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Mount Maunganui, October 21, 2014 ( Agencies) Captain A.B. de Villiers top-scored with an unbeaten 89 as South Africa completed a six-wicket win over New Zealand in a limited-overs cricket international Tuesday to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Earlier, Luke Ronchi was New Zealand’s last man out for 99 after stalling a middle-order collapse and leading New Zealand to 230 in 45.1 overs. South Africa made 236-4 in reply. Ronchi reached his highest score in 24 one-day appearances and shared a 74-run last-wicket partnership with Trent Boult (21 not out) which allowed New Zealand to reach a competitive total after it lost three wickets on 68.  South Africa then chased down New Zealand’s total with 11 balls to spare and with de Villiers and J.P. Duminy (58 not out) sharing a 139-run partnership. The match launched both team’s preparations for the World Cup in New Zealand and Australia in February and March of next year. Ronchi, who blasted 11 fours and three sixes in an 83- ball innings, was the only batsman who found the pace of the pitch ideal for stroke-making.

Morne Morkel removed McCullum and dangerous allrounder Corey Anderson with consecutive deliveries in the 16th over as New Zealand tumbled from 68-2 to 68-5. At that stage the hosts looked unlikely to post a competitive total but Ronchi led an effective counter-attack. Wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock took five catches and effected a stumping to dismiss Latham, providing outstanding support to South Africa’s bowling attack.
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