- Publish Date
- Thursday, 11 August 2022, 9:00PM
The Black Caps First XI produced a first class victory in their opening Twenty20 clash against the West Indies today in which may go down as one of the longest matches in cricket's shortest format.
A two hour rain delay but no reduced overs in Kingston meant the game ticked over the five hour mark as the Black Caps won by 13 runs.
Back were the likes of Kane Williamson, Devon Conway, Tim Southee and Trent Boult while it was move aside Michael Bracewell and Mark Chapman who took their chances against Ireland, Scotland and Netherlands in the past month.
With the return of the veterans the Black Caps have truly signalled they are now in World Cup more ahead of the event in Australia starting October.
Martin Guptill and Devon Conway put on 62 for the first wicket before Guptill was dismissed by a stunning one handed catch by Shimron Hetmyer at deep point. A ball later Conway edged to keeper Devon Thomas and Odean Smith was on a hat-trick.
Kane Williamson and Glenn Phillips got New Zealand through to 95-2 before heavy rain forced them off the field.
The Black Caps honoured former Herald chief sports writer David Leggat, who passed away last week, by wearing black armbands and in Leggo parlance, players would have had plenty of time for a graze (food) or some bobos (sleep) during the two-hour delay.
Shortly after the retutn, Phillips fell for 17 before Williamson and Daryl Mitchell put on 46 for the fourth wicket.
Mitchell hit one towering six down the ground off Obed McCoy before a faint edge the next ball for 16.
Williamson was then caught in the deep by Hayden Walsh Jr for 47 off 33 balls to give Smith his third wicket. Jimmy Neesham's 33 off 15 ensured the Black Caps set a strong total of 185 for five.
In their chase, regular wickets halted the West Indians with Shamarh Brooks (42 off 43) the only batsman in the top five hanging around longer than nine deliveries, although skipper Nicholas Pooran did briefly entertain with three boundaries in his eight ball stay.
Mitchell Santner (3-19) led the way for the tourists including the key dismissals of Brooks and Pooran while Boult, Southee, Lockie Ferguson and Ish Sodhi all took a wicket each.
Late hitting from Romario Shepherd (31 from 16) and Smith (27 off 12) at least made the defeat a more respectable margin.
Other than the change at 10, the beleaguered coach largely played it safe in his backline selections, sticking with the same players who ran on to the field in last week's 26-10 humbling in the Rugby Championship opener in Mbombela.
That result from a directionless performance was the fifth defeat in six starts for Foster's men.
Jordie Barrett has overcome ankle injury concerns to hold on to the No 15 jersey, with another Springbok barrage of high balls likely.
Caleb Clarke and Will Jordan start on the wings, while the coach persists with Rieko Ioane in the No 13 jersey. David Havili is at second five-eighths and Aaron Smith continues at halfback.
Under-pressure captain Sam Cane has retained his place as openside flanker, and takes the field alongside No 8 Ardie Savea and Shannon Frizell, who has been called up to fill the No 6 jersey after Akira Ioane, who moves to the bench, had little impact last week.
Locks Scott Barrett and Sam Whitelock return to duty, as does hooker Samisoni Taukei'aho — one of the few bright performers last week.
Uncapped tighthead Fletcher Newell is set to make his All Blacks debut from the bench, with Angus Ta'avao missing out after struggling in the front row last week.
Codie Taylor returns to the bench after being dropped in the first test, while George Bower, Tupou Vaa'i, Finlay Christie and Quinn Tupaea make up the rest of the substitutes.
"Belief and confidence remain high in our group, which is working incredibly hard this week," said Foster. "Playing at Ellis Park is always a special occasion for any All Black team, and this weekend will be no different.
"Adding to that, the Freedom Cup is on the line which makes this a challenge that everyone is looking forward to."
Meanwhile, Duane Vermeulen is back for the Springboks at No 8 for his first test this year as South Africa made five changes to its starting lineup, the team announced earlier this week.
Two of those changes were forced, with Jaden Hendrikse at halfback in place of Faf de Klerk, who was ruled out with concussion, while Jesse Kriel replaces Kurt-Lee Arendse, who was sent off, injured and subsequently suspended for four games after a dangerous tackle on Beauden Barrett in the first test.
South Africa coach Jacques Nienaber also made two tactical switches in the front row by bringing in Ox Nché for Trevor Nyakane at loosehead prop and restoring Bongi Mbonambi as starting hooker in place of Malcolm Marx. Tighthead prop Frans Malherbe is set for his 50th test.
The Springboks are seeking back-to-back wins over the All Blacks for the first time since 2009 and another defeat for New Zealand is expected to see Foster lose his job.
The All Blacks have slipped to an all-time low of No 5 on the world rankings.
All Blacks: Jordie Barrett, Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane, David Havili, Caleb Clarke, Richie Mo'unga, Aaron Smith, Ardie Savea, Sam Cane (captain), Shannon Frizell, Scott Barrett, Sam Whitelock, Tyrell Lomax, Samisoni Taukei'aho, Ethan de Groot.
Reserves: Codie Taylor, George Bower, Fletcher Newell*, Tupou Vaa'i, Akira Ioane, Finlay Christie, Beauden Barrett, Quinn Tupaea.
South Africa: Damian Willemse, Jesse Kriel, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi, Handré Pollard, Jaden Hendrikse, Duane Vermeulen, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi (captain), Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Ox Nché.
Reserves: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Franco Mostert, Jasper Wiese, Kwagga Smith, Herschel Jantjies, Willie le Roux.
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