New Zealand registered their maiden world cup semi-final win as they beat South Africa at the Eden Park in Auckland on Tuesday. Despite a good fight by the Proteas, they were comprehensively beaten by an all-round performance by the Kiwis. Corey Anderson, Grant Elliot and Brendon McCullum were the stars for New Zealand with their respective half-centuries.
1) The fall and consolidation: South Africa skipper AB de Villiers won the toss and elected to bat. The move didn’t work rightaway as Trent Boult dismissed openers Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock early. Matt Henry, who came into the match for the injured Adam Milne too troubled Faf du Plessis with pace and bounce. However, du Plessis did well to see through the tough period of play and alongwith Rilee Rossouw put on 83 runs for the third wicket. Rossouw too did his bit before being dismissed off a stunning catch by Martin Guptill
2) Friends to the Party: After being placed in a good position , old mates AB de Villiers adn Faf du Plessis combined to put on a century stand for the fourth wicket. The duo added 102 runs off 73 balls to put South Africa in command. In the process, they also brought up their respective half-centuries.
3) Killer Miller: Rain had played spoilsport and reduced the match to a 43-over a side affair, leaving South Africa with just five more overs following the resumption of play. David Miller, who came out to bat following the dismissal of Faf du Plessis scored an 18-ball 49, including six boundaries and three sixes. His knock helped South Africa reach 281 for five in 43 overs.
4) Baz rocks and falls: Chasing a revised target of 298 runs to win their maiden world cup semi-final,Brendon McCullum got off to a quickfire start. He took the attack to the South African new-ball pair of Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander. However, Morne Morkel was brought on as the first change bowler and managed to dismiss the Kiwi skipper off the first ball. Kane Williamson too couldn’t survive long enough. Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill did well to consolidate the innings, but fell in quick succession, leaving New Zealand placed at 149 for four.
5) Corey Anderson and Grant Elliot half-centuries: At the fall of Ross Taylor’s wicket, the match was in balance. However, Grant Elliot and Corey Anderson scored at run a ball and put on the much needed big partnership for the Kiwis. AB de Villiers misse an easy run out before the batting Powerplay and Anderson took full advantage of it. Both Anderson and Elliot went on to record their respective half-centuries. The duo put on 103 runs for the fifth wicket.
New Zealand Playing XI: Brendon McCullum (c), Trent Boult, Daniel Vettori, Kane Williamson, Corey Anderson, Tim Southee, Luke Ronchi (wk), Ross Taylor, Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry.
South Africa Playing XI: AB de Villiers (captain), Hashim Amla (vice-captain), Quinton de Kock (wkt), JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn.