Kane keeps cool in a thrilling finish against Proteas

  • The New Zealand skipper scores an unbeaten century to put his team on top
- AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, BIRMINGHAM

Jun 20, 2019-

New Zealand beat South Africa by four wickets in a tense World Cup pool match at Edgbaston on Wednesday that all but ended the Proteas’ semi-final hopes.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson’s superbly paced 106 not out saw the Black Caps to a target of 242 with just three balls to spare in a match reduced by rain to 49 overs per side. With his side needing seven to win, Williamson hit a six off Andile Phehlukwayo that both levelled the scores with four balls left and also saw him to a century.

Victory saw New Zealand, who had been 80-4, return to the top of the table as they remained unbeaten at this World Cup. But South Africa’s fourth defeat in six matches left them languishing in the bottom half of the 10-team round-robin table.

Earlier, Rassie van der Dussen gave South Africa something to bowl at as the Proteas struggled to 241-6 against tight bowling from New Zealand while battling for a win they needed to keep their fading World Cup hopes alive. After a soggy outfield delayed Wednesday’s start at Edgbaston and reduced the match to 49 overs per side, Black Caps captain Williamson won the toss and chose to field, hoping to take advantage of bowler-friendly conditions. Hashim Amla made a sluggish 55 off 83 balls but Van der Dussen’s 67 not out came at better than a run-a-ball.

“It’s a bit of a sticky wicket, there has been a lot of rain around here in the last two weeks,” said Van der Dussen during the innings break. New Zealand, the 2015 losing finalists, were on top early when Trent Boult demolished Quinton de Kock’s stumps, sending him back to the pavilion for just five.

Amla and skipper Faf du Plessis helped the Proteas recover to 59-1 in the 14th over. But Lockie Ferguson then produced an impressive yorker to bowl Du Plessis for 23 immediately after a testing bouncer. Amla and Aiden Markram put on 52 for the third wicket before veteran opener Amla was bowled by left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner.

During his innings, Amla became the fourth South African player to reach 8,000 runs in one-day internationals. He is the second-fastest player (176 innings) from any side to reach the milestone after India’s Virat Kohli (175 innings).

Markram was caught by Colin Munro off Colin de Grandhomme for 38 and David Miller went for 36 before a late flourish from Van der Dussen gave the scoreboard a look of respectability. South Africa, who brought in fast bowler Lungi Ngidi for Beuran Hendricks, have won their only match so far against minnows Afghanistan on Saturday.

Published: 20-06-2019 10:14

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