Ballistic: Justin Kemp's assured hitting ensured that South Africa were throughout in control © Getty Images|
A sensational four-wicket burst from Mornè Morkel and a devastating
display of power-hitting from Justin Kemp took South Africa to a
six-wicket victory over New Zealand, a result that saw England eliminated
from the tournament. Both South Africa and New Zealand will take their
places in the last four if India lose to England later on Wednesday.
Kemp thumped six sixes and half a dozen fours in as brutal a display of
shotmaking as you could hope to see, and his partnership of 65 with Mark
Boucher transformed the game after New Zealand had grabbed three early
wickets in defence of 153. In truth though, South Africa's victory was set
up by their bowlers, who fought back ferociously after Brendan McCullum
and Lou Vincent had given New Zealand the perfect start.
South Africa were in real strife early on with the bat, as Graeme Smith
edged Shane Bond behind, and AB de Villiers followed suit with a lazy waft
at Mark Gillespie. Herschelle Gibbs played a couple of handsome strokes
but when Jeetan Patel took a tidy catch in the deep off Chris Martin's
bowling, the scoreboard showed 45 for 3.
As is his wont, Kemp took his time to find his range, but once he did, he
was unstoppable. Jacob Oram was the first to feel the heat, lofted for a
huge six over long-on and then flicked through midwicket for four. There
was finesse too, a cut for four off Daniel Vettori, but he was at his most
intimidating when muscling the ball straight or over midwicket for sixes.
Martin went for two, and even Boucher's exit, caught behind, didn't stem
After getting to 50 in 42 balls, Kemp struck massive sixes off Oram and
Vettori, before finishing the match with a mighty swing over long-on.
Shaun Pollock played his part with a brisk 16, as South Africa sauntered
home with five balls remaining.
They should have been chasing far more than 154 though. McCullum had
exploded into life in Pollock's second over, lofting one over extra-cover
for four and then sending another soaring on to the roof of the stand at
midwicket. Pollock's punishment didn't end there, with his next over
featuring another slog over midwicket and two thumps past mid-on. Andrè
Nel, who replaced Makhaya Ntini, was much more economical, but with
Vincent working the ball around cleverly and clubbing the odd four
himself, New Zealand had the perfect start.
Morne Morkel put South Africa in a dominant position with figures of 4 for 17 that helped restrict New Zealand to 153
© Getty Images|
It took a superb over from Mornè Morkel to bring South Africa back into
contention. McCullum's extravagant drive flew off the edge to Boucher, and
four balls later, Ross Taylor's attempt at a cut also nestled in Boucher's
gloves. When Johan van der Wath cleaned up Vincent going for the big
heave, South Africa were right back in it.
Craig McMillan came in and lofted a huge six over cover off Vernon
Philander, but with Albie Morkel showcasing his ability to bowl accurately
as well, New Zealand were being reined back in. Reward for Morkel's
accuracy came in the form of Scott Styris's wicket, caught in the deep by
McMillan, who batted beautifully for 48, hinted at a furious late
inslaught, taking 24 in Albie Morkel's third over, including a massive six
over midwicket, but when Mornè Morkel came back to bowl the dangerous
Oram, New Zealand ran out of momentum. Albie Morkel took a stunning catch
to send back Vettori and his younger brother could have had the first
five-for in this format but for Billy Doctrove calling no-ball after he
had bowled Gillespie. By then, New Zealand's sparkling start had long
receded into the distance, leaving South Africa and Kemp to complete the
formalities. They did so in some style.
Dileep Premachandran is an associate editor on Cricinfo