Black Caps seal semi-final spot

New Zealand won the toss and immediately put South Africa into bat. It was a calculated risk, considering the deep batting lineup of South Africa, but the decision paid off immediately.

Shane Bond beat the bat several times in the first over with late swing, and finally induced Graeme Smith into a fatal shot. The next over, James Franklin trapped AB de Villiers with a beautiful inswinger and de Villiers was out for a duck.

At this point South Africa were two down with just three runs on the board, and it was up to Jaques Kallis to stick around and lead the revival.

The runs were scarce, and South Africa kept missing more deliveries than they hit, but they managed to retain their wickets.

After twelve overs, South Africa were 13-2, and decided they had had enough. Kallis opened up with a beautiful six over extra cover off Oram, and two overs later, Gibbs joined in with another six.

Even though the pitch was doing plenty for the bowlers, South Africa still managed to score 21 runs in three overs.

However, just as Kallis and Gibbs looked set, Vettori struck by inducing an uncharacteristic drive over extra cover from Kallis and South Africa were pinned back again at 52-3 after 20 overs.

Herschelle Gibbs and Ashwell Prince led a revival for the next 17 overs, but the scoring was kept in check by New Zealand.

Gibbs eventually did bring up his fifty, and just as South Africa were looking to accelerate, Gibbs was bowled by Craig McMillan as South Africa were reduced to 128-4 with 13 overs to go.

McMillan struck again in the 41st over when Prince mistimed the ball straight to Jeetan Patel.

South Africa’s last hope was an explosive partnership between Shaun Pollock and Mark Boucher, as any total less than 220 was likely not going to be enough.

McMillan was on a roll however, and he broke the dangerous partnership in his next over as he dismissed Boucher with a fantastic slower ball. South Africa were never able to get back on track after that, and ended their innings on 193-7 after fifty overs.

New Zealand stared well in their reply until the 8th over when Peter Fulton edged one off Makhaya Ntini, making the score 25-1.

Four overs later, Ross Taylor was unfortunately given out LBW to Andre Nel’s inswinger (Hawkeye suggested the ball was going well over the stumps).

Stephen Fleming and Scott Styris then built a partnership of 78 runs before Fleming edged one to Boucher off the first delivery of Pollock’s new spell.

Scott Styris and Craig McMillan didn’t have any slips as they steadied the ship and methodically added 56 runs for the 4th wicket, with Styris scoring a calm 56.

He fell with the score on 176, but with only 18 runs to get, the game was as good as won.

South Africa 193/7 (50)
Herschelle Gibbs 60, Ashwell Prince 37
Craig McMillan 3-37, Shane Bond 2-26

New Zealand 196/5 (48.2)
Scott Styris 56, Stephen Fleming 50, Craig McMillan 38*
Andre Nel 2-32

Cricket Web Man of the Match: Craig McMillan 3-37 & 38*

New Zealand win by five wickets

Leave a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they have been approved

More articles by Manan Shah