South Africa wins toss, bowls vs New Zealand
MOUNT MAUNGANUI, New Zealand (AP) — South Africa captain AB de Villiers won the toss and chose to bowl Tuesday in the first one-day cricket international against New Zealand at the Bay Oval.
The match is the first of a three-match series and marks the start of both team’s preparations for the World Cup in New Zealand and Australia next year. It is the first of 17 one-day internationals New Zealand will play before their opening World Cup match next February.
South Africa next travels to Australia for five one-dayers and three Twenty20 internationals.
De Villiers said “we’re here to win. I feel we’ve got the best opportunity bowling first, maybe get a few wickets in the first 10 and put New Zealand under a bit of pressure.”
South Africa named a full-strength side with a pace attack spearheaded by Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander.
“I think we’ve got nice balance in the bowling attack,” de Villiers said. “It’s probably our biggest strength with good variety between pace, bounce and a bit of swing.
“These conditions suit our bowlers really well so it comes down to doing the basics well.”
De Villiers said the series was important to give South Africa more experience of conditions in New Zealand where it will play three World Cup pool matches.
“That’s the idea of the three ODIs in New Zealand and we obviously follow up with five ODIs in Australia,” he said. “It’s good preparation for us. Hopefully we can get some results and get some confidence from it.”
New Zealand’s batting lineup is depleted by injuries to Ross Taylor (calf) and Kane Williamson (wrist). Dean Brownlie and Tom Latham have been recalled to the lineup in their place and allrounder James Neesham has been promoted to open the batting.
“Firstly it would be great for us to win but I also want to see us play the style of cricket we played last year and which served us well,” New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said. “The World Cup’s obviously for or six months away from the big game at the end there so we’ve got an opportunity to build some momentum through some performances.
“It’s also an opportunity to get some depth in some key areas.”
Bay Oval is hosting a one-day international for the first time and becomes New Zealand’s 13th international cricket venue.
New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (captain), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Dean Brownlie, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Daniel Vettori.
South Africa: AB de Villiers (captain), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Jean-Paul Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Ryan McLaren, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir.
Umpires: Steve Gaffaney, New Zealand, and Rod Tucker, Australia.
Television umpire: Steve Davis, Australia. Match referee: Roshan Mahanama, Sri Lanka.