Sat. Oct 31st, 2020

Williamson holds his nerve to put the Proteas away

WilliamsonNew Zealand beat South Africa by four wickets at Edgbaston to go to the top of the Cricket World Cup table on Wednesday.

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Kane Williamson hit a superb maiden World Cup century to help New Zealand earn a four wicket win over South Africa at Edgbaston.

Williamson won the toss and put the under pressure Proteas in to bat.

Trent Boult struck a hammer blow up front when he castled Quinton de Kock in his first over.

Lockie Ferguson starred with the ball for the Black Caps claiming figures of 3/55 that included the wicket of Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis with a superb yorker.

Hashim Amla (55) held the top order together and Rassie van der Dussen played another solid innings, ending on 67 not out after smashing the final two balls for a six and a four respectively. David Miller struck a few lusty blows in his 36 off 38 balls.

South Africa managed 241 for 6 in the end but it proved to be insufficient.

The Proteas will certainly be left wondering what might have been, considering they would almost certainly have had Williamson’s wicket with Imran Tahir’s final ball. Replays show Tahir found a faint edge but the Proteas didn’t use their review. New Zealand had been 173 for 5 needing 69 runs to win with 66 balls remaining.

Colin de Grandhomme’s quickfire 60 off 47 balls played a massive part in the Black Caps win but when he holed out off the first ball of the penultimate over it gave the Proteas hope of stealing a victory. Williamson would shut out the innings though, picking Phehlukwayo’s slower-ball and smashing it over midwicket for a six that tied the score in the final over.

Williamson hit the next ball for four to end on 106 not out, a stand out in a top-order that faltered a little on a difficult surface. Chris Morris bowled well to be the pick of the Proteas bowlers claiming 3/49.

A deflated Du Plessis said after the defeat: ” We were aiming 260. I thought that was par on this wicket. The chat in the team room was to aim at 260 and 270. So we fell short. So good bowling from New Zealand and not getting boundaries away by us played a part.

“Individual batters will look at having an opportunity at facing a bowler that the fancy. Kane showed that. He also found it difficult to score but he waited for the guy he could hit. We also had a lot of stop start stop start innings but Kane batted through for the hundred and that was the game changer. We did everything we could. We threw ourselves a round. The energy was unbelievable. Sure, there was sometimes that we dropped intensity. But Kane took it away from us.”

Du Plessis was unaware that the Tahir appeal was a legitimate DRS candidate, saying he was at long on at the time.

“Was that lbw out? I don’t know. [Pommie Mbangwa points out it was a nick and Du Plessis looks shocked] Which one is that. I don’t know. Oooh the nick. Oh well. There was no real appeal. No, really let’s have a look at it. So yeah, ask him [Imran Tahir] That’s all we can do. The performances haven’t been there. Individually we should have put on performances that could have driven the team home. But now we have to just try out best to compete again”

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