New Zealand 279-8 (Williamson 145no) beat
South Africa 252 (Ingram 79) by 27 runs
Second One-Day International, Kimberley
Report by Daniel Grummitt
It would be tempting to mention the c-word, but perhaps focussing on the five run-outs that caused South Africa’s capitulation from a match-winning position to one of defeat would be more appropriate. Of the five, one was farcical, one was unlucky, while the other three were a combination of poor judgement and good ground fielding from New Zealand. To add insult to injury, there was almost a world-record sixth when Morne Morkel failed to run in his bat in the dying moments.
South Africa’s pursuit of 280 had looked a formality at the halfway point, with Graeme Smith and Colin Ingram going strong and taking the score to 167 for one in the 31st over. This left South Africa needing less than six an over with nine wickets in hand and with the record at Kimberley of no team, other than Kenya and Namibia, having lost when chasing adding to their position of strength.
Smith and Ingram made the largely bit-part New Zealand attack look ordinary during their second-wicket stand of 129, which had begun following a sprightly 25 from the baby-faced Quinton de Kock. However, Smith became the first run-out victim when attempting a third to James Franklin at third man and ending up short of his crease.
This sparked a chain of events which South Africa will not one repeated. Stand-in captain Faf du Plessis was sent back after calling Colin Ingram through for a suicidal single and failing the beat the throw from Nathan McCullum. Ingram then broke the sequence of run-outs by being caught at mid-off before, after a brief stand between Farhaan Behardien and David Miller, things reverted to type.
Miller’s run-out was the unlucky one, coming via a deflection from Nathan McCullum’s fingertips and onto the stumps at the non-strikers’ end, but Rory Kleinveldt’s was the farcical one. He hit his first ball into the on-side and set off for a single. He would have made it easily, but for a clumsy attempt at grounding his bat. He plonked it, face down, about a foot short of the crease only for it to get stuck in the turf and proceeded to trip over it before finally making it over the line. Unfortunately, during this spectacular display, Martin Guptill’s under-arm flick had broken the stumps.
Guptill was also responsible for the final act in South Africa’s embarrassing quintet when he fired in a powerful throw from the deep to dismiss Farhaan Behardien. But for a couple of lusty blows from Morne Morkel, that was it. New Zealand had beaten South Africa by 27 runs and were victorious in an ODI series in the country for the first time ever.
On a day of records, Kane Williamson had earlier helped New Zealand post a competitive 279 for eight - their highest score against South Africa - after they had been asked to bat. His innings of 145 not out off 136 balls is the highest by a New Zealand batsman against South Africa but became lost in the remarkable events that followed. It shouldn’t be.
Following the loss of Guptill in the third over with not a run on the board, he set about rebuilding the innings, firstly with BJ Watling and then with Grant Elliott. His stand with Watling was worth only 32 but lasted almost 10 overs and prevented another New Zealand collapse, but it was his partnership with the efficient Elliott that laid the foundations for their ultimately match-winning total.
The pair put on 127 in a little over 21 overs, with Williamson, in particular, impressing. Despite not boasting the power of some of his contemporaries, he found the boundary with regularity, utilising that rare and most pleasing of gifts that only the best possess - timing.
His hundred came up off exactly 100 balls shortly after Elliott’s demise and prior to a slight collapse. New Zealand lost four wickets for 14 runs in 20 balls. Williamson, though, remained and shepherded the lower-order effectively. He ended the innings with a six off the out-of-sorts Morkel, who conceded 71 from his 10 overs.
A few hours later, the 22 year-old would be named man-of-the-match, having played a leading role as his side made history.
© Cricket World 2013
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