A Thriller of a match New Zealand vs. South Africa

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BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JUNE 19: Kane Williamson of New Zealand celebrates his century during the Group Stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between New Zealand and South Afica at Edgbaston on June 19, 2019 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

New Zealand 245 for 6 (Williamson 106*, de Grandhomme 60, Morris 3-49) beat South Africa 241 for 6 (Van der Dussen 67, Ferguson 3-59) by four wickets

What a match that we witnessed, South Africa were batting first and they played the slowest innings of their life, Amla scored 55 runs from 83 balls this is the slowest 50 of his career he had scored,hardly anyone had a strike rate about 60, only van der Dussen and Miller and that was in the latter stages. This slow innings which South Africa  played, they seemed very hesitant to be playing the big shots and Dussen and Miller showed some fire power but it was a little too late in the innings, they had wickets in hand so should have definitely scored more freely than they did. They have the batsman to hit the boundaries but two of the big hitters Du Plessis and De Kock were out quite cheaply 5 and 23 respectively.

The South African batting line-up has not really looked confident at all throughout this whole tournament, and they definitely need to go back to the drawing board and workout where are they going wrong. As this is a team who has the players to beat any team, but are not living up to their potential. South Africa reached 241 runs with the loss of 6 wickets.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – JUNE 19: Aiden Markram of South Africa batting during the Group Stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between New Zealand and South Africa at Edgbaston on June 19, 2019 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

New Zealand bowled fantastically they didn’t really give the South African batsman a chance to score boundaries, they really restricted them, but at the same time South Africa never really took any risks and played a safe innings probably a bit too safe. Nonetheless Ferguson definitely was the standout bowler taking 3-59 runs with an economic rate 5.90, but a mention has to be given to Grandhomme who may have not got any wickets but bowled exceedingly well as well only giving away 33 runs in his allotted 10 overs.

Williamson was the main man for New Zealand he took the game away from South Africa, he played a really good innings his partnership with Grandhomme was a treat to watch. South Africa really fumbled in the field, and missed quite a few chances to get Williamson out, he went onto to score a century. South Africa did take the match down to the wire but Williamson was still there in the final overs and he got the runs needed to win the game. Williamson grafted a masterclass of an innings he was calm and collected, and saw it through till the end.

Morris bowled really well, he made early inroads for South Africa but they didn’t capitalise on that really. South Africa were beaten again by New Zealand in the World Cup, this will definitely haunt them once again as New Zealand keep on getting the upper hand against South Africa in the World Cup it has become a reoccurring trend for them.

New Zealand won the match by 4 wickets with 3 balls to spare.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – JUNE 19: Kane Williamson of New Zealand celebrates his century during the Group Stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between New Zealand and South Afica at Edgbaston on June 19, 2019 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Post match commentary (credit espncricinfo.com)

More from Kane Williamson: To be honest, when we went out there this morning, I thought the wicket was soft. And naturally they didn’t have the best weather to harden up. So bowling was what both teams are looking to do. We knew we had to adapt quickly. It usually is when it hardens up. Try and read it as you go. Someone as de Grandhomme bowls beautifully in Test cricket when you hit the area and out here that area was the most important thing. The slower bowlers felt they were the hardest to get away and that’s what we were looking to do. [on batting with de Grandhomme] You have a quiet chat. Hey, play your natural game and he’s done it a number of times. He’s your X-factor player and what an occastion to do it. On that wicket. It wasn’t easy to play a knock like that. Trying to get across the line, we’ve played on a variety of surfaces. You look at the other side of the country and they score 350 but that’s not been us. But yeah, it’s not looking too far ahead and trying to achieve things aren’t necessary. But we know there are a number of tough games coming up

Faf du Plessis says: We were aiming 260. I thought that was par on this wicket. The chat in the team room was to aim at 260 and 270. So we fell short. So good bowling from New Zealand and not getting boundaries away by us played a part. Individual batters will look at having an opportunity at facing a bowler that the fancy. Kane showed that. He also found it difficult to score but he waited for the guy he could hit. We also had a lot of stop start stop start innings but Kane batted through for the hundred and that was the game changer. We did everything we could. We threw ourselves a round. The energy was unbelievable. Sure, there was sometimes that we dropped intensity. But Kane took it away from us. [On missing DRS to get Williamson out] Was that lbw out? I don’t know. Which one is that. I don’t know. Oooh the nick. Oh well. There was no real appeal. No real lets have a look at it. So yeah, ask him [Imran Tahir] That’s all we can do. The performances haven’t been there. Individually we should have put on performances that could have driven the team home. But now we have to just try out best to compete again”

Kane Williamson is the Man of the Match: Yeah, it was nice to be there at the end. We knew from the first half that it was a tough surface – it was pretty soft and the ball was holding up in the surface. We managed to build the pressure by bowling in the right areas. We then had to build partnerships, but we kept losing unfortunate wickets that made life difficult. De Grandhomme stood out for me with the ball and then providing impetus with the bat. Trying to get through the tough parts – it was about communicating with the partners and feeding off them. Neesham and de Grandhomme both scored at a reasonable clip, so it was about taking the game deep. I was trying trying to do the job and fortunate I could do that. Today was a close one – could have gone either way – but nice to get the win in the end

Trying to get through the tough parts. You know you’ll face dot balls out there because it was basically standing up in the surface. So we just had to build partnerships. Neesham and de Grandhomme (60 off 47) scored a bit quicker at the other end so I could just sit in at my end.

Trying to do the job as well as you can and I was fortunate to have been able to do it today. There was a number of other contributions that was vital. One of those surfaces that provides close game and a spectacle.