ICC World Twenty20 Super Eights, Barbados: South Africa 170-4 beat New Zealand 157-7 by 13 runs
Morkel drove with great power
A destructive innings from Albie Morkel set South Africa up for a 13-run win over New Zealand in the Super Eight stage at the ICC World Twenty20.
Morkel hit a series of towering drives, notching five sixes from just 18 balls faced to finish on 40 not out, taking his country to a formidable 170-4.
New Zealand's batsmen rarely looked likely to threaten the total despite Jesse Ryder hitting a useful 33.
Morne Morkel, Albie's younger brother, and Johan Botha both bowled well.
Although South Africa's next opponents, England, had successfully opted to bowl first against Pakistan on the same Kensington Oval wicket earlier in the day, Proteas skipper Graeme Smith chose to bat first.
He and Jacques Kallis promptly put South Africa on course for a big total as they reached 48-1 from the first six overs, but after Kallis had been brilliantly caught by a diving Tim Southee at fine leg, the batting side dawdled slightly.
AB de Villiers in particular took his time to get his eye in, with Daniel Vettori (0-21) getting through four economical overs.
But South Africa were building again through Herschelle Gibbs, only for the experienced right-hander to give Brendon McCullum an easy catch at square-leg off McCullum's younger brother Nathan.
That left the scoreboard 97-3 midway through the 14th over, and South Africa sensibly sent Morkel out ahead of the likes of JP Duminy and Mark Boucher.
The move paid off as Morkel, almost exclusively hitting lofted front-foot drives, took toll of a number of bowlers, Southee in particular.
The fast-medium bowler was searching for yorkers, but Morkel stayed in his crease and when the bad balls came his way - low full tosses and half-volleys - they were smoothly deposited into the stands.
With De Villiers finishing unbeaten on 47 from 39 balls - the stand between him and Morkel produced 72 from 38 balls - South Africa looked hot favourites.
A spectacular catch by Gibbs at extra-cover in the first over to end Brendon McCullum's involvement was an early setback in New Zealand's chase.
Martin Guptill struggled to deal with the required rate once the fielding restrictions had been lifted and picked out long-on in spinner Andre Botha's first over.
South Africa mostly had things their own way against New Zealand
Ryder never quite hit top gear and in the 10th over he too departed to the bowling of Botha after making 33 from 28 balls.
The next New Zealander to threaten a major innings without quite delivering was Ross Taylor, and his dismissal to Morne Morkel made it 87-4 as the required run rate mounted towards 12 an over.
That was too much for the lower order to cope with, and despite a six here and a four there, wickets were falling all too regularly for New Zealand, who finished some way short.
South Africa, who lost a warm-up to England and their tournament opener to India, appear to be back on course to make a serious impact on the tournament.
Smith said afterwards: "It was very good today. It was back-to-back games so we wanted to play with energy, we played clever cricket and had a good intensity so I am very happy.
"I think we controlled the game pretty well - it was a very professional performance.
"It's exciting for us that we are improving every game and we have a big game against England now.
"We started a little bit rusty in the competition, we hadn't played together for a long period of time but we seem to be progressing every game. Hopefully we can carry on that trend."
Defeat for New Zealand realistically leaves them needing to win their last two Super Eight matches against Pakistan and England.