Home > Features > Moments in history >

ICC World Cup 2011: Plucky New Zealand defeat favourites South Africa in a cliffhanger

New Zealand players celebrate as JP Duminy (center) was cleaned up by Nathan McCullum © Getty Images
New Zealand players celebrate as JP Duminy (center) was cleaned up by Nathan McCullum © Getty Images

 

In ICC World Cup 2011 held in the subcontinent, New Zealand upset the apple-cart and defeated a pillaging South African setup at Mirpur in a quarter-final encounter. Bharath Ramaraj rekindles fond memories from the see-saw game.

In ICC World Cup 2011, when underdogs New Zealand took on hot favourites South Africa in Mirpur, few expected the un-fancied New Zealand side to win. They were the virtual outsiders who were expected to reach the quarter-final stage and bow out of the tournament. But, by playing with unbridled enthusiasm and self-belief, New Zealand flagged down South Africa to reach the semi-final stage of the tournament.

South Africa had come into the game against New Zealand on the back of defeating eventual champions, India during the group stage of the World Cup. In a high voltage contest with Indian fans screaming every-time, an Indian cricketer clambered a towering six or took a wicket, they reduced them to pin drop silence by beating them in a humdinger. Unfortunately, in the quarter-final it was back to square-one for South Africa, as they lost the game and the chokers tag came back to haunt them.


On a slow track, New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat. It was the controversial batsman Jesse Ryder who stood toe-to-toe against South African bowlers to compile an enterprising knock of 83 runs. The only other batsman to stand up and be counted for the Kiwis was their key player, Ross Taylor. He accrued 43 runs.

South African bowlers including the quickies, Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn shared the wickets between them. They struck to their old stratagem against New Zealand of bowling back of a length and not giving the batsmen any width to free their arms. This is a strategy that has worked for them against New Zealand ever since they came back from their isolation in 1991. However, the fact that surprised one-and-all was South African spinners, Robin Peterson and Imran Tahir too snaring wickets.

Now, South Africa in the last two decades have rarely produced fine spinners. But when Tahir got a few to skid off the surface to trouble New Zealand batsmen with his deceptive googly, it was a strange sight to see.

With New Zealand ending up with just 221 runs on the board, South Africa were the red hot favourites to chase it down. At two for 108 after the completion of 24 overs, it seemed like South Africa were cruising towards a well-deserved win. Just like red-lightning strikes though, the game suddenly changed on its head with the veteran Jacques Kallis being caught by the tall all-rounder, Jacob Oram.

It was a catch that was a shining example of true excellence. Kallis played a full-blooded hook shot and Oram had to showcase tremendous judgment to take a running catch at mid-wicket. Once New Zealand took the wicket of Kallis, the fire in their belly never seemed to extinguish. Fulcrum of South Africa’s batting line-up, AB de Villiers was run out and a shaky looking JP Duminy didn’t last long either.

It was left to Faf du Plessis to shepherd the innings for South Africa.  He was already known for his fortitude and for displaying calm head on shoulders under pressure cooker situations, while playing for Lancashire on tricky wickets. But playing at the highest level and that too in a World Cup was a different matter altogether.

A dejected South African skipper Graeme Smith, after the shocking loss to New Zealand on March 25, 2011 © Getty Images
A dejected South African skipper Graeme Smith, after the shocking loss to New Zealand on March 25, 2011 © Getty Images

Poor South African fans, their hearts must have pumped and jiggered against rib-cages and fingernails chomped every second, as that dreaded chokers tag was likely going to haunt them again. Du Plessis though, did try to make a good fist of it. As New Zealand bowlers especially, their captain, Vettori and Oram respectively, took pace off the ball, it became a mighty struggle for him. With wickets falling at other end like nine pins though, it was time for him to take charge of the situation and change gears.  He launched a hefty blow that soared deep into the orbit for a six over extra cover off Oram’s bowling. Incidentally, Oram had dropped a caught and bowled chance, the ball before. However, in an attempt to go for another big heave, du Plessis could only hole out to Tim Southee. It was the last nail in the coffin for South Africa, as they were left with only the last pair Morkel and Tahir at the crease.

With left-arm spinner Luke Woodcock snaring the wicket of last man, Tahir, New Zealand had turned the tables around and beaten the South African side. It was yet again a case of despair for South Africa in a major event. The sheer disbelief on captain Graeme Smith’s face said it all. Oram for his splendid catch and four wickets was justifiably declared Man of the Match.

Brief scores:

 

New Zealand 221 for 8 in 50 overs (Jesse Ryder 83, Ross Taylor 43; Morne Morkel 3 for 46) beat South Africa 172 in 43.2 overs (Jacques Kallis 47, Faf du Plessis 36; Jacob Oram 4 for 39) by 49 runs.

Man of the Match: Jacob Oram

(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 28, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

Afghanistan tour of UAE, 2014

Nov 28, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Dubai

More

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 124 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 25 runs

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Photos

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos

Videos

Phil Hughes passes away: Video tribute

Live Cricket Score, Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 4th ODI at Dhaka: Shakib picks up two quick wickets

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs New Zealand, 3rd Test at Sharjah, Day 2: Brendon McCullum records fastest Test century by NZ batsman; Visitors reach 164/1 at tea

Phillip Hughes 7th-youngest Test cricketer to die

Phillip Hughes: A brief look at the career of one of Australia’s most promising talents

Phillip Hughes: Rest in peace

Australia England India India tour of Australia 2014-15 New Zealand New Zealand tour of UAE 2014 New Zealand vs Pakistan New Zealand vs Pakistan 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs New Zealand Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014 Phil Hughes Phil Hughes Death Phil Hughes head injury Phillip Hughes

Anil Kumble’s company launches talent hunt for spinners in Karnataka

Kings XI Punjab announces collaboration with AIDS Healthcare Foundation

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 3rd Test at Sharjah: Brendon McCullum ton guides NZ to 164/1 at tea

Phillip Hughes’ death: Andy Murray expresses sorrow

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 3rd Test at Sharjah: Brendon McCullum scores 2nd fastest fifty by NZ batsman

Sean Abbott will find the road ahead a living nightmare

Phillip Hughes’ death: What happens to India vs Australia Test series?

Phillip Hughes 63 not out, forever

Henry Blofeld: Nephew of an England captain?

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: Pakistan top-order prevails once again

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Pukaar’s Rannvijay Singh will face new challenges with ‘Zen Life’

Yami Gautam Birthday: The Vicky Donor girl turns 26 (In Pics)

6 medical miracles that will blow your mind

OPEC daily basket price closes over three US dollars lower

Badlapur new poster: Varun Dhawan stuns us with his deadly rugged avatar – view pic!

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

6 must-have aromatherapy oils for your medicine cabinet

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here