The BLACKCAPS have battered South Africa in their final warm-up game on Wednesday, beating the Proteas by 134 runs.
Playing at Hagley Oval, the venue for their first official match against Sri Lanka on Saturday, the BLACKCAPS were in full control form start to finish. Despite being just a warm-up, their performance against a tournament favourite will certainly leave them confident going into the opener.
Contributions from throughout the batting line-up propelled the BLACKCAPS to a significant 331-8 from their 50 overs. In response, Trent Boult tore through South Africa’s top order and with the help of the rest of the attack dismissed the visitors for 197 after 44.2 overs.
The day started with Brendon McCullum winning the toss and opting to bat. He and Martin Guptill (26) then got the BLACKCAPS off to a flyer, putting on 57 for the first wicket off the opening 10 overs.
It would be the first of three 50 plus run partnerships in a row, with Williamson coming in and continuing the momentum. Both he and McCullum brought up 50s at faster than run-a-ball and saw their side past 100 after just 16.2 overs.
McCullum succumbed on 59, but Williamson and Ross Taylor (41) combined for another handy partnership, before the former departed for 66. By that point though the platform had been set, with the BLACKCAPS sitting pretty at 200-3.
The middle-order all made starts, but it was the late hitting of Dan Vettori (27) and Nathan McCullum (33*) which lifted the BLACKCAPS beyond the 300 mark. It was an imposing total against a respected bowling attack, albeit without Dale Steyn in the mix.
South Africa was also without star batsman Hashim Amla, but still boasted a wealth of talent with the bat in the likes of Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis. Today though, none of them would trouble the BLACKCAPS.
Terrific opening spells from Boult and Tim Southee ripped the heart out of South Africa’s top order, reducing them to 31-4. De Villiers (24) put up some fight, but a terrific catch by Brendon McCullum saw him head back to the sheds and South Africa all but out of the match.
JP Duminy (80) and Vernon Philander (57) put on a valiant 121 for the seventh wicket, but the match was never in doubt for the BLACKCAPS who went on to a comfortable victory.
Boult finished with figures of 5-51 and had plenty of support along the way from the likes of McClenaghan (2-23) and Vettori (2-29).
It was a dream final hit out for the BLACKCAPS, who now turn their full attention to the opening match this Saturday.