Jean-Paul Duminy hit a fighting half-century and Dale Steyn took four wickets as South Africa recorded a thrilling two-run win over New Zealand at the World Twenty20 in Chittagong on Monday. Duminy notched a 43-ball 86 to lift South Africa to 170-6, before Dale Steyn successfully defended seven runs in the final over to help the team win their first match in Group One of the Super-10 stage. (Scorecard | Highlights | Points Table)
With three runs needed off the last delivery, Ross Taylor, who made 62, played straight into the hands of Steyn, who ran him out at the non-striker end to spark a South African celebration at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium. New Zealand finished at 168-2 in their 20 overs. It was a much-needed win for South Africa, who lost their opening match to Sri Lanka by five runs on Saturday. (Match in pics)
Faf du Plessis praised destructive Steyn. "I was thinking all the time, Steyn is my trump card," said du Plessis. "I need to bring him back in the game. Fantastic effort from him."
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum admitted winning in the final over was difficult. "Credit to South Africa for the way they hung in there, we probably should have won it easily, can't take it to the final over against a top bowler like Steyn. Little bit of luck and we'd have got across the line," said McCullum.
Opener Kane Williamson (51) and Martin Guptill (22) put New Zealand on the right path for the chase with a brisk 57 for the opening wicket. Williamson, who hit five fours and two sixes off 35 balls, added another 51 for the third wicket with Taylor after McCullum was out for just four.
Taylor, whose runs came off 37 balls with four boundaries, smashed three sixes off one Morne Morkel over to bring New Zealand within 37 runs to get in the last five overs. Steyn conceded just eight in the 18th over, and had Corey Anderson caught for his 50th Twenty20 wicket, then wrapped up the match in his next over.
Earlier, Duminy hit ten boundaries and three sixes while Hashim Amla made a resolute 41 to guide South African, who were put in to bat. South Africa's start wasn't ideal as they lost opener Quinton de Kock (four), du Plessis (13) and AB de Villiers (five) inside seven overs with the score at 42.
It was Amla and Duminy who steadied the innings during their 55-run fourth wicket stand to give some respectability to the total. Amla was finally out in the 14th over, as his drive hit the non-striker batsman Duminy's bat and looped in the air for Anderson to take the catch off his own bowling.
Anderson was the best New Zealand bowler with 2-28. South Africa were lucky to get their captain du Plessis back after he missed the first match. He replaced Farhaan Behardien in the team, while New Zealand remained unchanged from the side which beat England via Duckworth-Lewis method.
The top two teams from each of the two groups will qualify for the semi-finals. The final will be played in Dhaka on April 6.