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Rediff.com  » Sports » Rain ends South Africa's record run

Rain ends South Africa's record run

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November 05, 2005 07:48 IST

South Africa's record run of 12 consecutive wins in one-day internationals ended when their match against New Zealand was washed out on Friday.

The South Africans, who have an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series and are unbeaten in their last 18 one-dayers, were 79 for two after 20 overs when rain put paid to the match.

South Africa captain Graeme Smith won the toss and chose to bat on the liveliest pitch so far in the series, which ends in Centurion on Sunday, but had hoped to make better use of it.

"It was the one wicket that had a bit of pace, bounce and movement in it," he said. "We were aiming for...220 to 230."

Jacques Kallis returned to fitness and showed signs of regaining his form for South Africa before the rain set in.

He had struggled at the crease for the World XI in Australia last month and missed the third match of the series against New Zealand in Port Elizabeth on Sunday with a virus.

However, this time Kallis selected and timed his strokes well for his unbeaten 24 while Ashwell Prince also seemed settled and was 17 not out.

CAUGHT BEHIND

South Africa stumbled to 14 for one in the fourth over when AB de Villiers drove expansively at a delivery from fast bowler Shane Bond and was caught behind for six.

Smith scored 22 in a stand of 38 for the second wicket with Kallis before he was trapped in front by left-arm fast bowler James Franklin.

Nathan Astle, 34, became the fourth New Zealander to play 200 one-day internationals, having made his one-day debut against West Indies in Auckland in 1995.

He joins Chris Harris, Stephen Fleming and Chris Cairns.

South Africa made three changes to the team that won by four wickets in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.

Kallis replaced Jacques Rudolph, while Andrew Hall and Albie Morkel came in for Herschelle Gibbs and Nicky Boje.

Gibbs and Boje were left out after they withdrew from the squad that will play five one-day internationals in India this month over fears they could be detained in connection with a police investigation into match-fixing.

Batsman Gibbs was banned for six months and fined for agreeing to under-perform in a one-day international in Nagpur in March, 2000.

Hansie Cronje, the former South African captain who was banned for life for his involvement in cricket corruption, relayed the offer to Gibbs.

Spinner Boje's name was mentioned in telephone conversations between Cronje and figures in cricket's gambling underworld, although no evidence implicating Boje has yet been discovered.

The Indian police had asked to interview Gibbs and Boje during South Africa's tour.

Telford Vice
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