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Cricket World Cup: S Africa collapse sends NZ through

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 quarter-final, Mirpur:
New Zealand 221-8 beat South Africa 172 (43.2 overs) by 49 runs
Match scorecard

New Zealand's players celebrate their World Cup quarter-final win over South Africa

Highlights - NZ into semis as South Africa collapse

By Oliver Brett

New Zealand joined India and Pakistan in the World Cup semi-finals as South Africa collapsed when in command of a straightforward chase in Mirpur.

New Zealand batted cautiously, making 221-8 with Jesse Ryder (83) key.

South Africa were excellent in the field and their varied bowling attack kept the Black Caps pinned down.

When they then reached 108-2 after 24 overs the Proteas seemed to be cruising to victory, but they subsided horribly to be all out for 172.

With Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers batting so calmly just before the mid-point of the South Africa chase and having stayed ahead of an undemanding required run rate, New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori must have sensed the worst.

But the game changed dramatically when Kallis, on 47, attacked a gentle long-hop from Tim Southee and unerringly picked out Jacob Oram at deep midwicket.

Seven wickets remained and there was absolutely no reason for South Africa to panic - but they did just that, bringing to mind similarly ignominious exits in the 1999 and 2003 World Cups.

JP Duminy's questionable stomach for a pressurised situation was called into doubt again as he missed a cut shot against Nathan McCullum and was clean bowled.

Neil Manthorp
Whenever they lose in the World Cup, everyone always focuses on South Africa's inadequacies. They say you should only take the field when you're 100% fit, but that's not true when you're captain - Daniel Vettori was a mountain for New Zealand today

Test match Special's Neil Manthorp

Two balls later, things got significantly worse for Graeme Smith's team as Faf du Plessis called De Villiers through for a quick single that simply was never available. Even though Martin Guptill's return to Brendon McCullum had to be scooped up off the turf, De Villiers was well short of his crease and 102-2 had become 121-5.

The real frustration for South Africa was that De Villiers, the team's leading scorer in the tournament, had played quite beautifully in making 35 from 40 balls, but with him out New Zealand went from plucky outsiders to warm favourites.

They relished the situation and were ultimately excellent value for their win. Oram bowled Johan Botha, who tentatively played down the wrong line, before having Robin Peterson caught behind.

Suddenly New Zealand bowlers were queuing up to take wickets, and McCullum grabbed the next one when Dale Steyn skewed a catch to point.

For a while, Du Plessis gave South Africa renewed hope, but on 36 he drilled Oram (4-39) to extra cover, leaving World Cup debutant Luke Woodcock to claim the final wicket when Morne Morkel drove a catch to long-on.

Overlooked as serious contenders before the tournament, New Zealand progress to a semi-final in Colombo against either England or Sri Lanka next week. Andrew Strauss's team play in the final quarter-final on Friday in Colombo.

But South Africa, who finished top of Group B despite a defeat in similar circumstances to England in Chennai, are left with the familiar feeling of "what if?"

And, painful though such an observation will doubtless be, it would be hard to suggest that this particular South African defeat was not a self-inflicted one.

Smith, whose ODI captaincy now comes to an end, conceded afterwards: "It's difficult to explain how I feel now - it's been a very disappointing evening. They kept the pressure on us and we lost wickets.

"We can only look at ourselves as we've let ourselves down - this has obviously been going on since 1992, but hopefully teams in the future will challenge those perceptions of us and get over the line. There are a lot of people watching back home, and nothing we say can make them feel better."

At the toss, both Vettori and Smith wanted to bat first, and it was New Zealand, after Smith had called incorrectly, who claimed that honour.

But with only 16 on the board, they were already two men down, Brendon McCullum chipping a catch back to bowler Robin Peterson before Martin Guptill skied a drive off Steyn to mid-off.

Ryder and Ross Taylor, clearly mindful of coach John Wright's instructions to ensure New Zealand must be only three wickets down at the 35-over mark, were watchful as they laid the foundation of the innings.

They put on 114, using up 27 overs. Ryder produced his fair share of boundaries but struggled to knock singles about; Taylor had the opposite problem.

All the while, Smith showed some very shrewd captaincy, persisting with attacking fields and frequently rotating his seven-man bowling attack.

Signs that the shackles might finally be broken came when Taylor slog-swept Peterson for six in the 32nd over. But an attempted repeat in the next over, bowled by Imran Tahir, resulted in an easy catch for Kallis at deep midwicket.

New Zealand now wanted a series of quick-fire cameo efforts and for Ryder to hit overdrive but neither happened. Morkel had Scott Styris bottom-edging onto his stumps before Ryder, running out of steam on 83, chipped Tahir tamely into the deep.

Morkel bowled two more batsmen with yorkers, leaving Kane Williamson (38 not out from 41 balls) to do the bulk of the lower-order hitting.

The resultant total looked thin, even after New Zealand had been boosted by a fortunate early wicket when Hashim Amla was caught at slip off wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum's boot.

Graeme Smith and Daniel Vettori
The two captains share a word as Friday's match comes to an end

The slight inconsistency of bounce encountered by New Zealand's batsmen, and exploited to the full by South Africa's pace-and-spin attack, was less evident now the two sides had switched roles.

Kallis and Smith (28) put on 61 together, before Kallis and De Villiers continued to keep their team in decent shape. Even bearing in mind South Africa's past history of "choking" in such scenarios a New Zealand comeback looked unlikely, let alone a win by a big margin that keeps their World Cup dream alive.

Vettori, playing with a knee injury that severely limited his movements on the field, said: "We wanted 250 and just got a little bit ahead of ourselves and a bit aggressive for a short while.

"But the guys said it was tricky and it was almost an old school one-day game on a low, slow one - that's the sort of game we like to play and we've got the sort of bowlers who can really work well on that kind of wicket."



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see also
South Africa v New Zealand photos
25 Mar 11 |  Cricket
India end Aussie World Cup reign
24 Mar 11 |  Cricket
England hit by Yardy withdrawal
24 Mar 11 |  England
Durham sign South African batsman
24 Mar 11 |  Durham
Pakistan crush dismal West Indies
23 Mar 11 |  Cricket
Muralitharan fit for England game
25 Mar 11 |  Cricket
Ponting dismisses retirement talk
23 Mar 11 |  Australia
Cricket World Cup 2011
09 Mar 11 |  Cricket


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