South Africa choke again; crash out of World Cup
Zeecric Bureau/Vaibhav Arora
Mirpur: Jacob Oram picked up four wickets as South Africa, chasing a modest target of 222, lost to New Zealand by 49 runs to crash out of the 2011 World Cup.
The Proteas were comfortably placed at 108/2 at one stage but choked in their familiar fashion as they lost their last eight wickets for just 64 runs.
It was one of the biggest upsets of the 2011 World Cup as South Africa, who were one of the favourites to win the quadrennial trophy, were knocked out by the unlikeliest of opponents that they would have expected to loose against.
Chasing just 222 to win, South Africa did not get off to the perfect start as they lost the wicket of Hashim Amla (7) in the first over.
Keeping with the tradition of this World Cup, New Zealand started with spin from both ends as they looked to defend their paltry total of 221.
The move paid immediate reward as Amla departed after a ball from Nathan McCullum took the inside edge of the bat and bounced off the wicket-keeper’s boot and lobbed up into the waiting hands of Daniel Vettori at slip.
However, a couple of good partnerships between Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis at first and then between Kallis and AB de Villiers kept the Proteas on course.
But, Oram took a magnificent catch on the boundary off Tim Southee to remove Kallis, which started the great South African collapse.
Earlier, a clinical bowling performance from South Africa helped them restrict New Zealand to a paltry 221/8 in their World Cup quarter-final clash being played here at the Shere Bangla National Stadium.
Despite Jesse Ryder’s hard fought 83 and a partnership of 114 runs between Ryder and Ross Taylor for the third wicket, New Zealand could not put up a challenging total as all the other batsmen failed to apply themselves. Kane Williamson was the other significant contributor with 38.
For South Africa, Morne Morkel was the most successful bowler with three wickets while Dale Steyn and Imran Tahir captured a couple of scalps each.
Electing to bat first after winning the toss, the New Zealand innings did not get off to an auspicious start as Robin Peterson removed Brendon McCullum (4) via a superb return catch with the total reading just 5.
Shortly after, Martin Guptill (1) became the second casualty after he tried to hit a ball from Dale Steyn out of the park but only managed to hit it down the throat of Johan Botha. New Zealand were in trouble at 16/2.
Thereafter, it was a superb partnership between Ryder and Taylor that pulled New Zealand out of a deep hole and even put them ahead for a brief period of time.
The duo played patiently as they kept nudging the ones and twos with the occasional boundary in between.
However, Tahir struck just when the partnership was threatening to take the game away from South Africa. Tahir removed Taylor (43) as the New Zealand scorecard read 130/3.
The fall of Taylor’s wicket opened the floodgates with wickets falling at regular intervals from then on. The Kiwis could never recover from the blow and ended up struggling their way to 221 at the end of the allotted 50 overs.