Agency, 20 June : Kane Williamson’s sublime century guided New Zealand to a thrilling four-wicket win over South Africa to move the Black Caps top of the World Cup table and all-but eliminate the Proteas from semi-final contention.
Williamson’s 106 not out, his 12th ODI hundred, underpinned New Zealand’s pursuit of 242, with the skipper sealing a 137-ball ton with a six off Andile Phehlukwayo in the final over before completing victory with three balls to spare.
Unbeaten New Zealand lost three wickets for eight runs after Martin Guptill (35) was out hit wicket as they tumbled to 80-4 in a fixture reduced to 49 overs a side due to a wet outfield at Edgbaston.
But captain Williamson, who added 91 with Colin de Grandhomme (60 off 47) for the sixth wicket, notched his 50th fifty-plus score in ODIs to steer his side home, with South Africa made to rue not using their review when he bottom-edged Imran Tahir behind on 76 and then fumbling the chance to run him out on 77.
New Zealand’s fourth win in five moves them onto nine points, one clear of England and Australia, and leaves South Africa in eighth with three points from six matches – the Proteas are unlikely to make the top four even if they defeat Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia in their final three group games.
South Africa were limited to 241-6 in Birmingham, with Black Caps seamer Lockie Ferguson taking 3-59 and Rassie van der Dussen (67no off 64) and the far-from-fluent Hashim Amla (55 off 83) the only players to pass fifty.
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