeetan Patel when only three runs were needed.

 

But Nicky Boje hit a two off the first ball of the final over from Shane Bond before, with all the fielders up to prevent a single, he skied the third delivery just out of the reach of a diving New Zealand captain, Stephen Fleming, for the winning run.

 

Both Kemp and Pollock survived chances before taking South Africa to their target of 250.

 

Kemp hit a return catch to Nathan Astle when he was on eight and made the medium-pacer pay dearly in his next over when he took 22 off Astle, including two fours and two successive sixes.

 

Pollock was also dropped on eight when Patel at deep midwicket missed a chance off Kyle Mills.

 

Fleming said New Zealand's 249 for eight was a "reasonable total" on a slow pitch against accurate bowling and lively fielding.

 

"We had our opportunities and it took some good hitting to get them home," he said.

 

Craig McMillan top-scored with 66 and shared a fifth wicket stand of 75 off 103 balls with Jacob Oram (35).

 

Fleming made a sparkling 45 off 48 balls with nine boundaries but the batsmen generally had difficulty in pushing the score along on a pitch that was unusually slow for Bloemfontein.

 

New Zealand made a horror start in the field when Shane Bond sent down two wides in the first over, both of which went for four extra runs. The over cost 17 runs.

 

After two overs South Africa were 25 for no wicket.

 

But South Africa slumped to 41 for three and fell well behind the required run rate. The normally aggressive Herschelle Gibbs, making a comeback after a knee injury, took 69 balls to score 25.

 

Boucher and Kemp gave South Africa some hope before Pollock joined Kemp in a partnership which put South Africa on top.

 

Kemp hit his 73 off 64 balls, with three sixes and five fours, while Pollock made 37 off 29 balls with a six and two fours.

 

"It was a difficult pitch to bat on but the middle order batted superbly," said South African captain Graeme Smith.

 

New Zealand were 18 for two when Nathan Astle and Lou Vincent were dismissed in the first six overs after Fleming won the toss and decided to bat.

 

Fleming and Hamish Marshall put on 52 for the third wicket before Fleming slashed Andre Nel to backward point where Gibbs took a great catch, diving low to his left.

 

McMillan and Oram rebuilt the innings, with McMillan putting his stamp on the match when he hit three boundaries off Charl Langeveldt in the 20th over, the last in which fielding restrictions replied.

 

McMillan eventually fell to Jacques Kallis when he chipped a slower ball to midwicket.

 

He made his 66 off 75 balls with eight fours and a six. It was Kallis' 200th wicket in 221 one-day internationals.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)

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