Monday, March 24, 2014

Steyn and Duminy turn SA to thrilling win against NZ

Steyn and JP Duminy led South Africa to a thrilling win over Group One rivals New Zealand on Monday that kept back them in the hunt for a semi-final at the World T20 in Bangladesh.

South Africa, who lost their opening match to Sri Lanka, struggled early on and needed a blistering unbeaten Duminy 86 runs to reach 170 for 6. Then New Zealand seemed to be cruising in their reply thanks to Kane Williamson-51 and Ross Taylor-62.

They needed 31 off 24 deliveries with 7 wickets in hand but a brilliant 2-over spell from Steyn (4-17) turned the match on its head. The fiery paceman dismissed the risky Corey Anderson for 7 in the 18th over and then picked up two for four in the last over with the Kiwis, who beat England in their first match, requiring seven for victory.

I was thinking all the time, Dale is my trump card and I need to bring him back in the game because he was bowling wonderfully, South Africa captain du Plessis, who missed the Sri Lanka match with injury, said at the presentation.

But with the way they were hitting the ball... it was an extraordinary effort from Dale Steyn. We were in huge trouble at the start. JP Duminy took his time and then hit it sweetly at the end. Fantastic effort and one of the best innings I have seen him play.

Leg-spinner Imran Tahir also played a key role, taking 2 for 27, but paceman Morne Morkel had a day to forget as he went for 50 in 3 overs. Credit to South Africa for the way they hung in there. We probably should have won it pretty easily, New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said.

But you cannot probably take it to the last over against such an excellence bowler like Steyn. Little bit of luck today and we would have got across the line but credit to South Africa for their performance.

Duminy was full of improvised strokes, bludgeoning 10 fours and 3 sixes as his side added 70 runs in the last 5 overs.

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