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June 9, 2009
News : New Zealand fret over injury list
Report : South Africa seal low-scoring thriller
Matches: New Zealand v South Africa at Lord's
Series/Tournaments: ICC World Twenty20
Nasty blow of the day
As Kyle Mills moved around from point to collect Graeme Smith's dab towards third man it all looked a fairly innocuous piece of cricket. However, Mills then began to writhe around the ground in agony. Slowly the picture came to light as the replay showed the ball bounce up and strike Mills where, if he'd been batting, there would have been a box to protect in. This time, though, there was no plastic to dull the strike and it took Mills a minute to compose himself before he could continue. And, yes, there were a few giggles. Aren't there always?
Pain of the day
New Zealand already had three players missing from this game with various injuries so watching Ross Taylor pull up with a leg problem won't have made them feel any better. He was sprinting back for a tight second as Kallis hurled in his throw and as he crossed the crease pulled up sharply and grabbed his hamstring. For a moment he was heading straight off thinking he was out, but he'd just made his ground so opted to bat on with a runner. The seriousness of the injury will determine if he gets another innings in this tournament.
Flick of the day
Brendon McCullum normally finds himself behind the stumps but has handed over the gloves to Peter McGlashan early in this tournament and is proving a useful addition in the field. South Africa had made a steady start to reach 49 without loss when McCullum intercepted Smith's shot at midwicket and flicked the ball into the stumps at the non-striker's end. Nobody seemed to think that Jacques Kallis was out, but the relays revealed a different picture and he was short by an inch. Maybe it's time to put those keeping gloves away for a bit longer.
Duck of the day
Roelef van de Merwe made his name on the South African domestic circuit as someone who throws the bat and followed that trend in his early international games and some cameos at the IPL. Today, though, it didn't quite go to plan as he played out five dot balls, despite trying a range of shots from the cut to the reverse sweep, before coming down the pitch and yorking himself against Nathan McCullum. It came in a period of the innings where South Africa stalled badly and from overs seven to 13 they added just 21 runs.
Spell of the day
When Ian Butler made his international debut against England in 2002 he was picked mainly because of his pace as New Zealand tried to cover for an injury to Shane Bond. The 2009 version of Butler is a very different bowler having cut down on the speed and improved the accuracy. He held his nerve during the Seven7 against Scotland to claim the Man of the Match and in this outing produced New Zealand's third-most economical Twenty20 figures, and the second-best for a completed four-over spell behind Bond. The second coming for Butler may not be as flashy, but it could be the making of him.
Spell of the day II
van der Merwe may have struggled with the bat, but being an allrounder he had a second chance and made up with it with the ball. The New Zealanders had huge problems trying to get his left-arm spin away as he sent down his four overs for a meagre 14 runs and picked up the wickets of Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum for good measure. His strangle proved the crucial spell.
Rather meaningless cliff-hanger of the day
For such a thrilling finish, it's a shame this match doesn't actually mean anything. Both teams had already qualified and no points are carried forward to the Super Eights. Still, it gave the decent crowd some good entertainment before they battled the London transport system during a Tube strike. With 10 needed off three balls, Jacques Kallis dropped a catch that could have sealed it, then Jacob Oram inside-edged for four. With four needed off one ball, though, Oram could only club two down the ground. In truth, it wasn't a very good chase from New Zealand as they finished just four wickets down. They'll be glad it doesn't mean anything.
Stats highlights from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Dharamsala