|Ground:||Centurion Park, Centurion|
|Scorecard:||South Africa v New Zealand|
|Player:||WD Parnell, LRPL Taylor, AB de Villiers|
|Event:||ICC Champions Trophy 2009/10|
DateLine: 24th September 2009
Parnell and AB de Villiers ensured that South Africa remained in the ICC Champions Trophy 2009 by winning the crucial encounter against New Zealand by five wickets. Parnell bowled well to finish with a maiden five-wicket haul in his young ODI career while de Villiers compiled a serene half-century which was a perfect mixture off caution and aggression as he tamed the Kiwi bowlers. For New Zealand only Taylor batted with any semblance of authority but as he ran out off partners he could not hit the gas when it was needed. New Zealand could not complete their quota off fifty overs as they were dismissed for 214 in 47.5 overs. South Africa in reply cantered home by five wickets as they needed just 41.1 overs to reach their winning target.
The overcast conditions and moisture on the pitch prompted Smith to send New Zealand to bat after winning the toss. Ryder’s innings was cut short when a back-pedaling van der Merwe plucked a brilliant catch at mid-on of Parnell. McCullum was then joined by Guptill in the middle and the two immediately set about settling the Kiwi nerves with some sensible batting. While Steyn was parsimonious, Parnell was very generous to the batsmen as McCullum even managed to deposit him over fine-leg boundary. Kallis was brought on and unlike in the previous game was able to exert some control over the scoring. Parnell, changing ends and round the wicket, was able to coax Guptill into playing a half-hearted pull-shot to Amla at deep square-leg. Kallis and Morkel bowled full and straight denying the batsmen the width and freedom to play their shots. Once Botha and van der Merwe began to bowl in tandem the runs literally dried up.
Taylor in particular was all at sea against left arm spinner van der Merwe who was able to extract spin and bounce from the deck. After being tied up for long, McCullum tried to sweep Botha around the corner but could only manage to top edge to Duminy at short fine-leg. It was a huge blow for the New Zealand team as they needed McCullum to carry on. Taylor shelved his stroke-making tendencies to grind it out in the middle for his team and he found Elliot for company. As the ball got softer the batsmen found it very difficult to get it off the square. Taylor was sensible enough not to get frustrated by the tight bowling as he bided his time at the crease for the final assault Elliot meanwhile was able to sneak in some boundaries to push the run-rate past the four-run mark. The pair added 71 crucial runs for the fourth wicket in 15.5 overs and was looking set for the final assault. But van der Merwe had other ideas as he elicited a stubborn Elliot and brushed aside Broom to reduce New Zealand to 171 for five in 41 overs.
Taylor compiled a patient 50 off 90 balls which included three boundaries and one flat six off Kallis. The batting Powerplay was taken in the 43rd over and Taylor began to open up. Taylor who had adopted a side-on stance earlier in the innings now took a more front on stance as he favoured the leg-side. First he deposited van der Merwe into the square-leg stand and then clobbered Parnell to deep midwicket fence followed by a cheeky scoop over fine-leg for another boundary. In between Hopkins walloped two misdirected short balls from Steyn to point boundary to make use off the Powerplay. The South African bowlers, Steyn and Parnell, did well to tighten up towards the end to remove the remaining wickets to pull back the Kiwi batsmen. Hopkins and Mills were dismissed in pursuit of quick runs while Taylor was caught plumb before the stumps with an accurate yorker from Parnell. When Tuffey was picked up by Duminy at short extra-cover, Parnell got his maiden five-for in his ODI career. Steyn then wrapped up the innings with the wicket off Bond to leave South Africa 215 to win.
New Zealand needed early wickets to stymie the South African chase and the opening bowlers Mills and Bond tied down the openers with some very good bowling. Amla and Smith could not pierce the crowded inner circle and after each passing over the frustration seeped in. The Kiwi bowlers hit the area just outside the off-stump to both the batsmen and the batsmen in reply began to shuffle around in the crease to negate the approach. Smith played an authoritative pull off Tuffey through midwicket, but the bowler replied by cramping the batsman for room who lobbed an easy catch to deep-midwicket. Kallis meanwhile got into his groove immediately with an imposing pull shot and then essayed an elegant cover-drive off Bond to ease the pressure off Amla who was unable to get the boundaries.
None of the faster men could make any sort off impression on a serene looking Kallis and Vettori had to introduce himself into the attack in the 14th over off the innings. Meanwhile Bond switched his end and began to look more lethal as he began to extract pace and bounce from the deck. He troubled Kallis and Amla before cajoling an outside edge from the former. Amla never looked at ease as he played and missed several balls but still managed to hang in there. After surviving a very close run-out chance, he was trapped leg before by an arm-ball from Vettori. AB de Villiers meanwhile grew in confidence as he peppered the arc between the square-leg and long-on with some powerful shots. Duminy looked promising with a couple of shots that he played but some slick work from McCullum behind the stumps send him back to the pavilion.
Boucher joined de Villiers in the middle and the two never looked in any sort off discomfort against an increasingly toothless Kiwi bowling attack. The pair added 42 runs for the fifth-wicket in quick time thwarting any attempt by the Kiwi bowlers to make any sort off inroads. Boucher as usual was at his busy self collecting the runs in typical Boucher-manner, deft nudges, quick singles and timely boundaries to close gap between the South African score and the needed target. Just when it seemed that Boucher would see his side past the winning line, McCullum snaffled another sharp catch standing up to Tuffey. Morkel then displayed his batting prowess by biffing some powerful blows during the batting Powerplay to help South Africa canter home by five wickets.
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