South Africa Legends kept the disappointing loss at the hands of India aside in their opening game and defeated debutants New Zealand by nine wickets in match number 4 of Road Safety World Series 2022 here at Green Park on Monday.
Chasing a below-par target of just 100 off 120 balls, South African batters made it look like a cake walk and they cruised to a big win in 13.3 overs, with 39 balls to spare.
The opener Morne van Wyk (14) was the only South African wicket to perish but not before he shared a stand of 34 runs in 6 overs with his partner Andrew Puttick.
Puttick – who was dismissed cheaply in the previous game – left the New Zealand bowlers bruised and battered and slammed a 36-ball 51* and finished the match in style with a six, four, and six off Neil Broom. The left-handed batter’s innings were laced with four boundaries and three sixes. Alviro Petersen (29* off 23) shared an unbeaten stand of 66 runs and contributed to his team’s big win.
Earlier, NZ Legends had a forgettable start to their campaign as their batting failed to live up to the expectations as the Ross Taylor-led side could only muster 99 runs for the loss of eight wickets in 20 overs.
The entire NZ Legends batting lineup looked rusty and the Kanpur track which was offering a lot of assistance to the spinners possibly added up to their woes.
The South African bowlers, especially spinners, hardly allowed the New Zealand batters to free their arms right from the powerplay. Accessing the nature of the pitch brilliantly, SA skipper Jonty Rhodes operated his bowlers intelligently.
Off-spinner Johan Botha started proceedings with the new ball for SA and struck on the third ball and sent opener Anton Devcich back for a golden duck. He then dismissed another opener Aaron Redmond in the next over and pushed the opposition on the back foot.
The BlackCaps had high hopes from their captain and batting mainstay Ross Taylor – who stepped into the middle to a rapturous response – but he too was trapped in front by Botha, leaving his team in dire straits. Botha grabbed his four-for by crashing through Neil Broom’s gates and NZ was 35 for 4 in 6.2 overs.
Once Botha finished, leg-spinner Thandi Shabalala joined the party and started troubling the middle-order batters. The right-arm tweaker returned with impressive figures of 3 for 9 from his quota of four overs. While Botha conceded 11 from his 4 overs. Together the duo accounted for seven New Zealand wickets from their 8 overs and conceded just 20 runs.
Dean Brownlie was the highest-scorer for NZ as the right-handed batter posted run-a-ball 48 but found no support from the other end as SA bowled 17 overs of spin.