Franklin leads Kiwis to tense 'one wicket win' against Proteas in opening ODI
New Zealand's James Franklin steered his team to beat South Africa by one wicket in the opening match of their three-game one-day series, at Paarl.
Franklin carved Ryan McLaren through point for four to get his team to their target of 209 with one wicket and two balls remaining, reports Stuff.co.nz.
Arguably the most talented all-round player in the team, Franklin finished 47 not out (off 61 balls) to claim the man-of-the match prize and give South Africa cause to consider that this series might not be one-way traffic.
Franklin called it a nice way to come back in, adding quickly that the team is under no illusions that the next couple of games aren't going to be hard.
Franklin had come to the crease with New Zealand 81 for five and battling. That got worse as BJ Watling and Jimmy Neesham (first ball) both perished at 105. But Nathan McCullum and Kyle Mills joined Franklin in re-igniting the chase. Come the end Franklin had just debutant Mitchell McClenaghan for company, yet still got the job done.
New Zealand's win had been set up by some truly impressive new-ball bowling by Mills and McClenaghan. Having picked a slightly developmental side, South Africa's batting strength revolved around Hashim Amla, Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers.
The loss cost South Africa that No. 1 ranking and they might need to have a think about the way they approached this match, both in terms of personnel and tactics.