Franklin steers NZ to ODI win over Proteas
For once it's someone else's turn to investigate where it all went wrong, after New Zealand beat South Africa by one wicket in the opening match of their three-game one-day series, at Paarl.
It all got a bit desperate by the finish, but the Black Caps will surely take any win where they can get it after two horrific test match defeats to the Proteas.
James Franklin was New Zealand's unlikely hero in the early hours of this morning, as he carved Ryan McLaren through point for four to get his team to their target of 209 with one wicket and two balls remaining.
You have to say unlikely, given Franklin's obvious ability but modest record of producing for the Black Caps when it matters. Arguably the most talented all-round player in the team, Franklin finished 47 not out (off 61 balls) to claim the man-of-the match prize and give South Africa cause to consider that this series might not be one-way traffic.
"It's a nice way to come back in,'' said Franklin, who missed last week's test defeat at Port Elizabeth with a hamstring problem.
"We are under no illusions that the next couple of games aren't going to be hard.''
Franklin had come to the crease with New Zealand 81 for five and battling. That got worse as BJ Watling and Jimmy Neesham (first ball) both perished at 105.
But Nathan McCullum and Kyle Mills joined Franklin in re-igniting the chase. Come the end Franklin had just debutant Mitchell McClenaghan for company, yet still got the job done.
"It was a case of just batting as deep as we could, and of whittling down the runs required. Mills has always been a clean-striker of the ball, he's a lusty hitter and he did a great job today,'' Franklin said.
Captain Brendon McCullum, perhaps in attempt to lengthen that orer, batted in the curious spot of No 5. Once an opener, then New Zealand's best "finisher'' down at seven. McCullum has either opened or batted at three since.
But he left Rob Nicol, Martin Guptill and Watling to do the job in the top-three, with only the latter (45) managing double figures.
McCullum himself made 26 before being given out lbw to Rory Kleinveldt.
The skipper was keen to challenge the decision, but power problems at the ground meant the DRS was unavailable.
New Zealand's win had been set up by some truly impressive new-ball bowling by Mills and McClenaghan. Having picked a slightly developmental side, South Africa's batting strength revolved around Hashim Amla, Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers.
All three were trapped in front for not many, with Mills getting Amla and McClenaghan the other two.
McClenaghan, on debut, came back to tidy up the tail and finish with the brilliant figures of four for 20.
Kane Williamson's figures were similarly remarkable, as he took four for 22 during the middle of the Proteas' innings, including the prize scalp of top-scorer Faf du Plessis for 57.
"Incredibly satisfying to come up against the No 1 side, be under pressure for most of the game and come through,'' Brendon McCullum said after the match.
"We have a couple of areas to improve on, in the field. McClenaghan has shown he is an uncompromising sort of character, he was outstanding today. I think we are a more confident ODI side at the moment, we know we are capable of competing with these guys at the shorter formats."
The loss cost South Africa that No 1 ranking and they might need to have a think about the way they approached this match, both in terms of personnel and tactics.
There was an obvious assumption that New Zealand wouldn't be up to much but, as McCullum said, the Black Caps have a lot more skill and belief when it come to short-form cricket.
BLACKCAPS vs SOUTH AFRICA
19 January 2013, Boland Park, Paarl
HM Amla lbw b KD Mills 13
GC Smith lbw b MJ McClenaghan 7
CA Ingram c NL McCullum b KS Williamson 29
AB de Villiers lbw b MJ McClenaghan 7
F du Plessis c RJ Nicol b KS Williamson 57
Q de Kock c NL McCullum b JEC Franklin 18
R McLaren c BB McCullum b KS Williamson 33
RJ Peterson lbw b MJ McClenaghan 0
RK Kleinveldt c KD Mills b KS Williamson 26
DW Steyn b MJ McClenaghan 0
LL Tsotsobe not out 0
Extras (b 4, lb 3, wd 10, nb 1) 18
Total (for 10 wickets, 46.2 overs) 208
Fall: 1-25 (HM Amla, 4.5), 2-27 (GC Smith, 7.2), 3-37 (AB de Villiers,
11.1), 4-83 (CA Ingram, 20.6), 5-119 (Q de Kock, 29.4), 6-178 (R
McLaren, 40.3), 7-179 (RJ Peterson, 41.2), 8-182 (F du Plessis, 42.5),
9-182 (DW Steyn, 43.3), 10-208 (RK Kleinveldt, 46.2)
Bowling: KD Mills 8-1-55-1 (2w, 1nb), MJ McClenaghan 10-2-20-4 (2w, NL
McCullum 6-0-34-0, JEC Franklin 10-1-44-1 (2w, KS Williamson
7.2-0-22-4, JDS Neesham 4-0-22-0 (3w, GD Elliott 1-0-4-0
RJ Nicol c GC Smith b LL Tsotsobe 4
MJ Guptill run out (AB de Villiers) 0
BJ Watling b R McLaren 45
KS Williamson c F du Plessis b LL Tsotsobe 5
BB McCullum lbw b RK Kleinveldt 26
GD Elliott c GC Smith b RK Kleinveldt 1
JEC Franklin not out 47
JDS Neesham lbw b R McLaren 0
NL McCullum lbw b R McLaren 24
KD Mills b R McLaren 26
MJ McClenaghan not out 0
Extras (lb 13, wd 15, nb 3) 31
Total (for 9 wickets, 45.4 overs) 209
Fall: 1-0 (MJ Guptill, 0.2), 2-4 (RJ Nicol, 1.4), 3-21 (KS Williamson,
7.1), 4-73 (BB McCullum, 17.1), 5-81 (GD Elliott, 19.2), 6-105 (BJ
Watling, 25.4), 7-105 (JDS Neesham, 25.6), 8-140 (NL McCullum, 32.1),
9-187 (KD Mills, 43.1)
Bowling: DW Steyn 10-3-33-0 (2w, LL Tsotsobe 8-2-43-2, RK Kleinveldt
9-0-37-2 (9w, 1nb), R McLaren 8.4-0-46-4 (3w, 2nb), RJ Peterson