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By Bharath Ramaraj
Mar 24, 2014
In a tense contest played between New Zealand and South Africa at Chittagong in ICC World T20 2014, Ross Taylor‘s thrill-a-minute knock couldn’t help New Zealand to win. As fingernails were chomped and hearts pumped, New Zealand lost their way right at the end to lose a heart-wrenching contest. The turning point of the game seemed to have come when Taylor took on Morne Morkel and played some wonderful shots. Dale Steyn though, bowled a fine last over to win the game for for South Africa. The South African players celebrated the victory long and hard.
Actually, despite some fine batting by Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill at top of the order, South Africa kept themselves in the game by taking wickets at regular intervals. Both Steyn and the leg-spinner Tahir bowled well during the middle overs. Corey Anderson and Colin Munro failed to impress and that resulted in extra pressure being put on Taylor.
Earlier, South Africa‘s JP Duminy, known for giving finishing touches to an innings with his pyrotechnics lifted the sagging spirits of South Africa by taking them to 170 for the loss of six wickets. He essayed shots in a 360-degree arc to leave New Zealand bowlers clueless. It was left to Corey Anderson to take the key wicket of Duminy’s partner and the dangerous, David Miller. Duminy though, continued to flay New Zealand seamers all over the park.
Able Morkel, the experienced all-rounder coming back into the setup also found the boundary boards with utmost ease. He used his muscle power to good effect to play some fine strokes. He was out to Tim Southee.
For New Zealand, Martin Guptill and especially, Williamson helped them to make a fine start, while chasing a score of 171. Williamson was very severe on the bowling of left-arm seamer, Lonwabo Tsotsobe by thumping him for 17 runs. Once Guptill lost his wicket to Albie Morkel though, South Africa were able to tie down New Zealand batsmen to some extent. It paid them rich dividends, as the leg-spinner Tahir got the wicket of New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum stumped off a wide.
After stuttering for a few overs though, New Zealand were back on track. Taylor thumped the hapless seamer Morne Morkel over mid-wicket region and straight down the ground to smash him for 19 runs in a single over. Just at the right time, Steyn took the wicket of Williamson, brilliantly caught by AB de Villiers. He was still getting it to in-slant into the batsman before shaping it away from the right-hander after the completion of 10 overs.
In the end, the champagne must have flowed liberally on Steyn after South Africa won the game.
South Africa 170 for 6 in 20 overs (Hashim Amla 41, JP Duminy 86*; Corey Anderson 2 for 28) beat New Zealand 168 for 8 in 20 overs (Kane Williamson 51, Ross Taylor 62*; Dale Steyn 4 for 17, Imran Tahir 2 for 27) by 2 runs.
Man of the Match: JP Duminy
(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)
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