Mitchell Santner and Jeetan Patel created history on Wednesday as the duo became the first pair of spinners to kick-off bowling in a One Day International match.
Well, well, well. Jeetan Patel comes back,opens the bowling & gives de Kock his first ODI golden duck! Santner from other end, it's turning! pic.twitter.com/w7NvS28NPV— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) March 1, 2017
Playing against South Africa, who won the toss and elected to bat first, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson opted for spin from both ends at Seddon Park, Hamilton. This was the first time in 3843 ODI’s that such a combination had been preferred by a captain.
Previously, there have been eight instances where spinners have opened bowling in the second innings of a match, but never in the first to start off proceedings.
And it worked as well, with Jeetan Patel sending back Quinton de Kock with the third ball of the innings, having him caught behind. He also picked up the prized wicket of Hashim Amla (40), who looked set for a big score but was cleaned up in the 13th over.
Both Mitchell Santner and Patel bowled their quota of 10 overs each, sharing three wickets while giving away 97 runs.
Santner had removed David Miller (1) on the cheap, after the South African left-hander holed one to Dean Brownlie at deep mid-wicket. It was a must-win game for the Kiwis who had been trailing 1-2 in the five-match series.
The Blackcaps managed to hold South Africa for 279 runs, before a 138-ball 180 from Martin Guptill sealed the fate of the match.
This was the third instance when Martin Guptill had scored 180 or more, the most by any batsman. No other Kiwi batsman has more than one 150-plus score.
Guptill also holds all the top-three scores for his country now after his 237* against West Indies and 189* against England.
The loss also saw South Africa concede the No 1 ranking to Australia who are now three points ahead of the Proteas. The final will be played at Auckland on March 4.