McCullum: We were a little rusty

Captain Brendon McCullum found consolation in the solid performances of wicketkeeper-batsman Luke Ronchi and fast bowler Trent Boult, after New Zealand slipped to a six-wicket defeat at the hands of South Africa in the first ODI in Mount Maunganui.

Ronchi top-scored with a fine 99 in a final total of 230 all out, which proved entirely insufficient, as unbeaten half-centuries from captain AB de Villiers and the left-handed JP Duminy assured the Proteas triumph with 11 deliveries to spare.

De Viliers and Duminy were genuinely challenged by Boult, though. The seamer, too, had earlier removed opener Quinton de Kock and the in-form Faf du Plessis during a telling opening spell.

“The game was pretty close. We had a period where we weren’t far away. We were a little rusty and a little uncertain of the conditions. Boult was outstanding, he is starting to flow his Test game into the shorter game,” said McCullum. “Luke was brilliant, I am disappointed for him that he did not get a century.”

Veteran spinner Daniel Vettori, meanwhile, returned to ODI cricket after more than 15 months on the sidelines due to injury. He bowled 10 economical overs, but failed to take a wicket. The all-rounder had earlier fallen for a duck.

“It is always good to see Dan back. He had a different role on his return – and looked like he was racing around like a youngster. We will get a little more information and adapt our game better for the second ODI,” insisted McCullum.