Singapore: A fine 75 not out from opener Gary Kirsten helped South Africa beat New Zealand by eight wickets in the 2000 Singapore Challenge cricket tournament at the Kallang ground on Friday.South Africa achieved a low target of 158 set by New Zealand in 34th over losing two wickets in the process. Kirsten, who received an award for the fastest 50, scored 75 not out off 103 balls with 10 hits to the ropes. Shaun Pollock was declared the man-of-the-match. South Africa will meet Pakistan in the final to be played on August 27.On a hot and sultry day, Kiwis failed both with the bat and ball. While their batsmen failed to notch up a fighting total, the bowlers too failed in their mission to defend a small total.
The South African openers, Gary Kirsten and Andrew Hall began the chase in an aggressive note with a flurry of fours all over the field. They went on to add 94 for the first wicket before Hall holed out to Chris Cairns off Paul Wiseman. Hall scored 46 runs off 51 balls with seven boundaries.Jacques Kallis too began in a befitting manner with a boundary. The South African rampage made the Kiwi bowling look ordinary. Kallis, who made 22 (with five fours) off 30 balls, departed when the team's score was 141. He caught by Scott Styris on his own bowling.
Darryl Cullinan remained not out on four. Earlier, New Zealand were bundled out for 158 runs by South Africa. The Kiwis managed to cross the 150-run mark after they were 55 for five in the 15th over. For New Zealand, Chris Harris (42), Chris Cairns (27) and Scott Styris (23) were the top scorers.South African bowlers lead by Shaun Pollock (3 for 24) wrecked the New Zealand innings from the start. Jacques Kallis (2), Andrew Hall (2), Lance Klusener (1) and Roger Telemachus (1) were the among the wicket takers.The Kiwis, who won the toss and elected to bat, were 10 for two in the fifth over, losing both the openers Nathan Astle (5) and Daniel Vettori (0). Shaun Pollock bagged both the wickets.
Although Stephen Fleming and Chris Cairns showed promises of a long innings, the South Africans struck back in the 12th over. Fleming was run out by Gary Kirsten for 12 (1x4) off 23 balls to make the score 39 for three. The next four overs saw New Zealand lose two quick wickets in the form of Roger Twose (8) and Cairns. In the 28th over, South Africa did the damage again. This time they separated the pair of Chris Harris and Adam Parore, who added 22 runs for the seventh wicket to take the score to 94 for seven.
Parore (5) edged a delivery from Andrew Hall to wicket-keeper Nic Pothas, who made no mistake in lapping up an easy catch. Although, the tail-enders tried to strengthen the innings, they were all out for 158 in 48th over.