|Scorecard:||New Zealand v South Africa|
|Player:||GC Smith, JP Duminy, JH Kallis, RE van der Merwe, J Botha, IG Butler, NL McCullum, BB McCullum|
|Event:||ICC World Twenty20 2009|
DateLine: 9th June 2009
When New Zealand came into to chase down 128 runs, the lowest first-innings total of this World Cup, they would have thought this was a cakewalk. But by the time the match ended, that modest total became one too many for them, as the South African bowlers made up for the poor batting performance with some solid bowling, denying the Kiwis.
It was a bizarre match, a complete anti-thesis of the fire and smoke that is normally associated with a Twenty20 game. New Zealand lost only four wickets in the business end of the innings but still could not overtake 128 runs.
Roelof van der Merwe and Johan Botha once again showed that spinners are like gold dust in this format, as they choked the New Zealand batsmen, who were pretty clueless about how to go about the chase.
Only skipper Brendon McCullum was effective, and while Ross Taylor and Jacob Oram did try, somehow even this small total was beyond them.
The South African innings began promisingly, and they were 47 for no loss after six overs, which promised a pretty substantial total. But once Jacques Kallis was found short of his crease by a sharp bit of fielding from Brendon McCullum, it was all downhill.
Herschelle Gibbs came in and struggled, and that seemed to afflict Graeme Smith too, as the bowler slowly but surely closed all doors on them. They were equally accurate, be it seamers or spinners, with Scott Styris and Ian Butler doing a fine job with the seam-up stuff, while Nathan McCullum’s seemingly innocuous off-spinners became pretty unplayable.
Gibbs went cheaply, Van der Merwe didn’t bother the scorers and AB de Villiers went early too, even as he began to show some promise, victim of a smart move from Martin Guptill. Mark Boucher was also not in his elements, while JP Duminy ran out of partners and patience.
The bowling was naturally looking great, and Butler and McCullum had figures that would make much bitter bowlers envious.
Smith was the top scorer with 33 runs while Duminy contributed 29, but no one else had much of a contribution.