JP Duminy blasted an unbeaten 86 and Dale Steyn bowled a sensational last over as South Africa pulled off a dramatic two-run win over New Zealand to bring their ICC World Twenty20 campaign back on track.
Riding on Duminy’s blistering knock, South Africa collected 70 runs in the last five overs and posted a challenging 170 for six after being invited to bat in the thrilling Group 1 match. The left-hander single handedly took his side to a formidable total as he hit 10 fours and three sixes in his 43-ball innings.
The Kiwis were cruising towards the target with Ross Taylor (62) and Kane Williamson (51) batting superbly but leg-spinner Imran Tahir (2/27) and Steyn (4/17) took wickets at key moments to turn the tide in South Africa’s favour.
New Zealand needed seven runs off the last over, in which Steyn scalped two batsmen, effected a run out and conceded just a boundary as the Kiwis ended at 168 for eight. Steyn was too hot to handle for the Kiwi batsmen as he removed Luke Ronchi off the first ball. He next bowled two dot balls, conceded a four on the fourth and dismissed Nathan McCullum on the fifth. Taylor was at the strike with his side needing three to win off the last ball but he could just connect the ball and ended up running himself out.
South Africa had lost their first match to Sri Lanka while New Zealand had defeated England.
The Kiwis had a steady start with openers Williamson and Martin Guptill (22) raising a 57-run stand in seven overs. Williamson played aggressor as he broke the shackles by punishing pacer Morne Morkel. Williamson hit Morkel for a six and two fours to collect 16 runs from the fifth over. Guptill then creamed three boundaries in the next Lonwabo Tsotsobe over.
With nothing going South Africa’s way, skipper Faf du Plessis handed the ball to Albie Morkel and medium pacer responded to the SOS call with a wicket in his very first ball. Guptill miscued a pull, giving a simple catch to wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock.
Tahir had Brendon McCullum stumped but Taylor was batting superbly from the other end. He hit three consecutive sixes of Morne Morkel. Soon after completing his half-century Williamson became Steyn’s first victim but New Zealand were comfortably placed at 140 for three in 16 overs at that stage.
Tahir bowled a sensational 17th over, in which he conceded just two runs and dismissed Colin Munro. However, Taylor and Ronchi reeled off 14 runs off Morne Morkel in the 19th over to yet again swing the match in their favour.
But Steyn produced an exceptional final over and kept his side in the hunt for the continued…