20-20 World Cricket Classic April 28, 2006

Kirsten blasts South Africa into final

Cricinfo staff

South Africa 249 for 3 (Kirsten 134, Davids 64) beat New Zealand 169 for 9 (Franklin 47, Strydom 3-31) by 80 runs

A brilliant hundred from Gary Kirsten carried South Aftrica into Saturday's final against Bermuda as New Zealand went down to an 80-run defeat.

Kirsten blasted 134 off just 63 balls in one minute over an hour, with his first fifty taking only 20 balls and 23 minutes. He added 155 runs for the second wicket with Faiek Davids (64 in 37 balls) in 14 overs to sink New Zealand. By the time Adrian Kuiper hammered 25 off six deliveries at the death the game was done and dusted.

New Zealand only briefly threatened when Trevor Franklin (47) and Simon Doull (21) put on 42 for the second wicket, but the ask was always out of their reach even thought South Africa spilt a number of chances.

Australia 218 for 3 (Campbell 100*, Graf 44) beat Sri Lanka 217 for 6 (Gurusinha 44, Kaluwitharana 37)

Sri Lanka failed by one run to beat Australia in the Plate semi-final when Rohan Jayasekera could only manage a straight driven four off Rodney Hogg with six needed.

Less than 24 hours earlier some 4,000 spectators had packed the ground to see Bermuda beat England; there were barely 200 for this clash, but those that were there witnessed the highest-scoring game so far.

Ryan Campbell hit the competition's first hundred off just 54 balls and then grabbed three wickets in a superb allround performance. Those wickets were needed as Romesh Kaluwitharana had given Sri Lanka a flying start as they reached 46 after three overs. The chase was maintained despite Campbell's breakthroughs, and the final over began with 14 required but Hogg did just enough.

Australia will play West Indies in the Plate final.