SA on ouster brink as Williamson, Grandhomme steer Kiwis to win - GulfToday

SA on ouster brink as Williamson, Grandhomme steer Kiwis to win

Kane Williamson

New Zealand’s Kane Williamson celebrates his century against South Africa during their World Cup round-robin match at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Wednesday. Reuters

Birmingham: Powered by skipper Kane Williamson’s brilliant unbeaten 138-ball 106 and a racy 60 off 47 deliveries by Colin Grandhomme, New Zealand beat South Africa by 4 wickets in their 2019 Cricket World Cup match at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Wednesday.

In reply to South Africa’s 241/6 off 49 overs, in a match reduced by rain to 49 overs apiece, New Zealand reached 245/6 in 48.3 overs to win by four wickets, with three balls to spare.

The Kiwis thus inflicted on South Africa their fourth defeat out of six matches, leaving the Proteas on the brink of elimination from the tournament. Williamson’s anchoring knock was embellished with 9 fours and a six and was mainly responsible for the Kiwis’ win, their fourth in five games, with the one against India washed out.

 In New Zealand’s chase, after opener Colin Munro’s early departure in their third over, caught and bowled by Kagiso Rabada for 9 when the team score was 12, sixty runs later, there was a mini collapse after Martin Guptill trod on his stumps.

Guptill and Williamson were coping well with the Proteas’ attack and had moved to 72 for one with the minimum of fuss after the early loss of Colin Munro. But Guptill, when on 35, pulled Andile Phehlukwayo and ended up swivelling, only to lose his balance and clip his leg stump with his foot.

Two overs later New Zealand slipped to 74-3 when Ross Taylor tickled a Chris Morris leg-side delivery and Quinton de Kock took the catch behind the stumps.

Tom Latham was dismissed for a single as New Zealand slumped to 80-4, piling the pressure on skipper and star batsman Williamson to go on and make a sizeable score.

James Neesham was the next to go at the team score of 137 when he claimed by Chris Morris who had him caught by Amla after he had scored 23 off 34 balls.

However, Grandhomme and Williamson took their team to the brink of victory before the former was claimed by Lungi Ngidi who had the Kiwi caught by Du Plessis for a quickfire 60 off 47 balls with the help of 5 fours and 2 sixes.

There were no further hiccups as the Kiwis crossed their 242-run target when they reached 245/6, courtesy of a six and a four by Williamson, to win by 4 wickets, with three deliveries remaining.

Earlier, Rassie van der Dussen gave South Africa something to bowl at as the Proteas struggled to 241 for six against tight bowling from New Zealand while battling for a win they need 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 Kane Williamson won the toss and chose to field, hoping to take advantage of bowler-friendly conditions.

Hashim Amla made a sluggish 55 off 83 bals but Van der Dussen’s 67 not out came at better than a run-a-ball.

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, must win this match if they are to stand a realistic chance of reaching the semi-finals after finally recording their first victory of the tournament, against minnows Afghanistan on Saturday. Despite that nine-wicket win, Du Plessis’s side are still languishing in eighth spot in the 10-team table after five games, with the top four qualifying for next month’s semis.

After Wednesday’s game, they will face Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia.

New Zealand are flying high and a fourth win would lift them to the top of the table ahead of matches against West Indies, Pakistan, Australia and hosts England.


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