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18 October 2006 @ 09:04 pm
No one seems to be posting about the ICC championship!!

I watched the Blackcaps game on Monday against South Africa, it was AWESOME!

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A captain’s innings from Stephen Fleming (89 runs, he currently has the best batting stats of the the championship) and decisive bowling performances (Patel - currently has the second best bowling stats of the championship, Mills - currently has the 4th best bowling stats of the championship, & Oram - 7th best bowling stats of the championship) earned the BLACKCAPS a comprehensive 87-run victory over South Africa in their first ICC Champions Trophy group game.

Man-of-the-match Fleming was the mainstay of the BLACKCAPS innings after his side was inserted by Proteas captain Graeme Smith.

The skipper overcame that decision, and the injury-enforced absence of Shane Bond and Scott Styris, with a knock of 89 to provide the cornerstone of his team’s 195 all out from 45.4 overs.

The total may have been lower than expected, but the BLACKCAPS attack, inspired by devastating spells from Kyle Mills, Jacob Oram and Jeetan Patel, cut through the South African order.

The three bowlers picked up three wickets each, the former decimating the top order, while the latter picked off the tail at a cost of just 11 runs.

The reply of 108 all out was the Proteas’ lowest-ever One Day International score against the New Zealanders.

After Lou Vincent (17) put on 27 with Fleming for the opening wicket, the skipper shared stands of 47 with Nathan Astle (17) and 36 with Brendon McCullum (21).

Jacques Kallis claimed three wickets on his 31st birthday to restrict the Kiwis below 200, but Mills immediately made his presence felt with wickets in each of his first two overs.

Boeta Dippenaar went in the opening over of the innings, trapped lbw and the dangerous Herschelle Gibbs was clean-bowled, both for no score.

Mills struck again with a fine one-handed catch off his own bowling to dismiss Kallis (eight), after the all-rounder seemed to be restoring respectability to the Proteas’ innings.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Mark Boucher entered the fray and helped double the score from 25 for four, but, on eight, he edged Oram’s short-pitched delivery to counterpart McCullum.

Justin Kemp joined his skipper and the pair briefly threatened, but Oram pounced again in the 20th over to take the key wicket of Smith.

The left-hander looked to be emulating opposite number Fleming. But he scooped Oram’s short ball straight to the waiting Daniel Vettori at mid-on, walking off having accumulated 42.

And the State Central Stags all-rounder claimed his third by removing Shaun Pollock for one, courtesy of a Patel catch.

Patel then broke the Kemp - Andrew Hall pairing at 28, with Hall (13) clipping the spinner to Vincent forward of square leg.

Replacement Robin Peterson went for a second-ball duck, caught by Fleming at short leg for Vettori’s only wicket.

Patel quickly claimed Andre Nel and Makhaya Ntini to complete a fine win and impressive BLACKCAPS performance.

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