For the fifth consecutive Cricket World Cup, a New Zealand team has defeated South Africa. For the third time in a row, a New Zealand team has been responsible for eliminating a South African team from the World Cup. Well, okay, they have a mathematical chance of making it, but it’s next to impossible.
In keeping with the template, this match was not short on tension and saw South Africa lose the plot several times. No, it wasn’t as dramatic as the 2011 World Cup quarter-final in Dhaka. The epic 2015 World Cup semi-final at Eden Park four years ago it was definitely not. But what a game.
South Africa landed in Birmingham needing to beat New Zealand to stay in contention for the 2019 World Cup semi-finals. They were unable to at the very ground at which they last defeated the Blackcaps in a World Cup … back in 1999.
Credit for this goes to how well New Zealand worked in the field, and then how efficiently Kane Williamson batted -while outshining his team-mates – in pursuit of a target of 242. Reprieved moments apart on 76 and 77, Williamson held his nerve to produce a positively high-class innings of astute judgement and infinite patience.
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