New Zealand edge South Africa in the first real nail-biter of this World Cup
Technically, South Africa are not out of the semi-final race yet; technically being the operative word here.
South Africa 241 - 6 (49 Overs) [van der Dussen 67(64), Amla 55(83); Ferguson 3/59, de Grandhomme 1/33]
New Zealand 245 - 6 (48.3 Overs) [Williamson(c) 106(138), de Grandhomme 60(47); Chris Morris 3/49, Rabada 1/42]
Result- New Zealand won by 4 wickets
This was the first match of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup that Edgbaston hosted and what a cracker of a game it turned out to be. It had been raining throughd the last week at the venue and the pitch was under covers for the most part and when that happens you get to see all the idiosyncrasies that a surface has to offer.
The ball was shooting off the surface at times and stuck it in it when bowled slowly. All in all, it was a good cricketing surface which offers a close encounter and the clash between New Zealand and South Africa was exactly that.
Trent Boult drew first blood for New Zealand as he cleaned up Quinton de Kock on the 11th ball of the match. Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis then combined for a steady partnership. There were substantial contributions from Aiden Markram and David Miller, but it was the knock from Rassie van der Dussen and the blitz towards the end which helped South Africa post 241 from the stipulated 49 overs, after the match was curtailed by one over per side due to the wet outfield.
Lockie Ferguson bowled at serious pace throughout the game and stood out with the ball, with three scalps.
South Africa have to be appreciated for keeping themselves in the game throughout the New Zealand batting innings. At the time when Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson were batting, things were not really happening but once Guptill, Ross Taylor and Tom Latham fell in a short interval, the Proteas sensed blood and that became visible in their body language.
Chris Morris, who at one point was not even the part of the team's 15-members World Cup squad, played a major role for them with the ball, giving less than five runs per over and picking up three wickets.
However, all that could not shake the resolve of Kane Williamson who ensured that he was at the crease for the better part of the chase and took the Black Caps to a four-wicket win, along with notching up his maiden World Cup century with a cracking six over mid-wicket.
New Zealand- Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult
South Africa- Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir
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