ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

New Zealand v South Africa, 3rd quarter-final, World Cup 2011, Mirpur

South Africa had a long tail - Vettori

Osman Samiuddin at the Shere Bangla Stadium

March 25, 2011

Comments: 24 | Text size: A | A

Five months on from arguably their lowest moment on the field, New Zealand returned to the Shere Bangla Stadium and pulled off what must rank as one of their finest triumphs anywhere. Before the game, Daniel Vettori had shrugged off the significance of this venue and their 4-0 series loss to Bangladesh last year, maintaining that a World Cup quarter-final against South Africa was a different ball game altogether.

A shock 49-run triumph saw New Zealand into their sixth World Cup semi-final, an "amazing achievement" Vettori said for a small cricket-playing nation. "You have to move on from those things [the 4-0 loss], otherwise you will talk about them forever. South Africa, quarter-final, completely different opposition; we had experience of the ground, which suited us well and we have a team that, when it is playing well, suits those conditions, and that is what happened today."

With South Africa cruising at 108 for 2 chasing 222, New Zealand looked out of the game for three-quarters of it. But South Africa's long tail, starting with Johan Botha at No 7, and a pitch not as easy for batting as it may have first looked, meant Vettori believed through the chase there was a chance.

Daniel Vettori is ecstatic as New Zealand complete their comeback, New Zealand v South Africa, 3rd quarter-final, Mirpur, World Cup 2011, March 25, 2011
Daniel Vettori said it was an amazing achievement for a small country like New Zealand to have made six World cup semi-finals © AFP

The surface, and the occasion, he said, made 220-odd appear closer to 250. "We were desperate to get into that middle to lower order; that was our whole game plan, do whatever we can to get down there. It was always about getting past AB de Villiers. Their top four has proven themselves over a long, long time. They've got fantastic records, and I thought if we could break through that, particularly getting down to No. 6 and Botha at No. 7 meant they had a longish tail. The whole talk while we were out there and before the game was just to take wickets."

New Zealand will now travel to Colombo early on Saturday, where they will take on the winner of the quarter-final between Sri Lanka and England. They haven't yet gotten past the last four in five previous attempts, though. But, Vettori preferred to look at just getting there as the bigger feat.

"You can look at it as an amazing achievement for a country so small. That's a better way to look at it for a country of 4 million people, and we've made so many semi-finals. People will put a negative slant on it but I think it's a wonderful achievement for a country so small.

"It's a very happy dressing room, not only because we won a quarter-final, but because the performance we put in was very satisfying."

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 24 
Posted by   on (March 27, 2011, 11:37 GMT)

If Gibbs played as a number 7 batsman that would make a big differance and SA would have been in semis...

Posted by Itchy on (March 27, 2011, 0:07 GMT)

@Binu Joseph: SA also missed Mark Boucher all tournament. With him in the team you always have a feeling that SA are never out of a match.

Well done NZ (from an Australian!) - never picked you to make it through to semis.

Posted by Dorave on (March 26, 2011, 23:33 GMT)

all this talk about SAs balance .. was found out by having a too weak of a middle batting order and no players like klusener, boucher and albie morkel types.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2011, 10:16 GMT)

saf had a really good team but as many other saf fans,i was concerned about the long tail and lack of allrounders in lower order. And in the end,that caused the downfall. I hate this word but i must say saf really choked this time. Anyway i'll keep supporting them.

Posted by Smahuta on (March 26, 2011, 10:05 GMT)

Well done NZ, you beat a superior side on the day. Good luck in the next round kiwis. Take a bow.

Posted by InsideHedge on (March 26, 2011, 9:22 GMT)

Some of the SA tail panicked as Nick Knight pointed out on Sky UK such as Dale Steyn. However, the ball from Oram to dismiss Botha was a beauty: a leg cutter that left Botha playing down the wrong line. Against India, Botha played the perfect cameo.

NZ bowlers bowled according to the conditions, and the SA late middle order had no clue on this wicket. Peterson played his cut too early. These batters never got a go against Bangla a few days ago. You really had to wait, wait and wait on this wicket. A wicket which required unique batting skills, attributes that most fans don't understand esp those that flippantly conclude that Asian wickets are "roads" and easy to bat on.

The big clue for SA was Dale Steyn's 10 overs when NZ batted first. The wicket made him look like a fast-medium bowler. Given SA were to bat 2nd, their batsmen failed to adapt with the exception of Kallis, and DeVilliers.

The irony was that NZ's 4-0 defeat in Bangla earlier was the perfect preparation.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2011, 8:20 GMT)

The one problem S African cricket authorities ignore since their re-entry to world cricket is that they only beleive and prepare bouncy tracks back home, and their batsmen cant cope with other type of wickets. Especially , slow wickets where their batsmen cant chase succesfully. Playing bouncy balls is not the only way to win matches, Australia is the only country who have a mix of all types of wickets and this is why they havd dominated world cricket for that long

Posted by   on (March 26, 2011, 8:06 GMT)

I think everyone is pointing at the Choke factor but only Vettori has got the assessment right. SA for some strange reason were a batsman short and a bowler too many. With Kallis in the side I am sure one can go with two spinners + Morkel and Styn especially as Duminy, Du Pleissis etc can bowl a bit as well. Ingram would have been perfect at 7 and who knows like Yuvraj + Raina they also could have pulled it off. When you dont have the right tools, how can you cut anything.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2011, 7:26 GMT)

For South Africa, its A for Apple, B for Ball and C for CHOKE!

Posted by saketace on (March 26, 2011, 4:51 GMT)

Looks like that South Africa has only a tail in crunch matches

Posted by khalidSami on (March 26, 2011, 3:21 GMT)

How about the Black Caps- astounding performance. Experts did not pick them to even make the QF - they are now in the SF. The favourites Aus and SA are now on their way home while NZ is on their way to Colombo to play Eng/SL. I think the NZ team management and captain deserve a lot of credit for having a plan and then implementing it. SA team considered the target of 221 to be too easy and thought that they will be able to achieve this easily. They had no plan and nobody took responsibility. It was sad to see the most balanced side got eliminated in 5 overs starting with Kallis catch to DeVillers run out. SA may be better luck in 2015.

Posted by Morgsy on (March 26, 2011, 2:53 GMT)

I always thought we were a great chance to win this game. NZ have a core group of very talented players, a great coaching staff who are doing wonders and a historical knack of giving it to the Saffas. Ummm and for all those Indian supporters who were predicting a 250 run/10 wicket SA win....show some respect. Looks who's looking stupid now?! Never write off the kiwis!

Posted by   on (March 26, 2011, 2:07 GMT)

Liked the NZ approach... Good luck

Posted by   on (March 26, 2011, 1:33 GMT)

Please 108 for 2 chasing 223 is not cruising position, especially with such a long tail like SA has. It an even match. Even a 140 for 2 is reasonably evenly balanced. So stop making it like SA crashed. They didn't lose because they collapsed from a winning position. They lost because they couldn't chase 223. It dramatic enough that a strong team like SA lost to NZ (esp given their recent ODI record), so not need to make it more dramatic than it already is.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2011, 0:20 GMT)

Yes indeed they have exerted a true game against SA. All departments were very good and it was competitive. but onething i noticed NZ still needs the stability to sustain in the batting pretty much consistently. if they are going to play any sub-continent teams in semi's or in final's this might certainly not be a competitive score to defend. I pity SA once again for falling in hands of history. It was a completely a bad show by kallis whoz the most senior person in the team should have the ability to control his tempermant and it didnt happen and it went NZ way. both teams have done well. NZ shined yesterday. I wish newzeland could break the jynx of losing in semi finals. They lift the trophy if they enter finals for sure.

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (March 26, 2011, 0:13 GMT)

AND LORGAT still wants nations like NZ to go through qualifying round for participating in the next WC. He wants historical giants WI, and 6 time semifinalists NZ to be risked in qualification round for 2015 WC. Just imagine, if due to a bad day of luck some associate push any of these two out of a WC. Some one should tell Mr. Lorgat that all test playing nations must have a direct entry iin WC. He must make it to 12 participants.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 23:48 GMT)

I dont know why but I respect this guy alot!! congrats Dannie

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 22:44 GMT)

SA missed albie morkal today ...!

Posted by raglanNZfan on (March 25, 2011, 22:07 GMT)

An incredible night, and the ultimate David v Goliath. NZ = Worldbeaters!

Posted by Getitdownyou on (March 25, 2011, 22:06 GMT)

Well done blackcaps! You've done NZ proud once again.

Posted by PradeepSandra on (March 25, 2011, 21:45 GMT)

Good job kiwis...and good luck for future :)

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 21:26 GMT)

Deserved team out of world cup. Though all the best

Posted by dalok on (March 25, 2011, 21:25 GMT)

I totally agree with Dan. SA had a huge tail. They only had 3 reliable batsman in Amla, Kallis and DeVilliers. Smith and company were totally gettable and ready to throw their wickets. We saw the glimpse of that in games against Eng and to some extent against India. Good victory NZ!!!

Posted by courierpost on (March 25, 2011, 21:09 GMT)

Good on you boys once a black cap always a black cap

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Osman SamiuddinClose
Osman Samiuddin Osman spent the first half of his life pretending he discovered reverse swing with a tennis ball half-covered with electrical tape. The second half of his life was spent trying, and failing, to find spiritual fulfillment in the world of Pakistani advertising and marketing. The third half of his life will be devoted to convincing people that he did discover reverse swing. And occasionally writing about cricket. And learning mathematics.
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