New Zealand v South Africa

World Twenty20, 2009

At Lord's, June 9 (floodlit). South Africa won by one run. South Africa 2 pts. Toss: New Zealand. Twenty20 international debut: B. J. Diamanti.

Both teams had qualified for the next phase, and New Zealand, struggling with injuries, omitted three first-choice players. Yet this match fizzed into life to spark a memorable if meaningless conclusion. South Africa set off at a daunting pace, but the advent of spin, as so often, transformed the innings. Nathan McCullum's first over of off-breaks cost just two, and South Africa lost all impetus. Sharp fielding, typified by stand-in captain Brendon McCullum's lightning pick-up-and-throw to remove Kallis, was almost as restrictive as the slow bowling. South Africa limped to 128. Brendon McCullum seemed determined to claim bragging rights with a swift and comprehensive win, but South Africa had two spinners to New Zealand's one and, ultimately, Daniel Vettori's absence proved vital. Van der Merwe's accuracy was exceptional; Botha's not far behind. New Zealand, flattered by the final margin, simply lost control of the run-chase. Worse still, Taylor suffered an injured hamstring as South Africa set a record for the lowest winning total in full-length Twenty20 internationals.

Man of the Match: R. E. van der Merwe. Attendance: 21,809.

© John Wisden & Co.