Ronchi leads NZ to 230 in 1st ODI vs South Africa
MOUNT MAUNGANUI, New Zealand (AP) — Luke Ronchi struck a personal best 99 from 83 balls to halt an unfolding collapse and lead New Zealand to 230 as it batted first Tuesday in the series-opening limited-overs cricket international against South Africa.
New Zealand lost three wickets, including captain Brendon McCullum (16), with its total at 68 and appeared to be in danger of falling short of a competitive score after being sent in to bat.
Morne Morkel dismissed McCullum and dangerous allrounder Corey Anderson with consecutive deliveries in the 16th over as New Zealand tumbled from 68-2 to 68-5. But the Australian-born Ronchi restored the New Zealand innings in partnerships of 65 with Tom Latham (29) and a record 74 with Trent Boult for the last wicket.
Wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock took five catches and effected a stumping to dismiss Latham, providing outstanding support to South Africa’s bowling attack.
New Zealand made a cautious start against Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander, negotiating the first five overs before Philander had James Neesham (16) caught behind.
Martin Guptill, who has attempted to revive his international career under the tutelage of former New Zealand batsman Martin Crowe, took five runs from 28 balls before also falling to the de Kock-Philander double act in the 10th over.
Dean Brownlie scored 24 from 28 balls before giving de Kock his third catch from the bowling of Imran Tahir (2-37).
He was out with the total 68-3 in the 15th over and the New Zealand innings faltered when McCullum and Anderson followed without addition to the total. McCullum got off the mark with consecutive sixes from Philander, reached 16 from 21 balls then tried to hook a head-high bouncer from Morkel and was caught by Tahir.
Anderson, who hit a record 36-all century against the West Indies in January, was bowled first ball.
Ronchi and Latham batted together for 11 overs before Latham was stumped from the bowling of J.P. Duminy with the total 133-6 in the 37th over.
Daniel Vettori faced only two deliveries in 277th one-day international and his first since June last year before he fell lbw to Tahir without scoring.
De Kock’s fourth catch, to dismiss Nathan McCullum from the bowling of Ryan McLaren, was his best. The delivery was heading down leg and McCullum gloved the ball which de Kock caught at full stretch.
Ronchi reached his second ODI half century from 57 balls with six fours but received little support from Nathan McCullum (6) and Kyle Mills (1).
He found a willing ally in No. 11 Boult (15), with whom he shared a record stand for New Zealand’s last wicket in ODIs.