Wills World Cup, Group B


At Faisalabad, February 20. South Africa won by five wickets. Toss: New Zealand.

South Africa cruised to victory with 12.3 overs to spare after superlative out-cricket restricted New Zealand to 177 on a good pitch. The South Africans' fielding had been famous since their return to international cricket four years before, but coach Bob Woolmer described this display as "close to awesome - the best since I've been in charge". They pulled off three run-outs (two thanks to Kirsten), though the first was slightly suspect, as it was given on the basis of an inadequate TV replay. There was no square-leg camera and the third umpire had to give his verdict on a distant view from behind the bowler's arm. It was the second time in four days that Astle had been run out in the second over. In contrast, New Zealand gave both South African openers lives in the first three overs of their reply. When Morrison did make the breakthrough, by bowling Palframan, it brought in Cronje, who stormed to 78 in 64 balls, striking three sixes and 11 fours. By the time he went, the result was inevitable and Germon's meagre consolation was that New Zealand conceded no extras.

Man of the Match: W. J. Cronje.

© John Wisden & Co