ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features
Memorable New Zealand wins
When the Kiwis took flight ...
ESPNcricinfo looks back at some memorable New Zealand victories in global tournaments
March 26, 2011
New Zealand's stunning win against South Africa in Mirpur is the latest addition to a list of memorable barn-storming performances from a team that has invariably brought its A-game to the big events. ESPNcricinfo looks back at some other memorable New Zealand victories in global tournaments.
The tournament format left New Zealand needing just one upset to make it to the last four. It came in their Super Eights game against South Africa, on a damp and dark Grenada pitch that made batting a nightmare. Shane Bond and James Franklin were close to unplayable with the new ball, as South Africa lost their openers with just three runs on the board. Jacques Kallis, Herschelle Gibbs and Ashwell Prince grafted hard to put up 193 for 7, a score that bordered on the defendable, given South Africa's pace arsenal. Stephen Fleming and Scott Styris, though, stone-walled their way to half-centuries, as New Zealand ground out a win in the 49th over.
Having lost to Sri Lanka and forfeiting their game in Kenya, New Zealand had to upset South Africa to sneak into the Super Sixes, and Stephen Fleming's best one-day innings helped them do that. Herschelle Gibbs' energetic 143 had propelled South Africa to 306, but New Zealand came out throwing punches in all directions. Craig McMillan kickstarted the chase with typical flamboyance, but his dismissal, sandwiched between a power breakdown and a rain interruption, did little to thwart New Zealand's momentum. Fleming waded into the seamers with an array of explosive drives and cuts, and when Mark Boucher dropped him on 53, an upset seemed to be on the cards. Things got considerably easier for the visitors after a 52-minute rain break in the 31st over, that reduced the target to 226 off 39. Nathan Astle joined in the fun as New Zealand charged to a famous nine-wicket win.
With their World Cup dreams already shattered, India sleep-walked through their final Super Six fixture, much to New Zealand's joy. On a track with early movement, against a steadily incisive seam attack, India's in-form top three exited after making promising starts. Ajay Jadeja held things together and took them past 250, a score that had proved defendable in all but one game in the World Cup. New Zealand galloped off the blocks as Nathan Astle thumped anything loose, while Matt Horne scrapped a valuable 74. Roger Twose carried the baton for the middle order, but a late rain break and an unusually subdued Chris Cairns brought India back into the game. Adam Parore had plans of his own though, stealing five fours in 14 balls to win the game with ten balls to spare, and put his side in the semi-finals.
Martin Crowe inaugurated New Zealand's most consistent World Cup campaign with a measured 100 that paved the way for an upset of the defending champions in the opening game of the 1992 World Cup. Three early wickets had New Zealand in some strife before Crowe and Ken Rutherford revived the innings with a 118-run stand, setting Australia a target of 249. David Boon matched Crowe's effort with an even 100 of his own, but New Zealand's merry army of dibbly-dobblies, led by the miserly Gavin Larsen pulled the plug on the chase with ease. The win set the template for New Zealand's dominance in the group stage, that included wins against West Indies, India and England.
New Zealand first sprinted past Pakistan to ruin a potential India-Pakistan final clash in the ICC KnockOut, and then went on to spoil India's party with another upset in the final. Saeed Anwar scored an attractive century to set Pakistan up for a big score in the semi-final, but New Zealand restored parity through Shayne O'Connor's five-wicket haul in the end overs. Roger Twose anchored the chase of 253 with a typically gritty 87, while Craig McMillan played the finisher's role to perfection, scoring a risk-free 51 off 56 balls to set up an encounter with India. Things began to fall apart early in the final, as Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly added 141 in 26.3 overs, but New Zealand clawed their way back into the game through two run-outs. India's innings went into tailspin in the end overs, closing at 264, at least 30 runs short of what the openers had set them up for. Chris Cairns, who had missed the Pakistan game, played the innings of his life to hustle New Zealand past the finish line with two overs to spare, giving them their only piece of ICC silverware to date.
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