New Zealand’s decision to bowl first after winning the toss backfired as the Proteas posted 357/4 on the board. Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma got off to a watchful start before the South African captain perished cheaply again for 24. He played a loose drive outside off and was caught at slip off Trent Boult’s bowling.
The Kiwi bowlers kept things in check in the first half of the innings and did not allow South Africa to break free. However, what the batting side did very well during this phase was to bide their time and not lose any wickets. And once they opened up, there was no stopping de Kock (114 off 116) and Rassie van der Dussen (133 off 118).
The duo featured in a game-defining partnership, adding exactly 200 for the second wicket to lay the platform for a huge total. De Kock struck 10 fours and three sixes en route to his fourth hundred of the World Cup before perishing to comeback pacer Tim Southee. Following De Kock’s exit, van der Dussen added 78 for the third wicket with David Miller (53 off 30).
Van der Dussen’s brilliant knock, which featured nine fours and five sixes, ended when he was cleaned up by Southee. Miller hammered two fours and four sixes, striking at 176.67, before falling to a smart catch from Daryl Mitchell on the ropes. Aiden Markram faced only one ball and slammed it for six, which defined the day for both sides in a nutshell.
Chasing 358, New Zealand never got close to the target as South Africa were brilliant with the ball. Devon Conway (2) was caught at slip off Marco Jansen (3/31). Rachin Ravindra (9) also perished to Jansen, top-edging a bouncer. Will Young looked good for his 33 before being caught behind off Gerald Coetzee.
Tom Latham (4) and the in-form Daryl Mitchell (24) perished to Kagiso Rabada (1/16) and Keshav Maharaj (4/46) respectively. Glenn Phillips resisted with 60 off 50 balls, but Maharaj and Jansen combined to consign the Kiwis to their third consecutive defeat.
--By A Cricket Correspondent