A brilliant 73 from South African batsman Justin Kemp has denied the BLACKCAPS victory in the first ODI at Bloemfontein overnight.
It was the innings of Kemp that separated the two teams in a game that went down to the wire.
After the BLACKCAPS won the toss and elected to bat, they were in early trouble at two for 18. It was the batting of that kept his team in the match. The New Zealand captain scored 45 graceful runs off 48 deliveries.
After Fleming's dismissal, the BLACKCAPS desperately needed a middle order player to perform. Craig McMillan steadied the innings, making a solid 66 off 75 deliveries.
Some lower order cameos by Jacob Oram (35), Brendon McCullum (28) and Andre Adams (30 not out) saw the New Zealanders reach 249 for eight at the conclusion of their 50 overs.
The South African reply started badly, losing their first three wickets for 41 runs. The BLACKCAPS seemed in control for much of the South African chase. But when Kemp came to the crease at 85 for four, he began to turn the game back in South Africa's favour.
The winning runs were eventually scored with three balls remaining and with two wickets in hand. Shane Bond and Jeetan Patel both claimed two wickets, while Daniel Vettori was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with one for 35 off 10 overs.
The second game in the series will be played at Cape Town on Friday.