ICC World Cup: Kane Williamson steers New Zealand to four-wicket victory over South Africa

Edgbaston [UK]: Kane Williamson played a knock of 106 runs as New Zealand defeated South Africa by four wickets in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup match in Edgbaston on Wednesday.

Chasing 242, New Zealand lost its opener Colin Munro (9) pretty early in the chase. The left-hander was dismissed in the third over by Kagiso Rabada. Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson retrieved the innings for Kiwis as the duo put on 60 runs for the third wicket.

Guptill was dismissed in the most bizarre fashion in the 15th over. Guptill (35) tried to play a pull shot off Andile Phehlukwayo, but the right-hander completely lost his balance and he ended up being hit-wicket. Ross Taylor (1) and Tom Latham failed to leave a mark and their departure left New Zealand in a spot of bother as the team was reduced to 80/4, still needing 162 more runs for the win. Chris Morris was the chief destructor with the ball as he dismissed both the Kiwi batsmen.

Jimmy Nesham and Williamson steadied the innings for New Zealand as the duo stitched together a partnership of 57 runs, which saw Williamson bringing up his half-century in the 28th over. In search of a much-needed wicket, Proteas skipper brought back his key bowler Morris and he did not disappoint as he scalped the wicket of Neesham (23) in the 33rd over.

Colin de Grandhomme joined Williamson and the duo eased the nerves for the Kiwis as they stitched a partnership of 91 runs. Both batsmen mixed caution with aggression, but with 14 runs required from last two overs, de Grandhomme perished (60) as he was dismissed by Lungi Ngidi.

8 runs were required in the final over by New Zealand and Phehlukwayo was chosen by South African skipper Faf du Plessis to bowl the over. Williamson dispatched the ball for a six on the second ball of the over to bring up his century and he ensured New Zealand wins the match by four wickets.

Earlier, Rassie van der Dussen’s unbeaten 67 pushed South Africa to post 241/6 after sent in to bat first. The match was curtailed to 49-overs per side due to wet outfield.
South Africa faced an early blow as they lost their big-hitter Quinton de Kock in the second over of the match. Trent Boult clean bowled de Kock cheaply for five. Skipper du Plessis joined Hashim Amla and the duo steadied the innings.

Amla, who was playing in his 176th innings, became the second-fastest batsman to register 8000 ODI runs. On the last ball of the 14th over, Lockie Ferguson nailed a perfect yorker and bagged a pricey wicket of du Plessis for 23, reducing South Africa to 59/2.

Aiden Markram came out to support Amla and the duo stitched a brief partnership of 52 runs for the third wicket. However, Mitchell Santner got another breakthrough for the Kiwis as he bowled Amla for 55. Soon after, Markram (38) was sent back to the pavilion as Colin de Grandhomme dismissed him.

Van der Dussen and David Miller combined to form a solid partnership of 72 runs, taking South Africa to a respectable position. However, Ferguson returned and sent Miller (36) and Andile Phehlukwayo (0) in quick succession, before Chris Morris chipped in with unbeaten six runs towards the end.

Ferguson was the pick of bowlers for New Zealand as the right-arm fast bowler returned with figures of 3-59.

New Zealand will next take on the West Indies on June 22, while South Africa will meet Pakistan on June 23.

Brief scores: New Zealand 245/6 (Kane Williamson 106*, Colin de Grandhomme 60, Chris Morris 3-49) beat South Africa 241/6 (Rassie van der Dussen 67, Hashim Amla 55, Lockie Ferguson 3-59) by four wickets.