Gritty Williamson delivers tense win for New Zealand

A lot had been riding on the New Zealand-South Africa game in this World Cup. South Africa needed a win. New Zealand were determined to stay unbeaten. Faf du Plessis and Co. had a score to settle after the Auckland 2015 semifinal. The game was essentially what this World Cup needed – a close encounter with both teams jostling for ascendancy.As it turned out, New Zealand sealed a thriller in a chase of 241 by four wickets in the final over with their captain leading from the front with an unbeaten ton. In the end, the same old issues came to haunt South Africa as they crumbled under pressure just when it mattered the most.If South Africa are to look back at one over that changed the game, they’ll be hard-pressed to look past the 38th over. Imran Tahir had the ball with Colin de Grandhomme and Kane Williamson giving the innings the much-needed impetus in final part of the game. On the fourth delivery, David Miller, at short midwicket, dropped a dolly to give de Grandhomme a reprieve. On the final ball, Williamson edged the ball to the ‘keeper but apart from Tahir there was no real appeal.Both batsmen would have been back in the hut with New Zealand still needing 68 on a slow, two-paced and not easy to negotiate track. There was no turning back from there as New Zealand sneaked past the set target. Two overs later, Williamson survived a run-out chase with Miller failing to collect the ball with the New Zealand captain stranded in the middle of the track. Andile Phehlukwayo still had three overs left and he was rightfully targeted after that.What stood out was South Africa believed throughout the chase and even though Faf du Plessis said at the toss it was just another game, it clearly wasn’t and the players were well aware of that. Colin Munro started with two crunching drives but Kagiso Rabada had him caught and bowled after the inside edge onto the pads reached the bowler. Martin Guptill played out 59 balls for his 39 but was hit wicket when he slipped and fell on the stumps trying to pull.Chris Morris then produced a period of play that put South Africa firmly on top. Ross Taylor was caught behind down the leg side on his second ball while Tom Latham edged one to the ‘keeper on his fourth ball.