Kane Williamson produced a masterclass of controlled batting to lead New Zealand to a tense four-wicket victory against South Africa at Edgbaston on Wednesday (June 19) , realistically killing off the Proteas’ hopes of reaching the World Cup semi-finals.
The close finish in Birmingham was just the tonic the World Cup needed after a string of one-sided results and rain-ruined fixtures sapped the tournament’s momentum.
The win puts unbeaten New Zealand top of the 10-team table in the round-robin phase of the competition in England and Wales while South Africa are languishing third from bottom after just one win in six matches. Williamson, who finished on 106 not out, was helped by Colin de Grandhomme’s superb 60 off 47 balls on a tricky pitch after the Kiwis had slipped to 137 for five.
“There’s a huge amount to learn from this performance,” said man-of-the-match Williamson. “The experiences that you have by being put under pressure on a number of different occasions, whether it’s with the bat or the ball, having close games in tournaments like the World Cup are great to be a part of, especially when you come out on the right side of things.”
South Africa missed a golden chance to run him out at the start of the 41st over and he was dropped by Lungi Ngidi when on 85, but off a no-ball.
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14 September, 2019