The Proteas scratched and clawed their way to 241 for 6 in a Cricket World Cup match reduced to 49 overs a side due to a wet outfield delaying the start.
Kane Williamson won the toss and inserted the Proteas, unsurprisingly given the Black Caps have successfully chased in all three of their completed matches so far.
The Proteas were pegged back by the early loss of their primary stroke-maker Quinton de Kock. De Kock (5) was cleaned up by a ripper from Trent Boult in the second over of the game.
Hashim Amla and skipper Faf Du Plessis consolidated but couldn’t keep the scoreboard moving as much as they would have liked. They put on 50 before Lockie Ferguson yorked Du Plessis (23).
Amla went past 8000 ODI runs on the way to a fifty off 80 deliveries. With the Proteas sitting on Nelson, Amla (55) was castled by a beauty from Mitchell Santner.
There was another consolidation effort between Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen but the young guns struggled just as the old hands had done. Markram grafted to 38 before a rush of blood to the head saw him charge Colin de Grandhomme only to skew a catch the sweeper on the cover fence. That Left the Proteas 136 for 4.
David Miller and Van der Dussen set South Africa up for a late charge but the former fell just as he began to get going. Ferguson accounted for Miller and Andile Phehlukwayo and would end as the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3/59.
Van der Dussen would slap the last two balls for a six and a four, his 67 not out was the Proteas top score but the batsman is unsure if their 241 will be enough.
“A bit of a sticky wicket, there’s been a lot of rain,” van der Dussen said after his innings. “We know it’s not a 300 wicket. It’s a try and get to 250-260 kind of wicket. That’s what we set out to, and we got to 241.”