DHAKA, Bangladesh, CMC – New Zealand yesterday powered into the semi-finals for the second successive World Cup, shocking favourites South Africa by 49 runs and extending the Proteas’ dismal run in the knock out stage of the showpiece.
The Black Caps seemed on the way out the tournament when South Africa breezed to 108 for two in the 25th over, in pursuit of 222 for victory at the Shere Bangla National Stadium.
But all-rounder Jacob Oram turned the third quarter-final on its head when he pulled off two splendid catches and produced a devastating spell of four for 39, to get the Kiwis home with 40 balls to spare.
The victory handed New Zealand their sixth World Cup semi-final berth while South Africa maintained their ignoble record of having never won a knock-out match at the tournament since their return to international cricket in 1992.
Off-spinner Nathan McCullum, who opened the bowling, finished with three for 24 and accounted for in-form opener Hashim Amla (7) at eight for one at the end of the first over.
Graeme Smith (28) and Jacques Kallis (47) put on 61 for the second wicket before captain Smith hit a wide ball from Oram to substitute Jamie How at backward point.
Kallis then anchored a 39-run, third wicket stand with AB de Villiers (35), striking three fours to put South Africa in a solid position. But Oram’s brilliant catch on the mid-wicket boundary accounted for Kallis and his dismissal triggered a collapse where the Proteas lost their last eight wickets for 64 runs. Earlier, the Black Caps got a top score of 83 from Jesse Ryder while the in-form Ross Taylor hit 43.
They combined to haul New Zealand out of danger with a 114-run, third wicket stand after the side had slipped to 16 for two in the sixth over.
Fast bowler Morne Morkel (3-46) was the leading bowler while leg-spinner Imran Tahir (2-32) and pacer Dale Steyn (2-42) finished with two apiece. New Zealand will now await the winner of today’s last quarter-final between Sri Lanka and England, before knowing their opponents in the final four..