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Kiwis win second ODI, square series

Stephen Fleming scored a century to lead New Zealand to a five-wicket win over South Africa.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2004 15:51 IST

Stephen Fleming won a duel between rival captains Tuesday, scoring a century to lead New Zealand to a five-wicket win over South Africa in the second limited-overs cricket International.

Fleming's 108 from 115 balls and his 102-run fifth-wicket partnership with Craig McMillan helped New Zealand overtake South Africa's 253-8 and level the six-match series at 1-all.

Earlier South African captain Graeme Smith, hampered by a severe head and chest cold, made 80 to top score for the tourists. Smith batted for 42.3 of his team's 50 overs and hit seven boundaries and a six.

Fleming took up Smith's challenge and, in a chanceless innings which included 12 boundaries, posted his sixth century in one-day internationals and the first New Zealander to surpass 6,000 runs in the shortened version of the game.

He almost matched Smith's longevity by batting for 41.2 overs, falling only 23 balls from the end of the New Zealand innings and calmly steering a difficult run chase.

Fleming found a willing partner in McMillan, who was 71 not out. The exuberant right-hander struggled for rhythm at the start of his innings but grew in confidence under Fleming's steadying influence. McMillan hit nine fours and faced 69 balls for his 71 runs.

New Zealand reached 255-5 when Chris Cairns slugged the first ball of the 46th over, from Andre Nel, over the long-on boundary for six. The win sends the teams into the third match at Wellington on Friday with the series tied and honors even from their opening exchanges.

But there is severe doubt the third match at Wellington's Westpac Stadium will take place. The New Zealand capital is reeling from a once-in 100-years flood and groundstaff are working frantically to prepare the pitch and outfield for the match.

A marquee has been erected over the wicket block and industrial heaters have been used in an attempt to hasten the drying the pitch. The outfield was under water Monday and may not be able be groomed for several days.

Smith had taken responsibility for the South African innings Tuesday after the loss of two early wickets appeared to challenge his decision to bat on winning the toss.

The start of play had been delayed by 30 minutes because of rain and the dampening of the pitch allowed New Zealand's new ball bowlers Daryl Tuffey and Kyle Mills early seam movement.

Mills trapped Smith's opening partner Hershcelle Gibbs lbw in the second over to leave South Africa one for one and Tuffey bowled Jacques Kallis, who didn't offer a shot, in the 11th over when the tourists were 28-2.

Smith then took charge of a carefully-paced innings, putting on 79 with Boeta Dippenaar for the third wicket, 54 with Jacques Rudolph for the fourth and 43 with Mark Boucher for the fifth. He was the fifth batsman out, caught in the deep by Daryl Tuffey off Cairns when South Africa was 204-5.

Dippenaar made 36 from 58 balls, Rudolph 42 from 36 and Boucher 40 from 35 as the South African innings gradually accelerated. Its first 10 overs produced 28 runs, the second 39, the third 54, the fourth 60 and the fifth 72.

New Zealand's reply was more erratically paced but McMillan and Fleming ensured the win was achieved with time to spare.

First Published: Feb 17, 2004 10:34 IST