Rain washes out 3rd New Zealand-South Africa ODI
HAMILTON, New Zealand (AP) — Rain washed out the third limited-overs cricket international between New Zealand and South Africa on Monday, leaving the Proteas with a 2-0 series win.
South Africa was 157-3 after 30.4 overs, batting first after New Zealand won the toss, when rain forced the players from Hamilton’s Seddon Park. Umpires Rod Tucker of Australia and Chris Gaffaney of New Zealand decided around 4 p.m. local time that further play was impossible.
South Africa was still able to provide further evidence Monday of the depth and quality of its batting.
Wicketkeeper and opening batsman Quinton de Kock was 80 not out when play was abandoned and captain A.B. de Villiers was unbeaten on 33.
South Africa remains atop the world one-day cricket rankings ahead of its five-match series against Australia next month.
“Coming here before the World Cup was all about getting used to conditions,” de Villiers said. “Hopefully, we are fully prepared when we get to the World Cup next year.
“Our preparation looks good on paper but it doesn’t always work that way. We’d love to go to Australia and win that series as well.”
Both New Zealand and South Africa took the opportunity in Monday’s dead rubber to make minor changes to their lineups, to test their depth and give opportunities to players who had lacked recently matchplay. For that reason, the loss of the match to rain dealt only a slight blow to each team in the early stages of its preparation for next year’s World Cup.
South Africa stood down pace spearhead Dale Steyn, who has had a heavy workload in the recent tri-series against Zimbabwe and Australia and in the first two matches of the New Zealand series. They also rested batsman Faf du Plessis and spinner Imran Tahir, who are nursing minor injuries.
Kyle Abbott, Wayne Parnell and Ryan McLaren, who were brought into the match XI, had no chance to show their form before rain intervened.
New Zealand brought in spinner Nathan McCullum for Daniel Vettori and young fast bowler Matt Henry for Trent Boult. Henry was expensive early but claimed the wickets of Hashim Amla (12) and Rilee Rossouw (0) and finished with 2-40 from nine overs.
The highly-rated de Kock made 9 runs in the first international and 26 in the second but showed his real form Monday with an innings of 80 from 94 balls with 11 fours. De Villiers backed up his scores of 89 not out and 37 in the first two matches with 33 from 37 balls.
New Zealand still has 14 one-day internationals to play before it meets Sri Lanka in the opening match of the World Cup in February. Its batsmen occasionally looked rusty during the current series but captain Brendon McCullum was grateful his team had been able to get matchplay in home conditions in October.
“It was a good learning experience for us, a good opportunity to get some game time,” he said. “Now we turn our attention to the test series (against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates).
“A bit of time away from New Zealand before we come back and sink our teeth into the home summer and obviously the World Cup.”