With seven needed, Steyn bowls a sensational last over; Duminy stars with the bat

J-P. 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 its ICC World Twenty20 campaign back on track, here on Monday.

Riding on Duminy’s blistering knock, South Africa scored 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.

Turning the tide

The Kiwis were cruising towards the target with Ross Taylor (62) and Kane Williamson (51) batting superbly but leg-spinner Imran Tahir (two for 27) and Steyn (four for 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 finished 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 off the fifth. Taylor was at the strike with his side needing three to win off the last ball but he just managed to get bat on ball and ended up running himself out.

South Africa had lost its first match to Sri Lanka while New Zealand had defeated England.

Steady start

The Kiwis had a steady start with openers Williamson and Martin Guptill (22) raising 57 runs in seven overs. Williamson was the chief aggressor as he broke the shackles by punishing pacer Morne Morkel. Williamson smashed Morkel for a six and two boundaries as 16 runs came in the fifth over.

Guptill then creamed three boundaries in the next over bowled by Lonwabo Tsotsobe. With nothing going South Africa’s way, skipper Faf du Plessis handed the ball to Albie Morkel and the medium-pacer responded, picking up a wicket with his very first delivery as Guptill miscued a pull, giving a simple catch to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.

Tahir had Brendon McCullum stumped but Taylor was batting superbly at 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 was 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 in the 19th over, bowled by Morne Morkel, 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 semifinals.

Earlier, South Africa’s top-order struggled in the face of some disciplined bowling by the Kiwi bowlers. Only opener Hashim Amla resisted the attack with aplomb, hitting a 40-ball 41 with two boundaries.

New Zealand fast bowlers — Corey Anderson, Tim Southee and Kyle Mills — were terrific but Duminy changed the complexion of the match with his blistering knock.

Scoreboard

New Zealand innings (target: 171 runs from 20 overs)

Martin Guptill c de Kock b A Morkel 22

Kane Williamson c de Villiers b Steyn 51

Brendon McCullum st de Kock b Tahir 4

Ross Taylor run out 62

Colin Munro c Amla b Tahir 7

Corey Anderson c Miller b Steyn 7

Luke Ronchi† c de Kock b Steyn 5

Nathan McCullum c du Plessis b Steyn 4

Tim Southee not out 0

Extras: (LB—2 W—4) 6 Total: (For 8 wkts in 20 overs) 168

Fall of wickets: 1/57 2/66 3/117 4/140 5/148 6/164 7/168 8/168 Bowling: JP Duminy 3—0—30—0, Lonwabo Tsotsobe 4—0—29—0, Dale Steyn 4—0—17—4, Morne Morkel 3—0—50—0, Albie Morkel 2—0—13—1, Imran Tahir 4—0—27—2.

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