Black Caps beat Proteas

WELLINGTON. – New Zealand will head into their opening Cricket World Cup encounter on Saturday oozing confidence after they completed their preparations with a 134-run victory over South Africa yesterday. Brendon McCullum’s side have emerged as third favourites for the February14-March 29 tournament, behind Australia and AB de Villiers’ side, after a run of good performances at home over the last month.

Kane Williamson top scored for the World Cup co-hosts with 66 from 53 balls while McCullum blasted 59 from 45 deliveries in their score of 331 for eight off 50 overs.

New Zealand’s bowlers then ripped through South Africa’s top order, reducing them to 31-4 in the seventh over and 62-6 in the 14th at Hagley Oval in Christchurch before JP Duminy and Vernon Philander combined for some batting practise. They put on 121 runs with Duminy scoring 80, while pace bowler Philander scored 57. – Reuters.