Being one of the strongest cricket teams, nobody would have expected South Africa to lose to New Zealand in the 2011 ICC World Cup Quarter Finals, Mirpur. The New Zealanders were splendid, showing sheer determination and skill. ‘The Blackcaps’ got a truly deserving and jubilant victory on Friday, and they have earned a spot at the semi-finals, where they will face either Sri Lanka or England in Colombo.
Earlier when New Zealand was in Bangladesh, they got whitewashed by Bangladesh 4-0 in an ODI series, and on the other side, South Africans have been dominant in every form of the game since past few years, but the tables have turned as the New Zealanders celebrate their entry to the semi-finals and the South Africans have had to book their tickets to go home.
New Zealand, who chose to bat first, lost both Brendon McCullum and Guptill in a cheap way, tottering at just 16 for 2 in the sixth over. Ryder and the in-form Ross Taylor formed a spectacular but slow 114-run stand as South African bowlers didn’t gave anything away, keeping an eye on New Zealand, not allowing anyone to outnumber them.
Because of the sharpness of the African fielders, Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy who probably saved 20-odd runs, New Zealanders found hard to rotate the strike, not having the luxury to hit the odd boundary. New Zealand could score just 221 in 50 overs, in which Ryder made 83, followed by Taylor with 43, and Williamson also contributing by making a quick 38.
Unfortunately, for South Africa, they had a negative start, with Amla getting out in the first over, in the most freakish way, and New Zealand instantly sneaked their first taste of what was in store for them - a glorious victory in the crucial quarter-final match. Kallis came in to the crease, forming a couple of decent partnerships, firstly with the skipper Graeme Smith, and then with AB de Villiers.
Proteas’ airplane was flying nicely on 108 for 2, when they required 114 runs from 26 overs, with the required run-rate of just below 4.50. Sadly, the crucial wicket of Kallis falling down turned things around for New Zealand, who made a strong, eccentric come-back, stunning South Africa, and sneaking into the semi-final of World Cup for the sixth time.
Jacob Oram of New Zealand was awarded man-of-the-match for his 4 wickets, which probably dented the South African innings. Even though it was a shocker for South Africa, it was indeed an enchanting victory for the New Zealanders and they now head to Colombo where they will be facing either Sri Lanka or England in the semi-final of 2011 World Cup, whilst the team of South Africa, go home with depression.