South Africa 128-7 (Smith 33, Butler 2-13) beat
New Zealand 127-5 (B McCullum 57, van der Merwe 2-14) by one run
ICC World Twenty20 Group D, Lord's
It may have been a dead rubber with little riding on the match but some pride, momentum and bragging rights, but the final ICC World Twenty20 Group D encounter between South Africa and New Zealand went down to the wire, South Africa prevailing by just one run at Lord's.
New Zealand won the toss and after choosing to bowl first, restricted South Africa to 128 for seven before they could only close on 127 for four despite a stunning half-century from Brendon McCullum.
McCullum, captain again in the continued absence of Daniel Vettori with a shoulder injury, was superb in the field as well, effecting the superb run out of Jacques Kallis (24) that brought to an end an opening partnership of 49 with Graeme Smith, who top scored with 33.
South Africa continued to lose wickets thanks to some good fielding, tidy bowling, and poor strokeplay, Ian Butler the pick of the Black Caps with two for 13.
McCullum crashed six fours in his 54-ball innings of 57 but he was not helped by the cheap dismissals of Martin Guptill (6) and Neil Broom (1) before South Africa's spinners turned the screw.
Johan Botha (0-17) and Roelof van der Merwe (2-14) kept things so tight and upped the pressure, forcing New Zealand to play big shots, one of which saw McCullum stumped by yards.
Ross Taylor tweaked a hamstring before he was bowled by left-armer van der Merwe and an enterprising innings of 24 in 18 balls from Jacob Oram was ended on the final ball, when requiring four to win, he was run out attempting a third to bring the scores level.
© Cricket World 2009