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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Another South Africa CWC choke, this time against tenacious NZ

New Zealand 8/ 221 ( 50 ov, J Ryder 83, R Taylor 43, M Morkel 3/46) beat South Africa 172 (43.2 ov, J Kallis 43, J Oram 4/39, N McCullum 3/24) by 49 runs: CWC quarter final #3 at Mirpur. NZ go through to semifinals, South Africa eliminated from tournament.

What a result! A modestly credentialled New Zealand team, albeit one which was correctly selected for the conditions, ie included three spinners, posted what looked to be a modest - not bad, not good - score and then chipped away at the South African batting to run out easy winners.

The NZ heroes were Jesse Ryder and Ross Taylor with the bat, Jacob Oram in the field and, with Nathan McCullum, the ball. The South African bowling looked good, though the batting crumbled in the face of better than modest bowling, an unusual dismissal (Hashim Amla caught at slip via the keeper's boot) a fine outfield catch (Oram taking Jacques Kallis) and a brain snap (by Francois dePlessis) induced run out of AB deVilliers, at which point the Proteas were 5/121.

Unlike so many other occasions when they've been surprised to find themselves in a strong position, the Kiwis didn't ease off. Oram took a couple more quick wickets, then a few overs later returned to dismiss de Plessis who'd briefly threatened to atone for his sin. The 49 run margin was impressively conclusive.

Can NZ go beyond the semi final? Great effort as it was at Mirpur it's hard to see them repeating it against Sri Lanka (if they beat England) in Colombo, but if England win today...


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