As it happened: New Zealand vs South Africa
De Kock’s masterful innings of 114 off 116 balls marked his fourth century in the tournament, placing him in exclusive company alongside Kumar Sangakkara, who achieved this feat during the 2015 edition of the World Cup. Notably, only three players in World Cup history have managed to accumulate four centuries in a single tournament, with India skipper Rohit Sharma leading the chart scoring five in the 2019 edition.
The Proteas’ formidable total of 357/4 was underpinned by van der Dussen’s remarkable 133 off 118 balls. This breathtaking display of batting prowess left New Zealand floundering in their pursuit of the target.
New Zealand’s response was nothing short of disastrous, as they were bowled out for a mere 167 in 35.3 overs. South Africa’s bowlers, led by Marco Jansen and Keshav Maharaj, ruthlessly dismantled New Zealand’s batting lineup.
Jansen, striking early, dismissed the dangerous Devon Conway, who managed just 2. Rachin Ravindra’s top-edged pull shot handed New Zealand their second setback. Gerald Coetzee claimed a wicket on his third delivery as Will Young fell victim to a regulation catch by de Kock.
Tom Latham’s dismissal at 67/4 signalled the beginning of the end for New Zealand’s innings, leaving them with an insurmountable task. Keshav Maharaj’s spell saw the dismissal of James Neesham, with a delivery that would make Shane Warne proud, as Glenn Phillips delayed the inevitable with his 60 off 50 balls.
The match was a turning point for South African cricket, with their comprehensive victory propelling them to the top of the World Cup points table, level with India at 12 points, though having played one more game.
This triumph marked a momentous occasion as it temporarily diverted attention from rugby to cricket in South Africa. Just days after the Springboks secured their fourth rugby World Cup title by defeating New Zealand’s All Blacks, de Kock and van der Dussen stole the limelight with their cricketing brilliance.
De Kock and van der Dussen’s partnership of 200 runs set the tone for South Africa’s commanding total. Their extraordinary performance, combined with a touch of luck, catapulted them to a monumental total of 357.
David Miller added the finishing touches with a brisk 53 off 30 balls, ensuring South Africa concluded their innings on a high note, posing an insurmountable challenge for New Zealand.
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(With inputs from PTI)