Kane Willliamson's brilliant 106 not out (138b 9x4, 1x6) under pressure helped New Zealand to a four-wicket victory over South Africa at Edgbaston. Colin de Grandhomme (60 off 47 balls) played a valuable knock coming in at No.7 as he built a 91-run partnership with his captain to help New Zealand chase down 242 on a tricky pitch. Earlier, Hashim Amla (55 off 83 balls) and Rassie van der Dussen (67 not out off 64 balls) took South Africa over the 200-run mark as the Proteas kept losing wickets at regular intervals. The Black Caps were also not at their best as they dropped multiple catches. Lockie Ferguson was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 59 while Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme and Mitchell Santner picked one wicket apiece. The defeat puts Faf du Plessis and his men on the brink of elimination from the World Cup 2019.
SIX! What a way to bring up your 12th ODI hundred. An attempted yorker from Phehlukwayo and the New Zealand captains gets on his knee smacks it over the mid-wicket boundary for a huge six. He dissects the field between gully and short third man to take New Zealand to victory.
1 On the pads, Santner flicks it towards the mid-wicket for a single.
Phehlukwayo to bowl the final over. The pacer is in an extended conversation with his captain. Du Plessis gets two men on the leg side and a two protecting long off and long on.
FOUR! Excellent thinking by Williamson. A good length delivery from Ngidi, attempted off-cutter, but Williamson was ready for it. He guides it to the third man boundary and moves to 96. NZ needs 8 from 6 balls.
DROPPED! Williamson tries to hit one over the bowler but hits it straight at Ngidi. The pacer is unable to hold to the catch. The Kiwis captain takes a single and Mitch Santner misses a slow off cutter from Ngidi. NZ needs 13 from 8 balls.
OUT! Grandhomme tries to clear deep extra-cover, but Faf du Plessis is waiting there and takes the catch comfortably. Pressure on New Zealand. Mitch Santner is the next batsman in.
Rabada bowls two dot balls, but Williamson steals a single off the fourth ball. Grandhomme tries to cut one to the third man, but Du Plessis has a man there. The final ball of the over is a dot after Grandhomme finds Hashim Amla at cover. NZ needs 14 off 12 balls.
FOUR! Back of the length from Ngidi and Grandhomme heaves towards midwicket. It bounces few inches away the fielder at the boundary and runs away for four. Another wide by Ngidi brings down the equation to 17 needed off 18 balls .
Morris to bowl out. Five to end the over. Kiwis need 26 off 24 balls.
Phehlukwayo and Rabada in tandem. The two concede 12 runs between them. New Zealand needs 46 runs in 42 balls. Morris back into the attack. Just three runs off it. Phehlukwayo continues. Grandhomme gets one away for four. DROPPED! Dear Lord. Ngidi has dropped Williamson but it's a no-ball. 12 runs from it. NZ 211/5 after 44 overs.
Rabada back into the attack. Second six for Grandhomme and looks like G'homme is going to be the one to play the big shots here. It's a 10-run over. New Zealand needs 59 runs in 60 balls. Ngidi returns into the attack. A brilliant over; just one from it. NZ 184/5 after 40 overs.
Tahir to bowl out. Two catches in the space of two deliveries: both to Miller, both not taken. Four singles from Tahir's final over. New Zealand needs 69 runs in 66 balls. NZ 173/5 after 38 overs.
Six runs from Tahir's ninth. He has been economical today, has Tahir but New Zealand has been mindful about not gifting him a wicket. Andile Phehlukwayo is back into the attack. MAXIMUM! Grandhomme breaks the shackles with a maximum over deep square leg. Nine from the over.
Tahir is back into the attack. Three runs from it. New Zealand need 94 runs in 90 balls. Morris continues. 150 comes up for New Zealand. Now Williamson gets one away, a pull shot to deep mid-wicket for four. Six from the over. NZ 154/5 after 35 overs.
The fifty-run partnership comes up between Williamson and Neesham with that four. SHOT! Overpitched from Phehlukwayo and Neesham drills it down the ground for four. Morris back into the attack . STRIKES! Oh what a game he's having with the ball. Neesham is caught in the slips. Amla with a fine catch. Grandhomme gets off the mark with a brace before flicking one away for four. NZ 145/5 after 33 overs.
Rabada back into the attack. Four from the over. Andile Phehlukwayo is back into the attack. Five runs from his over. New Zealand needs 118 runs to win. Rabada continues... only one off the over. NZ 125/4 after 31 overs.
Another good over from Tahir; just two from it. Williamson moves to 49 with a brace. Four from that Ngidi over. Neesham has swept one away to deep mid-wicket for four. Williamson reaches another fifty with a single off Tahir. Six runs from that over. NZ 115/4 after 28 overs.
Kane Williamson brings up the 100 with a single off Ngidi. Five singles from that over. Tahir, from the other end, bowls a tight over as well - just one coming from it. Ngidi has bowled a maiden here. NZ 103/4 after 25 overs.
Tahir continues. Just two runs from the over. Williamson holds the key here - collects a four down the ground. Eight runs from the over; good one for New Zealand. Three from Tahir's fourth over. NZ 97/4 after 22 overs.
FOUR! Williamson plays a late cut for four. That was a thick outside edge that flew away to the right of slip. Tahir follows it up with five dots. GONE! Morris gets another one: Latham is out caught behind and South Africa in the driver's seat. Neesham joins Williamson. He gets off the mark with a four. NZ 84/4 after 19 overs.
Tahir has been introduced into the attack. Ross Taylor in next. Only two runs from the over. GONE! Another one bites the dust, and this time it's Chris Morris who has snapped up Ross Taylor for 1. NZ 74/3 after 16.1 overs . Tom Latham comes to the crease. Seven runs and a wicket from it.
Phehlukwayo continues. Guptill moves into the thirties with the fifth four of his innings. Five runs from the over. Williamson brings up the fifty stand with a boundary. Make that two in two against Phehlukwayo. Runs coming thick and fast. Oh Dear! What an unfortunate way to get out... Guptill has taken off the stumps with his back leg. Wicket against the run of play. NZ 72/2 after 15 overs.
Andile Phehlukwayo, right-arm medium,has been introduced into the attack. Three singles from it. Morris continues. Williamson gets his first boundary of the match, to long-off. Brings up the team 50. Guptill ends the over with a pull shot for two. NZ 53/1 after 12 overs. New Zealand needs 189 runs.
Rabada bowls a one-run over. Both the frontline pacers have worked up some serious speed, but it's working against them at the moment. Guptill has collected another four off Ngidi. Meanwhile, Morris has been introduced into the attack. Good start: just two off it. NZ 43/1 after 10 overs.
End of the fifth over. Only two runs from it. Rabada and Ngidi keeping things tight. Ngidi darts one on the pads and Guptill flicks it away for four. And another one: this time, he drives it down the ground. Make that three from the over. Guptill's cutting loose. 13 off that over. NZ 32/1 after 6 overs .
Ngidi continues. Huge lbw appeal off the first ball - turned down but the Proteas don't review it. Two runs off the over. NZ 17/1 after 4 overs.
GONE! Rabada strikes; completes a fine catch off his own bowling to dismiss Munro. That was serious pace from Rabada: bowled at 146kph. Kiwis have lost an early wicket. Kane Williamson in at 3. He opens his account with a single. Three runs and a wicket from that over.
Guptill and Munro begin the chase. Rabada with the new ball. Guptill opens his account with a single to fine-leg. SHOT! Width on offer and Munro scythes one through the covers for four. Follows it up with another boundary. Nine runs from the over. Ngidi to share the new ball . Good start: just three from it. NZ 12/0 after 2 overs .
South Africa has reached 242 thanks to fifties by Amla (55) and Van der Dussen (67*) who looked the part on a wicket where the other batsmen struggled to get going. Lockie Ferguson starred with the ball, picking three wickets for 59. New Zealand needs 242 to win.
Final over of the innings coming up. Ferguson with the ball. Morris gets a boundary off the top edge. Ferguson pulls one back with a dot. Morris takes a single off the third to get Dussen back on strike. Dussen goes for the big heave and misses. But he gets hold of this one, does Dussen: just the length he was looking for and its been deposited into the stands. He ends it with a boundary. 15 from the last over.
Dussen targets the short boundary and gets a six. He's dropped off the very next ball. Matt Henry denied his first wicket there. That dropped catch takes the tally of missed chances to two. Three dots to end the over. Terrific stuff from Henry.
Van der Dussen brings up his half-century. He has held the innings together. But he's running out of partners at the other end. Phehlukwayo holes out to Williamson; falls for a five-ball duck. Chris Morris has joined Dussen. Good over that: only two from that and a wicket. SA 218/6 after 47 overs.
Miller cutting loose, is he? Brings up the Protean double hundred with a boundary off Ferguson. Follows it up with another hit to the fence. GONE! Ferguson gets his man; Miller holes out. Andile Phehlukwayo, left handed bat, comes to the crease. 12 runs from that over. Dussen moves to 48 with a cracking straight-drive. SA 216/5 after 46 overs.
Van der dussen brings up the 50-run stand with a single. Four from that Matt Henry over. Boult back into the attack. Two near-misses in as many balls. And tell you what, both times the batters could've caught short but not to be. Miller goes big; smacks one over deep mid-wicket for six. SA 198/4 after 44 overs.
Both batsmen are struggling to break the shackles. Matt Henry begins his new spell by conceding four runs. Santner, from the other end, is greeted by der Dussen with a maximum over long-on. 11 runs off the over. SA 183/4 after 42 overs.
Pace from both ends. Ferguson and Trent Boult bowling in tandem. 10 off the 38th and 39th over combined. Miller, meanwhile, has gone past 3000 ODI runs. Last five overs, South Africa has collected just 26! Santner returns into the attack and bowls a three-run over. SA 169/4 after 40 overs.
Two braces and a single off that Grandhomme over. He has one over left now, does G'homme. Ferguson back into the attack. Four singles off it. Still no urgency being shown by the two batsmen. De Grandhomme into his final over. Miller takes South Africa past 150 with that three. SA 156/4 after 37 overs. De Grandhomme : 10-0-33-1
Grandhomme gets Markram out, finally. Munro making no mistake in the deep. South Africa tottering at 136/4. David Miller joins van der dussen. De Grandhomme: 8-0-21-1. Boult continues. Three coming off the over. SA 140/4 after 34 overs.
Van der dussen has joined Markram. De Grandhomme is back into the attack. Almost gets a wicket but Boult has put down a sitter and Markram survives. Four from the over. Boult's back into the attack. Five overs, one for 29 initially from the left-arm seamer. Markram's growing in confidence: carves one through the covers for four. SA 135/3 after 32 overs.
Lockie Ferguson returns into the attack. Six runs from the over. BREAKTHROUGH ! Mitchell Santner castles Amla with a lovely, flighted delivery. Turn, drift and New Zealand have breached Amla's defence. Four from the over. Ferguson continues. Three from that over. SA 115/3 after 29 overs.
Amla reaches his half-century with a boundary. Seven from that de Grandhomme over. Nearly had Amla there but the ball's just out of the fielder's reach and races away for four. Markram takes South Africa past the 100-run mark with a single. SA 102/2 after 26 overs.
De Grandhomme concedes five runs off his fifth over: his most expensive over thus far. That's how good he has been. Santner continues. SHOT! Markram has drilled that one down the ground for four. Seven from the over. The partnership between Markram and Amla is 32 off 60 balls now. SA 91/2 after 24 overs.
Santner and de Grandhomme, in tandem, have kept the lid on the scoring for the time being. Just four coming off the last two overs combined. Markram's eight off 21 balls. SA 79/2 after 22 overs.
Mitchell Santner, left-arm spinner, has been brought into the attack. Three singles from it. De Grandhomme continues. Loud appeal for lbw against Amla. Not given, and the Kiwis don't review it. Would've been umpire's call anyway. Just two from the over. SA 71/2 after 19 overs.
Colin de Grandhomme into the attack. Just one run off it. Aiden Markram in at 4. He gets off the mark with a well-timed cover-drive. Five runs from that Ferguson over. Brilliant second over from de Grandhomme. Only one from it. SA 66/2 after 17 overs.
Lockie Ferguson into the attack. Amla becomes the second fastest to 8000 ODI runs with a brace. Du Plessis ends the over with another lovely straight-drive. That's 50 up for South Africa. Ferguson continues. The fifty partnership comes up between Amla and Du Plessis with a boundary to deep extra cover: the skipper's in good touch. Bowled'em! Ferguson cleans up Du Plessis with a brute yorker. SA 59/2 after 14 overs.
Henry slips in a maiden. Amla two shy of 8000 ODI runs. Now, Du Plessis picks up a four off Boult. Make that two in the over: this one through deep extra cover. Nine from the over. Matt Henry into his sixth over. Second maiden for him. SA 40/1 after 11 overs.
Good, testing over from Matt Henry that. Teasing Du Plessis with the outswingers. Just two runs from it. SHOT! Glorious cover-drive from Amla. Follows it up with an equally impressive off-drive for four. Streaky single to finish the over. Nine off it. SA 31/1 after 8 overs.
Just one single off that Matt Henry over. Boult continues. Only three runs from it. Amla has looked good so far: gets three to deep square leg. Du Plessis has promoted himself up the order for, what is by all means a must-win encounter for his side. No slips for Boult. Only a very wide catcher for Amla. Two from the over. SA 20/1 after 6 overs.
De Kock gets off the mark with a single. Henry errs in line, and Amla opens his account with a boundary to fine leg. Five from the over. Trent Boult to share the new ball. Strays on de Kock's pads and the southpaw tucks it away for four more. GONE! Boult has cleaned up de Kock. Proteas have lost their first wicket. Faf du Plessis comes to the crease. Nearly another wicket. Miscommunication between Amla and his skipper almost cost Du Plessis his wicket. SA 11/1 after 2 overs.
Teams are out for their National Anthems. First up, South Africa followed by New Zealand's. Out come De Kock and Hashim Amla. Matt Henry with the new ball.
TOSS: Kane Williamson has won the toss and elected to bowl.
New Zealand (Playing XI): Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson(c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham(w), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult
South Africa (Playing XI): Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock(w), Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis(c), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir
Kane Williamson : "We are going to bowl. Same side for us. The guys are ready to go. We thought about Ish Sodhi, but stuck to the same team for this game. The past record against South Africa is irrelevant."
Faf du Plessis: "We would have bowled as well. There is a bit of blue sky, hopefully the ball will come on nicely to the bat."
UPDATE: It is all looking good for now. We will have the toss at 4 pm IST and it will be 49 overs a side game. The game will start at 4.30pm IST.
UPDATE: There is some good news! The sun's out in Birmingham. We should have a start soon. Faf du Plessis is leading his team out for some warm-ups. So it is all looking good now.
WEATHER WATCH: " In Birmingham today after cloudy start there will be a chance of showers at around lunchtime before a largely dry afternoon with sunny spells developing later in the day. Temperatures are likely to reach 17 degrees."
Ian Gould: "We have reinspected (the ground) and it's improving. The groundsmen have done well. We have another inspection at 11:00. We will see what we can do then. but its certainly improving. Basically it's the old outfield. So much rain over the last week or so, hopefully we can get some cricket shortly. I think its worse here. We expected thunderstorms last night and we didn't get them. So, the British weather is not doing us very proud at the moment."
Nigel Llong: "Basically we have got a wet outfield. It has not stopped raining for the best of the week. The ground-staff have done well but we have got some wet patches and they are very greasy. Need the sun to come out. We are trying to give the groundsmen the best chance to get the ground ready. At this point we are trying to keep the people off. Hoping for the sun to come out."
UPDATE: The toss has been delayed due to wet outfield. Next inspection at 2:45 pm IST.
Live pictures show that the surface is under the hover cover. There is no rain at the moment. The two umpires are having a word with Faf du Plessis.
Mohandas Menon digs this out of his stats vault: The Kiwis have the highest percentage of dot balls this edition, South Africa is a distant third.
Here's the quintessential weather update from Birmingham: as no showers are predicted in the lead up to the big clash: Expect cloudy weather for the most part of the match and showers and scattered thunderstorms from 4:30 PM IST.
Trent Boult is hoping for a repeat of New Zealand's dramatic ICC Cricket World Cup semifinal victory over South Africa when the two sides meet| WATCH
A defeat to New Zealand in the semifinals ended South Africa’s 2015 World Cup campaign. So, the Proteas will look to avenge that loss as they take on the Kiwis at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Wednesday. It is the first of four must-win matches for Faf du Plessis' men, for whom New Zealand and Australia are the only two top-four opponents left.
The two teams have had contrasting fortunes in this tournament as South Africa has lost three of its five games, while New Zealand is yet to taste a defeat in four matches. Both teams have had a match abandoned due to bad weather.
South Africa, with its back to the wall, wants to keep its “heads steady and play freely.” “It's a big game for us. Our next three or four games are going to be big games,” wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock said.
New Zealand v South Africa: World Cup semi-final hopes at stake for Proteas
South Africa will hope history fails to repeat itself when they bid to keep their Cricket World Cup hopes alive on Wednesday against New Zealand at Edgbaston.
With just one win from their opening five matches, the Proteas know anything but a victory will all but end their hopes of reaching the semi-finals.
There is no shortage of recent history between the sides in this competition, with the Black Caps having dramatically reached their first World Cup final four years ago at South Africa's expense courtesy of Grant Elliott's six off the penultimate ball.
They also defeated the Proteas at the quarter-final stage in 2011.
South Africa will at least be buoyed by the return of bowler Lungi Ngidi and an improved display in their previous outing - a rampant nine-wicket triumph over Afghanistan - provided a much-needed confidence boost.
That said, a far bigger challenge will be presented by New Zealand, whose attack has been in scintillating form so far this tournament with Mitchell Santner (3.83), Lockie Ferguson (3.88) and Trent Boult (4.20) all among the leading bowlers in terms of economy.
With seven points already, the Black Caps are well positioned for a top-four finish and a place in the knockout stages, though they do still have to face a number of the tournament's leading lights.
Tournament so Far
The pressure is on for South Africa. There is scant margin for error as far as their semi-final hopes are concerned. Defeats to England, Bangladesh and India in their opening three matches followed by the abandonment of their game against West Indies has left them with it all to do. There were at least positive signs in their win over Afghanistan.
New Zealand, by contrast, have made a hugely promising start, winning their opening three matches against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan before seeing their last outing, against India, abandoned due to the inclement weather.
What They Said
South Africa wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock: "I think, obviously, it's a big game for us, but in saying that, our next three or four games that we have, they're all going to be big games anyway for us for the rest of the tournament. We're just going to have to go out there, keep our heads steady, and play freely."
New Zealand bowler Trent Boult on the chance to potentially knock out South Africa: "It's not driving us in any respect. Every World Cup game, in my opinion, is a big stage, and it's a chance for us to go out there and perform and show we can bring the game and the style that we play back home in New Zealand very well to test it against quality players in foreign conditions on a big stage in front of all these fancy cameras. So we can't wait."
- This will be the eighth World Cup meeting between New Zealand and South Africa, the Black Caps have won five of the previous seven, including each of the last four.
- New Zealand have not won an ODI at Edgbaston since 1983, losing three times there with four no results. They do have three World Cup wins at the venue (two in 1983, one in 1975).
- South Africa spinner Imran Tahir has bowled 222 balls at this World Cup and is yet to be hit for six or bowl a wide or no ball, no other bowler has bowled as many deliveries without being hit for a maximum.
- New Zealand have won 11 of their last 12 completed World Cup matches, their only defeat in that run was the 2015 final to Australia at the MCG.
New Zealand pace bowler Trent Boult has warned his side not to underestimate “hungry” South Africa as its troubled opponent fights for survival in World Cup 2019 on Wednesday.
The Black Caps will go top of the World Cup group table if they beat South Africa at Edgbaston.
But the Proteas, with just one win from five matches, know they cannot afford another defeat if they want to maintain their slender hopes of a semi-final place.
“It’s a must-win in their tournament,” Boult said.
“We’re looking forward to facing them and I am sure they are eager and hungry to put in a good performance, because it’s a big one for them.”
The stakes are not as high as in their meetings at the past two World Cups, with New Zealand winning the quarter-final clash in 2011 and a semifinal showdown in 2015.
Boult has fond memories of New Zealand’s run to the World Cup final four years ago and hopes his team can make another strong showing in the current edition.
“There have always been exciting games between New Zealand and South Africa over the past World Cups, and the last time that we met each other in 2015, the semifinal at Eden Park, was one of the greatest games that the Kiwis have played,” he said.
“It obviously got a lot of attention back home and it was a cool one to be a part of.
“It’s a chance for us to go out there and perform and show we can bring the game and the style that we play back home in New Zealand very well, to test it against quality players in foreign conditions on a big stage, so we can’t wait.”
Unbeaten New Zealand has defeated Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan so far in the tournament, with its game against India washed out.
Quinton de Kock has told his South Africa teammates to keep their heads when they face New Zealand in a must-win World Cup match on Wednesday.
South Africa’s hopes of making the semifinals would effectively be over if it loses at Edgbaston after a wretched start to the tournament.
Defeats to England, Bangladesh and India have left South Africa wicketkeeper-batsman De Kock billing the New Zealand match as a “quarterfinal".
A nine-wicket victory over Afghanistan on Saturday was its first win in this World Cup in England and Wales.
The Proteas cannot afford any more slip-ups in their remaining games against New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia if they are to maintain slender hopes of a semifinal berth.
De Kock admits South Africa’s chances of avoiding an embarrassingly early elimination will be wrecked if it does not cope with the stress of playing in a do-or-die situation.
“Obviously it’s a big game for us but, in saying that, our next three or four games that we have, they are all going to be big games for us for the rest of the tournament,” he said.
“We’re just going to have to go out there, keep our heads steady and play freely. .
“Tomorrow is a quarterfinal, I guess you could say it, but if we do win it, then it’s another big game again.
“We have to win all the games, not just focus on tomorrow. But in saying that, we know how good New Zealand are playing at the moment. They are a big team in World Cups. They always seem to step up.”
The match will be streamed live on Hotstar