11th Match: New Zealand v South Africa at Perth, 1 Feb 2002|
South Africa innings:
New Zealand innings:
SOUTH AFRICA REACH VB SERIES FINALS WITH 67-RUN WIN OVER NZLess than a week ago South Africa were languishing at the foot of the VB Series table. On Friday night, however, Shaun Pollock’s team became the first side to qualify for next week’s finals with a crushing 67-run victory over New Zealand at the WACA in Perth.
In winning South Africa picked up their second bonus point of the series, the significance of which is that it makes an already awkward task for Australia back at the WACA on Sunday even more difficult. Despite being hammered on Friday, New Zealand could also reach the finals if Australia fail to take maximum points of South Africa on Sunday.
Chasing a daunting 271, the New Zealand innings had its guts ripped out between the 26th and 29th overs when three wickets fell for only one run. Thereafter the South Africans simply bowled out their overs with the New Zealand tail unable to reach the 217 required to deny South Africa the bonus point.
Indeed, New Zealand added only 70 in the final 20 overs of their innings with the match already long over as a contest.
Dion Nash and Adam Parore added 26 for the eighth wicket before Nash spooned one up of Allan Donald. Makhaya Ntini and Herschelle Gibbs both moved to the ball and clutched at it simultaneously. Although Gibbs came away with the ball in his hand, Ntini was initially credited with the catch, but the two players might well have to sort it out in the dressing room.
Whoever the catcher, Nash was out for 12 at 156 for eight bringing Daniel Vettori out to join Parore. And it seemed by this stage that New Zealand were content to allow South Africa the bonus point, presumably reasoning that their best chance of reaching the final would be leaving Australia to try and take all five points on Sunday.
It would be an exaggeration to say that the ninth wicker pair went into their shells, but they made no real effort to reach the 217 mark, ending on 203 for eight with Parore on 36 and Vettori on 20.
The New Zealanders had been 69 for three at the 15 over mark, but with Stephen Fleming and McMillan at the crease they still had wickets and overs enough to mount a serious challenge. After making 27, however, Fleming fell tamely, providing Mark Boucher with an outside edge behind the wicket as he tried to run Jacques Kallis down to third man.
Fleming departed at 72 for four, but McMillan, whose form has been patchy throughout series, played a succession of belligerent strokes as he scored at around a run a ball to keep New Zealand in touch with the required run rate.
Shaun Pollock had conceded 35 off his first five overs and when he brought himself back into the attack McMillan greeted him by hooking him imperiously over midwicket for six. But he fell to Pollock’s next ball, slashing the South African captain down to third man where Gary Kirsten took a wonderful low catch as he came in off the boundary.
McMillan’s 46 had come off 41 balls, but the fifth New Zealand wicket had fallen at 126, leaving a considerable mountain for the New Zealand tail to climb to win the match and qualify for a place in the finals.
Their plight worsened when Scott Styris nicked Pollock to Kallis at slip for 12 at 130 for six and then, without addition to the score, Nicky Boje trapped Chris Harris lbw for a duck. With 20 overs remaining, New Zealand still need 134 to win with Dion Nash on 1 and Adam Parore on 2.
Four years ago Ntini made his international debut for South Africa in the corresponding match on this ground, revelling on the fast, bouncy surface. That he was pleased to be back in Perth was quickly evident as he struck with his third ball, finding the edge of Nathan Astle’s bat for Jacques Kallis to take a stinging catch at second slip.
Like Gary Kirsten earlier in the day, Astle fell victim to the curse of the opening batsmen that has haunted this series, failing to score for the second match in succession against South Africa with the wicket falling on 4.
New Zealand pushed Andre Adams up the order to three with clear instructions to carry the attack to the South African bowlers. He obliged in Shaun Pollock’s second over, hitting the South African captain for two fours and a two off successive deliveries. During the South African innings Pollock had hammered 69 off 34 balls, but now he was tasting some of his own medicine.
Those 10 runs, though, were all that Adams managed before hoiking at Ntini for Mark Boucher to leap to take a flying top edge. New Zealand’s second wicket had fallen at 22.
Stephen Fleming joined Lou Vincent and although Ntini was proving well night impossible to get away, the pair went after Pollock who, unusually, gave up 35 off his first five overs.
But when Allan Donald replaced Ntini for the 14th over of the innings, he struck with his fourth delivery, Vincent top-edging an attempted pull to give Boucher another catch. Vincent was out for 22 at 61 for three and at the 15 over mark Fleming had 25 with Craig McMillan on 6.
Rhodes, whose only previous limited overs hundred was a 121 against Pakistan in Nairobi five years ago, made an unbeaten 107 as he helped the South Africans recover from a terrible start. At one point South Africa had slipped to 35 for four at the end of the 12th over after being sent in to bat by Stephen Fleming, but Rhodes and Mark Boucher, who scored a fine 58, put on 138 for the fifth wicket as New Zealand again fell away in the second half of the innings.
The usually reliable Chris Harris dropped Shaun Pollock on 27 in the 48th over of the innings and the South African captain made the New Zealanders pay heavily for the mistake, hitting four consecutive sixes off James Franklin as he took 27 off the 49th over. In all, Pollock struck six sixes and a four as he took his runs off just 34 deliveries as the New Zealanders gave up 72 from the last five overs of the innings.
Rhodes, who now devotes himself exclusively to the shorter form of the game, produced a characteristically busy innings, scampering singles and twos for the most part but occasionally hitting straight down the ground to emphasise the quality of an excellent batting pitch.
He and Boucher had punished New Zealand in Adelaide last Sunday with an 86-run partnership that shifted the match South Africa’s way, and the pair again frustrated the Kiwis with intelligent running and astute hitting.
After making 58 Boucher contrived to get himself out softly, chipping Harris gently to Nathan Astle at midwicket in the 41st, but rather than setting the South Africans out, the fall of the wicket enabled Pollock to quickly play himself in before launching into a furious onslaught on the bowling.
In Adelaide last Sunday the pair put on 86 for the fifth wicket against New Zealand to change the mood of the game and set up South Africa’s 93-run victory. In Perth they again combined for the fifth wicket after the South African top order had crumbled, lifting the score to 111 for four after 30 overs.
At this stage the partnership was worth 76 with Rhodes on 50 and Boucher on 26 and if the pair had been kept in reasonable check by the New Zealand seamers, they had at least laid some sort of platform for a push in the final overs of the innings.
Scott Styris and Andre Adams replaced James Franklin and Dion Nash after the 15th over of the innings and although both bowled tidily, they were unable to effect a further breakthrough as Rhodes and Boucher pushed the ball about and ran sharply. Boundaries were difficult to come by but the South African pair kept the scoreboard ticking with a succession of ones and twos.
The 100 came up in the 28th over of the innings and with three recognised batsmen, Shaun Pollock, Nicky Boje and Justin Kemp, still to come, the South Africans could still entertain thoughts of posting a competitive total.
New Zealand went into the match without the tournament without the tournament’s leading bowler, Shane Bond, and their best all-rounder, Chris Cairns, who were both ruled out through injury. But James Franklin and Nash made excellent use of the new ball on a typically pacy Perth pitch.
In a series notable for the number of opening batsmen who have failed to score, Gary Kirsten added another duck to the collection when he drove at the last ball of Franklin’s second over and the outside edge flew to Lou Vincent at backward point.
The wicket fell at 10 and Kirsten’s partner Herschelle Gibbs went four runs later, although he could count himself unfortunate to be adjudged caught at slip. Nash, who had found movement both ways through the pitch and off the pitch, ducked one into the right hander with the ball cutting between bat and pad before carrying through to Fleming.
There was a double noise and this clearly influenced umpire Hair, but television replays revealed that the ball had nicked the flap of the front pad before striking Gibbs’ back thigh.
Gibbs had made 8, but there was little to discuss as Nash claimed his second wicket when he bowled Neil McKenzie through the gate for 3 at 23 for three with a full delivery that swung into the batsman.
Having beaten McKenzie’s inside edge, Nash then got one to go past the outside edge of Jacques Kallis’ bat to take off stump. South Africa were in desperate trouble at 35 for four with Kallis out for 11, a situation which might have worsened immediately as Jonty Rhodes survived a confident lbw appeal off Franklin.
After 15 overs Rhodes had progressed to 17 with Mark Boucher on 4. Nash had taken three for 20 in his opening seven-over burst
Fleming’s decision may well have been prompted by the absence of Chris Cairns (back) and Shane Bond (groin), both of whom miss the game with injury.
As a result, James Franklin and Scott Styris come back into the side, but without two of his leading seam bowlers, Fleming probably chose to make us of whatever early life was available in the pitch.
South Africa, meanwhile, replaced Justin Ontong with Justin Kemp to give themselves a further seam bowling option.
New Zealand head the VB Series log, but any two of the three teams in the competition could still qualify for the finals, depending on the outcome of Friday’s game and South Africa’s match against Australia on Sunday.
South Africa: Herschelle Gibbs, Gary Kirsten, Jacques Kallis, Neil McKenzie, Jonty Rhodes, Mark Boucher, Shaun Pollock (capt), Justin Kemp, Nicky Boje, Allan Donald, Makhaya Ntini.
New Zealand: Nathan Astle, Lou Vincent, Stephen Fleming (capt), Craig McMillan, Scott Styris, Chris Harris, Adam Parore, Dion Nash, Andre Adams, Daniel Vettori, James Franklin
Date-stamped : 01 Feb2002 - 18:35