Right from the warm-ups and through to group stage, South Africans struggled find that perfect top order but today, they got it right and victory came pretty easily for them..
Proteas team management tried to adjust Loots Bosman as opener, dropping experienced duo of captain Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis down to number 3 but hadn't worked. Yesterday, electing to bat first in this second match of Group E of super 8s stage, Africans dropped Loots Bosman, sent Kallis with Smith to open and results started to come right from begining as they put on 40 good runs for 1st wicket.
Exclusion of Bosman also allowed Proteas to bring back proven T20 campaigner Herschelle Gibbs into playing XI and he did a good job too, cracking 2 sixes and a fours in his 24 ball 30 runs. But, after that, Kiwis bowlers tighened the screws with Daniel Vettori and Jacob Oram bowling tight line and lengths.
AB de Villiers did the rebuilding job and then it was time for Albie Morkel to take over, who was promoted up the order ahead of JP Duminy. Morkel struck 5 sixes, most of them hard and straight, as South Africans collected 62 runs off their last 5 overs and their total sky rocketed to 170 for 4 wkts when a total of even 150 seemed a distant dream.
New Zealand chase was rocked as early as in the first over by Dale Steyn but Jesse Ryder played some good shots to keep scoreboard moving. Useful contributions from Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor and Scott Styris, Kiwis were ahead at each over mark in comparison to South Africa's innings but the real question was who'll do the Albie Morkel stuff?
Gareth Hopkins tried many but connected few times for his 2 sixes punchuated 18 runs off 13 balls and then Nathan McCullum did his bit with quickfire 26 off 17 balls but it was never going to be enough. Captain Daniel Vettori was suffering from back spasm and hence batted lower down the order at number 9, scoring run a ball 10.
The scoresSouth Africa 170 for 4 wkts in 20 overs
AB 47*, A Morkel 40, Jacques Kallis 31.
New Zealand 157 for 7 wkts in 20 overs
J Ryder 33, N McCullum 26*, J Botha 3/23
Full scorecard : SA v NZ, World T20 2010.
Head to head5th South Africa v New Zealand twenty20 international match it was.. South Africans now have extended their lead with 4 wins against just 1 win for New Zealand upto this match.