Friday, March 25, 2011

ICC-CWC-2011. QF3. New Zealand vs South Africa

New Zealand 221 for 8, beat South Africa 172 all out, by 49 runs, in the third Quarter Finals of CWC 2011, played at Mirpur, Dacca.

Earlier this month, Graeme smith tweeted an article titled " Time to ban the 'C' word ". Four weeks in to the tournament, and in the seventh game, the "C" word again haunted South Africa. Cruising at 108 for 2 in the 25th over, they were shot out for 172. The tendency to choke showed out more than amply, when Kallis fell at 108. New Zealand realising the South Africans are cracking under pressure, went for the kill with attacking field and disciplined bowling. Mind you no extravaganza but simple and straight forward planned game. Hats off to the team of John Wright , Alan Donald and skipper Vettori.

Earlier, New Zealand, opting to bat on a normally low scoring Mirpur wicket, were two down for 16 in the sixth over. Jesse Ryder 83 of 121 and Taylor 43 of 72 , built up a steady partnership of 114 of 27 overs, which effectively proved to be a match winning partnership at the end. Styris made 16 of 17, and Willamson 38 of 41, adding useful partnerships with Ryder.

For the first time in CWC 2011, South Africa did not bowl out the opposition, but still bowled with venom to restrict New Zealand for an under par score. Steyn 10-0-42-2, Morkel 8-0-46-3, Imran Tahir 9-0-32-2 and Petersen 9-0-49-1, were among the wickets.

Amla fell for 7 in the first over. Jacob Oram had Smith, caught by substitute How, for 28 of 34 with the team total of 69 in the 15th over. Kallis and ABde Villiers, went about the job of accumulating the runs systematically, and at 108 for 2 in the 25th over, it looked as if South Africa had the match wrapped. Oram thought otherwise, and got rid of Kallis with an acrobatic catch of Southee's bowling.

The New Zealand bowler's virtually had no purchase from the wicket other than being disciplined. The total set by New Zealand was below par, but for some reason South Africa were feeling extremely claustrophobic. The South African nerves started showing, when Duminy played an awful shot, dragging on to his wicket, a very slow delivery from Nathen McCullum, pitched outside the off stump. South Africa were now showing chinks in the armour at 121 for 4 in the 28th over.

To add on to their woes, Faf du Plessis hit a ball to mid wicket and ran heedlessly to the other end. AB de Villiers, could have easily refused, but completed the partner's call to be run out when well set at 35 of 40. Frustration showed, when Faf du Plessis uttered nasty adjectives, which was followed by Vettori's outbursts on Faf du plessis. Kyle Mills and AB de Viliers, who was leaving the field also got in to the act, and it required a soccer referee like intervention by the umpires, to separate the waring factions.

New Zealand started crowding the bat, supported by never say die fielding, and South Africa were completely broken. Other than Faf du Plessis 36 of 43, no other batsmen in the middle and tail, touched double figures. Oram 9-1-39-4, Nathen Mc Cullum 10-1-24-3 bowled brilliantly to set up the victory. Southee and Woodcock picked a wicket each. New Zealand were in heaven and South Africa crest fallen.

New Zealand waits the winner of England and Sri Lanka, and now with an equal chance for the CWC 2011 title.

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