Kemp and Morkel see SA to win

A fine spell of bowling by Morne Morkel and some murderous striking from Justin Kemp ensured South Africa safely to victory over New Zealand at Kingsmead, virtually guaranteeing the hosts a semi-final spot and formally removing England from the competition. Morkel took four for 17 from his four overs, while Kemp’s 89* off 56 balls included six sixes and six fours, 60 in total in boundaries, and saw his side to victory off the first ball of the final over.

New Zealand had started superbly though Lou Vincent and Brendon McCullum, Shaun Pollock struggling badly and conceding 29 off his 2nd and 3rd overs. Andre Nel, replacing Makhaya Ntini, was better, but Morne Morkel and Johannes van der Wath conceded nine and eight in their opening overs respectably, and after eight the Kiwis had stormed to 67 for 0. Morkel’s 9th over removed McCullum and Ross Taylor to catches to Mark Boucher, however, and van der Wath castled Vincent, aiming a big heave, the following over. Wickets continued to fall throughout the rest of the innings, with no-one other than Craig McMillan (48* off 25) and Jacob Oram (a run-a-ball 15) contributing more than 6, with no further strike-rates of over 100. But for McMillan, New Zealand would probably have made even less than 153 for 8. Morne Morkel finished with outstanding figures, but Nel and van der Wath had also played their parts. Pollock and Albie Morkel, on the other hand, conceded 10-an-over.

The South Africans got into trouble early on, Graeme Smith falling to Shane Bond, AB de Villiers to Mark Gillespie, whose opening two overs cost just two, and Herschelle Gibbs, after a run-a-ball 19, pulled Chris Martin to deep-square-leg. Kemp, as is his wont, had taken his time to get going, despite taking 14 off Oram’s over before Gibbs was dismissed. He scored another maximum 3 balls after Gibbs walked back to the pavilion, but after the next couple of overs cost just 10 the hosts needed 9.1-an-over. However, Kemp gradually upped the pace, with Boucher playing a fine second-fiddle, and in the 15th over, which started with the required-rate at 10-an-over, smashed 16. Though Boucher fell in the next over for another knock which fell at exactly a-run-a-ball, Shaun Pollock joined Kemp’s party, and the result was never in serious doubt. Vettori bowled an impressive spell once more, and Gillespie’s first three overs cost a scarcely credible five. It was all in vain, though, as Oram conceded 50 from his four and Martin 40.

The South Africans now top the Group E table and even though India’s subsequent victory over England means a very bad defeat to the Indians tomorrow could still see them eliminated, their run-rate of +0.766 puts them in prime position for a semi-final spot. New Zealand, on the other hand, are now in danger of elimination should India score a narrow win over the hosts.

New Zealand 153-8 (20 overs)
Lou Vincent 32, Brendon McCullum 38, Craig McMillan 48*
Morne Morkel 4-17, Johan van der Wath 2-31

South Africa 158-4 (19.1 overs)
Justin Kemp 89*, Mark Boucher 23
Mark Gillespie 2-11, Shane Bond 1-31

South Africa won by 7 wickets
Cricket Web Man of the Match: Justin Kemp

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