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By Bharath Ramaraj
Mar 24, 2014
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 in ICC World T20 2014 match against New Zealand. 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.
Earlier, New Zealand won the toss and elected to bowl. The steady seamer, Kyle Mills known for taking wickets in his first over opened the bowling for New Zealand. Both South African openers, Amla and Quinton de Kock were cautious while facing up to Mills, as he got a nice shape away from both the batsmen. Even the left-arm seamer Mitchell McClenaghan was getting a nice shape away from both of them.
It was the left-hander de Kock who finally tried to be aggressive. However, Amla was the one who found the boundary boards first with a fine pull shot on the backfoot. Actually, Amla survived a tough chance when Guptill dropped a tough chance off Mills’s bowling. Mills though, took the wicket of de Kock by getting him caught behind the stumps. Once de Kock got out, they lost two more wickets quickly.
The experienced duo of Amla and Duminy tried to essay strokes but New Zealand bowlers, especially, Nathan McCullum kept the batsmen on a tight leash. It was something to see even Amla’s willowy wrists on occasions not being able to find gaps with needlepoint precision. Just in nick of time though, Duminy played a few heart-warming strokes to keep the scoreboard ticking.
Amla, finally got out in a bizarre fashion when he swatted Corey Anderson only for it hit the slice of Duminy’s bat and for the bowler to complete an easy catch.
South Africa 170 for 6 in 20 overs (Hashim Amla 41, JP Duminy 86*; Corey Anderson 2 for 28) vs New Zealand.
(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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