Since 1992 World Cup, when the sides clashed for the first time, incidentally at Auckland, New Zealand have won four of the six matches.
What’s even more interesting is that the last three times the sides have clashed, New Zealand have emerged winner every time.
Here’s a look at the six World Cup clashes between New Zealand and South Africa
New Zealand v South Africa, World Cup 1992, Auckland
First-timers South Africa collapsed in the face of some accurate New Zealand bowling. Only veteran Peter Kirsten with a patient 90 of 129 balls offered any kind of resistance. South Africa were restricted to 190 for seven in their 50 overs in this league tie. New Zealand’s chase took off in style as man of the match Mark Greatbatch (68 off 60 balls) and Rod Latham (60 off 69 balls) added 114 for the opening wicket. In the end, New Zealand ran home as easy winners in just 34.3 overs with seven wickets in hand.
Brief Scores: South Africa 190-7 in 50 overs (Peter Kirsten 90; Willie Watson 2-30, Chris Cairns 2-43) lost to New Zealand 191-3 in 34.3 overs (Mark Greatbatch 68, Rod Latham 60, Andrew Jones 34 not out); Result: New Zealand won by seven wickets
New Zealand v South Africa, World Cup 1996, Faisalabad
This time, it was South Africa who were a well-oiled machine on a roll. They had made solid progress as a squad between the two World Cups. New Zealand on the other hand had slipped considerably, thanks mainly to a number of leadership changes after Martin Crowe was no longer in favour. New Zealand batted first and were restricted to 177 for nine in their 50 overs in this league match. The pace of Allan Donald made all the difference, as New Zealand’s major contributors were Stephen Fleming (33) and skipper Lee Germon (31 not out). South Africa’s chase was fashioned by their captain and player of the match Hansie Cronje’s 64-ball 78, as they chased down the target in 37.3 overs with five wickets to spare.
Brief Scores: New Zealand 177-9 in 50 overs (Stephen Fleming 33, Lee Germon 31; Allan Donald 3-34) lost to South Africa 178-5 in 37.3 overs (Hansie Cronje 78, Gary Kirsten 35); Result: South Africa won by five wickets
New Zealand v South Africa, World Cup 1999, Edgbaston, Birmingham
South Africa continued their excellent run as a side in the lead-up to the 1999 World Cup as well. They were considered favourites to win the title even this time. They batted first against New Zealand this time around in this Super Six match and posted 287 for five in their 50 overs. Gary Kirsten (82) and Herschelle Gibbs (91) laid the foundation with a fine 176-run opening stand. Thereafter, Jacques Kallis slammed an unbeaten 53 off 36 balls as South Africa ended on a strong note. New Zealand’s chase never took off as they lost wickets at regular intervals. The most impressive bowler for South Africa was player of the match Kallis who ended with two for 15 in six overs.
Brief Scores: South Africa 287 for five in 50 overs (Gary Kirsten 82, Herschelle Gibbs 91, Jacques Kallis 53 not out) beat New Zealand 213-8 in 50 overs (Stephen Fleming 42, Roger Twose 35; Jacques Kallis 2-15, Lance Klusener 2-46, Hansie Cronje 2-37); Result: South Africa won by 74 runs.
New Zealand v South Africa, World Cup 2003, Johannesburg
Roles were reversed this time as New Zealand were the more settled side in comparison to South Africa. The cricket in South Africa had gone through a major upheaval thanks to the match-fixing scandal. Yet, when South Africa posted 306 for six in their 50 overs on their home turf, they were expected to win this league game. Herschelle Gibbs top-scored with 143. New Zealand’s chase was restricted by rain, but still they were on course to chase down the reduced target of 226 in 39 overs. Player of the match Stephen Fleming led from the front as he smashed his career-best 134 not out off 132 balls. In the end New Zealand chased down the target in 36.5 overs to win by nine wickets.
Brief Scores: South Africa 306-6 in 50 overs (Herschelle Gibbs 143, Lance Klusener 33 not out) lost to New Zealand 229-1 in 36.5 overs (Stephen Fleming 134 not out, Nathan Astle 54 not out); Result: New Zealand won by nine wickets (via D/L)
New Zealand v South Africa, World Cup 2007, St George’s, Grenada
New Zealand sealed yet another semi-final berth with an easy five-wicket win in this Super Eight encounter. South Africa batted first and were in trouble at 52 for three. Herschelle Gibbs, now batting in the middle-order, top-scored with an uncharacteristic 100-ball 60 as South Africa posted 193 for seven in their 50 overs. For New Zealand, Craig McMillan’s bustling medium-pace proved to be the game changer as he ended with figures of 3-23. In their chase, New Zealand lost a couple of early wickets, but skipper Stephen Fleming (50) ensured that there were no further hiccups. Later, all-rounder Scott Styris (56) and player of the match McMillan (38 not out) sealed the issue with some patient batting.
Brief Scores: South Africa 193-7 in 50 overs (Herschelle Gibbs 60, Ashwell Prince 37; Craig McMillan 3-23, Shane Bond 2-26) lost to New Zealand 196-5 in 48.2 overs (Scott Styris 56, Stephen Fleming 50, Craig McMillan 38 n.o.); Result: New Zealand won by five wickets
New Zealand v South Africa, World Cup 2011 Quarter-Final, Mirpur
New Zealand were the underdog going into this clash as South Africa were yet again the favourite for the title. New Zealand struggled while batting as only Jesse Ryder showed some fight with a 121-ball 83. Of the others, except Ross Taylor (43) and Kane Williamson (38 not out), there was not much of a show as New Zealand ended at 221 for eight in 50 overs. Morne Morkel with 3-46 and Dale Steyn with 2-42 were the best on view for South Africa. In their chase, South Africa were progressing well at 108 for two in 24 overs when the tide turned. They lost wickets at regular intervals and that too to Jacob Oram’s medium-pace (4-39). Nathan McCullum with 3-24 was the other good bowler.
Player of the match Oram also weighed in with an exceptional catch of Jacques Kallis that turned the tide in New Zealand’s favour. The match is most remembered for the verbal duels between Kyle Mills, Daniel Vettori and Faf du Plessis. All three players had to pay hefty fines after South Africa lost eight wickets for 64 runs to be dumped out of yet another World Cup at knockout stage.
Brief Scores: New Zealand 221-8 in 50 overs (Jesse Ryder 83, Ross Taylor 43, Kane Williamson 38 not out; Morne Morkel 3-4, Dale Steyn 2-42) beat South Africa 172 in 43.2 overs (Jacques Kallis 47, Faf du Plessis 36, AB de Villiers 35; Jacob Oram 4-39, Nathan McCullum 3-24); Result: New Zealand won by 49 runs