Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Proteas Crush New Zealand to face Pakistan in finals

Batting first the New Zealanders had a disappointing start when they lost opener Daniel Vettori in the very first over. The crisis deepened when Nathan Astle was out in the 5th over with the score board showing a total of 10 runs.

The crisis turned into a real disaster when New Zealand had lost 5 wickets for 55 runs. Amongst them Chris Cairns was the one who provided some stability to the innings with a valuable contribution of 27 runs to the innings.

The Proteas having put New Zealand under tremendous pressure 2 more wickets fell with the score at 94 for 7. Chris Harris however, showed the courage to keep the innings intact. He was out after playing a heroic innings of 42 taking the New Zealanders to 129 for 8. Not being able to face the Proteas onslaught New Zealand were all out for 158 runs offering South Africa an easy target of 159 runs to win. South Africa's bowling was accurate but not devastating. It was lack of application on the part of the New Zealand batsmen, responsible for ending up with a low total of 158.

Facing an easy target of 159 runs to win, South Africa displayed their aggressive designs from the very beginning. Having planned to win with grandeur, Gary Kirsten and Andrew Hall took a brilliant start with a streak of boundaries hit all over the field. Of the two Kirsten was more hostile to all bowlers. Their complete command over the game made the New Zealand bowlers look ordinary. In 10 overs the Proteas were 57 for no loss with Kirsten (30) and Hall (20) firmly entrenched on the crease.

The two batsmen continued with their run spree when New Zealand were able to make the first break through. After playing an exciting innings of 46 Andrew Hall gave a flying catch to Cairns off Wiseman and was out. South Africa lost the 1st wicket at 94.

Jacques Kallis came in to bat and was out after contributing invaluable 22 runs. The 2nd wicket fell at 141, when South Africa only needed 18 runs to win.

Daryll Cullinan joined the sheet anchor Kirsten and both of them steadily advanced towards the target. Anxiety prevailed all over, the spectators waiting for the moment of glory for South Africa. It came with an easy drive for 2 runs from Kirsten off Styris. He deserved felicitations for playing a gallant innings of 75 not out and bringing his team on the victory stand and also for completing his 5000 runs in one-day cricket. South Africa defeated New Zealand by 8 wickets.