Soweto: Fresh from their surprise victory in the ICC (International Cricket Council) Knock Out tournament in Nairobi last week New Zealand romped to a 79-run victory over a Highveld Strikers (formerly Gauteng) Invitation XI in the first match of their South African tour on Wednesday.A partnership of 185 in 35.2 overs between opener Nathan Astle and skipper Stephen Fleming set New Zealand up for a big total of 295 for five in their 50 overs, after the early loss of Chris Nevin for six.
Astle eventually made 135 off 167 balls, including 12 fours and two sixes, to earn himself the man-of-the-match award, while Fleming hit 82 from 104 balls, including eight fours.The host side did themselves no favour by sending down 19 wides and 10 no balls in a total of 36 extras. When the Strikers replied it was leg-spinner Brooke Walker, who has just joined the tourists as a replacement for the injured Daniel Vettori, who proved the destroyer-in-chief, taking four for 33 in his 10 overs.Adam Bacher, who top-scored for the Strikers with 54, and Andrew Hall (44) had earlier featured in a 98-run opening stand in 22.3 overs.
New Zealand play the first of six One-day Internationals against South Africa in Potchefstroom on Friday.(c) Reuters Limited.