South Africa 170-6 (Duminy 86no) beat
New Zealand 168-8 (Steyn 4-17) by 2 runs
ICC World Twenty20 2014 Group 1, Chittagong
JP Duminy hit a superb half-century and Dale Steyn took four wickets as South Africa bounced back from their defeat to Sri Lanka with a two-run ICC World Twenty20 win over New Zealand.
Duminy cracked 86 in 43 balls, scoring more than half of South Africa's runs as they posted 170 for six after being invited to bat first.
And despite both Kane Williamson (51) and Ross Taylor (62) scoring half-centuries, New Zealand fell short as Dale Steyn cut a swathe through their batting at the death to return figures of four for 17.
Needing three to win from the final ball, Taylor was run out as Steyn collected the ball himself to complete South Africa's victory.
The Black Caps were well on course to chase the 171 required with Taylor well set and just 31 more runs required from the last four overs. Taylor seemed to have taken the game beyond South Africa in the penultimate over as he took 14 runs off a wayward Morne Morkel, who conceded 50 in the three overs he bowled.
Steyn’s final over started with just seven runs required for victory. His first ball was edged by Luke Ronchi and Quentin De Kock took a spectacular catch to dismiss his opposite number and keep the game alive.
The next two balls were both dots and new batsmen Nathan McCullum was under serious pressure.
On the fourth ball however, he managed to flay the ball over the infield to claim a vital boundary and leave his team needing three runs from two balls. Steyn then turned on the magic to have McCullum dismissed next ball and then delivered a laser guided yorker that resulted in Taylor’s run out to clinch the game.
In the first innings, Duminy top scored for South Africa with 86 and was supported by 41 from Hashim Amla.
South Africa lost their first wicket on 16 as the ever dependable Kyle Mills removed the dangerous De Kock in the third over after a wild hack resulted in an edge through to Ronchi.
South African skipper Faf du Plessis was next to go, mistiming the ball straight to cover, perhaps deceived by the two-paced nature of the pitch. The Proteas limped along to 39 for two from their six overs of the Power Play and need to up the run rate.
AB de Villiers fell trying to do exactly that, but overbalanced and was cleaned up by Nathan McCullum for just five, leaving SA in trouble at 42 for three.
Duminy joined Amla at the crease and attempted to steady the innings, the two combining in a partnership of 55 to lead South Africa to 97 for four, until Amla was dismissed in very strange circumstances, hitting the ball straight back past the bowler and cannoning into Duminy’s bat before lobbing up to give Corey Anderson a very unconventional caught and bowled.
Amla’s innings of 41 from 40 balls had helped to lay a platform but also left him open to criticism for his slow scoring rate and eating up too many deliveries.
Duminy’s innings propelled South Africa to a defendable 170 for six, his innings full of innovation and clean hitting. He consistently slogged hard to the legside and employed the ramp shot to good effect.
For New Zealand, Nathan McCullum was the most economical bowler, his fours over earning him one for 24. Tim Southee bore the brunt of the Duminy assault, conceding 46 runs from his allocation.
New Zealand’s openers Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson started their chase of 171 circumspectly, reaching 13 without loss from the first three overs.
Guptill was dismissed in identical style to his first innings against England, a back of length delivery that he could only succeed in skewing up in the air.
Imran Tahir again proved is worth with the ball by having McCullum stumped off a wide ball. Tahir’s downfall in the longer form of the game has been his inconsistency, in this format it is his strength.
Williamson took the role of the aggressor after Guptill’s dismissal and led the chase.
Williamson holed out to the legside boundary and was caught by De Villiers off the bowling of Steyn after making a brilliant 51 from 35 balls. With is dismissal, the Black Caps still required a further 54 runs from 39 deliveries.
From there on it was the Taylor show until Steyn’s world class final over swung the game deciscively in South Africa’s direction.
© Cricket World 2014