South Africa won by 13 runs in the second match of Super Eight. A magnificent display of clean hitting from Albie Morkel, South Africa’s slog-over specialist
and good support from AB de Villiers helped South Africa reach a match-winning score against New Zealand in their opening Super Eights game at the Kensington Oval. A target of 170 required a solid partnership or two from New Zealand, but a committed display in the field ensured that the initiative always remained with South Africa. Smith, captain South Africa were charged for 20% match fee, and his teammates has to pay 10%, all because of slow over rate.
The last five over`s of South Africa’s innings, which produced 62, show the difference between the two teams. The bowlers lost the basics when Morkel walked in and he made the full use of the low full tosses dished out by the bowlers. He began with a miss-hit off Vettori which cleared the rope but the rest was out of immense power of the all-rounder.
While batting second New Zealand need a flyer, as First wicket of Brendon Mc Cullum falls on 7 runs on board. The best partnership New Zealand could manage was 44 between Jesse Ryder and Martin Guptill for the second wicket. But it wasn’t a very convincing stint at the crease for Guptill, who looked edgy outside the off stump. He carved two consecutive boundaries off Dale Steyn to get some semblance of momentum going, but the bowler largely got on top of him with his pace. When Guptill tried to break free against the spin of Johan Botha, he found the hands of Morkel at long-on.
New Zealand needed one of their other hitters to carry on after making starts, but both Ryder and Ross Taylor failed in that regard. Ryder’s 33 featured two effortless hits over the rope but he was foxed by Botha’s flight and ended up spooning a simple catch to mid-off. With the required rate climbing beyond 10, Taylor’s powerful boundary hits on the on side seemed to give New Zealand some respite, but Gibbs’ agility at midwicket ensured that South Africa held the initiative.
Curiously, New Zealand held back their biggest hitter, Jacob Oram, and instead sent in Gareth Hopkins. Though Hopkins blazed two sixes in his short stint, it came a little too late. Oram had only five overs to try and get New Zealand out of jail, but he only lasted two balls. When he walked off, the match was firmly in South Africa’s hands and it was only a matter of how close New Zealand could get.
Toss:- South Africa, who chose to bat
Points:- South Africa 2, New Zealand 0
Player of the Match:- JA Morkel (South Africa)