South Africa delivered a commanding performance across all aspects of the game, clinching a 190-run win over high-flying New Zealand in a pivotal World Cup 2023 match at MCA International Stadium, Pune, on Wednesday.
In the lead-up, powerful performances by Quinton de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen enabled South Africa to set an imposing target of 358 runs for New Zealand. Proteas skipper Temba Bavuma and de Kock made a strong start, with Bavuma hitting several confident strokes. However, Bavuma was dismissed by Trent Boult, who induced an edge that went to the first slip.
Despite Glenn Phillips’ fiery knock of 60 runs, it was not enough to save his side from defeat. South Africa’s Keshav Maharaj claimed a four-wicket haul, while Marco Jansen took three wickets, dismantling the opponent’s batting order.
New Zealand was bowled out for 167 runs in 35.2 overs while attempting to chase down a daunting target of 358 runs to solidify their position in the top four of the points table. The Kiwis faced an early setback in the third over as opener Devon Conway was dismissed for just two runs by Marco Jansen. Jansen struck again in the ninth over, removing Rachin Ravindra for a mere nine runs. Will Young attempted to boost the chase but was dismissed for 33 by Gerald Coetzee. Following that, Skipper Tom Latham fell, followed by a rapid loss of four wickets.
For New Zealand, Mitch Santner remained a potent force with 14 wickets at the tournament, and South Africa was cautious of his bowling skills. Quinton de Kock was in fine form for the Proteas, having already scored three centuries and 431 runs in the tournament.
In a pre-match analysis, it was noted that a victory in this crucial match would put the winner one step closer to a semi-final spot in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, while the loser could be vulnerable to teams in pursuit. Currently occupying the second and third positions in the standings, the two sides are set to meet again in the semi-finals if they maintain their positions at the end of the group phase.
Despite the thrilling encounter, the two teams had not met in an ODI since the last World Cup in England and Wales in 2019, where the Kiwis emerged victorious. Kane Williamson was expected to return from his thumb injury to lead New Zealand, while Lockie Ferguson and Mark Chapman were dealing with injuries.
New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Will Young.
South Africa squad: Temba Bavuma (c), Gerald Coetzee, Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Lizaad Williams.