Oram glows as NZ shock SA to make semis

Published: Saturday, March 26, 2011, 9:27 [IST]
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Dhaka, March 25: Title-favourites South Africa crashed out of the World Cup 2011 in the quarterfinal after a mind-numbing performance from the Kiwis at Dhaka's Sher-e-Bangla Stadium. Jacob Oram shone for the Black Caps, taking four wickets as he denied the Proteas another chance of making the semis of the global event. Chasing New Zealand's modest 221/8, South Africa slid from 108/3 to 172 all out, thus handing the Kiwis victory by 49 runs and a showdown with either England or Sri Lanka on March 29 at Colombo.

Oram glows as NZ shock SA to make semis

The Proteas began their innings on a confident enough note, apart from a hic-cup which cost them the wicket of Hashim Amla in the first over. Amla was unlucky to be caught at slip courtesy a freaky dismissal off off-break Nathan McCullum, when he under-edged a ball onto the foot of the keeper, which then popped up and dropped into the hands of Daniel Vettori. South Africa were 8/1 after the first over.

But then Graeme Smith and Jaques Kallis put the house in order admirably well. At the end of the 10th over, Smith square drove Oram to bring up South Africa's 50. The batting duo was motoring along when in the 15th over, against the run of play, Smith was caught at gully by the substitute fieldsman. Oram had picked up his first wicket in the innings and the Proteas had slipped to 68/2.

Then A B de Villiers picked up from where Smith had left off and smacked Tim Southee for a boundary to take South Africa past 100 in the 22nd over. However, a shot while later, Oram plucked a terriffic catch at deep midwicket to remove Kallis off Southee. The allrounder was out for 47 off 75 balls and South Africa were in a spot of bother at 108/3 in 24.1 overs.

De Villiers sought to offset the mounting pressure with a blistering on-drive past mid on for four off Southee. But off-break Nathan McCullum returned in the next over to dismiss J P Duminy when he had him bowled for 3. SA were stuttering at 121/4. But their woes were only compounded when two balls later, de Villiers was run out for 35 of 40 balls. The Proteas were suddenly 121/5!

The latter middle order was now exposed with Johan Botha and Faf du Plessis trying desperately to weather the storm. But in the 33rd over, Oram struck to clean up Botha for 2 off 10 balls as South Africa were now teetering on the brink at a precarious 128/6 in 32.5 overs. Just two overs later, Oram got a bonus when he had Peterson caught behind for a duck.

New batsman Dale Steyn tried to counter-attack, immediately clobbering a four and du Plessis rounded off the over with another boundary as South Africa moved onto 141/7 in 35 overs. The two tried to work up a partnership, but McCullum nipped their plans in the bud when he had Steyn caught from a top-edge. The Proteas were in dire straits at 146/8 in 37.4 overs.

South Africa took the batting powerplay at the end of the 38th over and momentarily it seemed that du Plessis was able to relieve the pressure with a few meaty blows, including a six off Oram. But his defiance was brought to an abrupt end when he was caught at cover point by Southee off Oram. South Africa were at a hopeless 172/9 in 42.5 overs, from where the end came swiftly.

With 50 runs required off 42 balls and just one wicket remaining, the Proteas needed a miracle to save them. Unfortunately, there wasn't much 10th batsman Morne Morkel could do, except attempt a bit hit... which landed in the safe hands of the man in the deep. South Africa were all out for 172 and had lost the match by 49 runs.

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