Pune: In a remarkable display of batting prowess, Quinton de Kock recorded his fourth century of the World Cup, while Rassie van der Dussen notched his second as South Africa achieved a resounding victory, triumphing over New Zealand by a substantial margin of 190 runs. This commanding performance brings South Africa closer to securing a place in the World Cup semi-finals.
The Proteas posted an imposing total of 357-4, largely constructed upon De Kock’s exceptional 114 and Van der Dussen’s masterful 133. Their partnership laid the foundation for South Africa’s dominance.
New Zealand, coming off a heartbreakingly close chase of 389 against Australia, faced another setback as they were bowled out for a mere 190, with over 14 overs remaining. The Proteas’ paceman, Marco Jansen, was instrumental in the demolition, finishing with impressive figures of 3-31. Left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj played a crucial role as well, claiming four wickets for 46 runs.
The only resistance in New Zealand’s innings came from Glenn Phillips, who contributed 60 runs. However, no other batsman managed to surpass Will Young’s 33.
This victory holds significant importance for South Africa, marking the end of their streak of five consecutive World Cup defeats by New Zealand since 1999. It places the Proteas, who are aiming for their first one-day international (ODI) World Cup title, in a highly favorable position for a semi-final berth.
On the other hand, New Zealand’s third loss in the tournament poses a challenge to their semi-final aspirations, as they now find themselves in fourth place on the table with eight points. They are closely trailed by Pakistan and Afghanistan, both with two points fewer, although the latter still has a game in hand.
De Kock, the left-handed opener, showcased his prowess by reaching his 21st one-day international century in just 103 balls, embellishing his innings with eight boundaries and three towering sixes. He sealed his century with a colossal six off Jimmy Neesham.
Speaking at the innings break, De Kock expressed, “I’m feeling really good lately. It’s nice that everything is coming together at an important time for us. My career is coming down to a finish, I’m trying to bat as much as I can.”
De Kock’s remarkable form in the World Cup is evident as he notched centuries against Sri Lanka, Australia, and Bangladesh in addition to this one. He began the day requiring only 69 more runs to cross the 500-run mark for the tournament.
Van der Dussen joined the onslaught, contributing an impressive 133 runs from 118 balls, adorned with nine fours and five sixes. This marked his second century of the tournament and the sixth in his ODI career.
South Africa continued their relentless assault with David Miller, who blazed to 53 runs off just 30 balls, featuring four towering sixes. The innings concluded with a flourish as Aiden Markram, the last man in, dispatched the final ball for a six.
Notably, New Zealand was compelled to use seven bowlers following a hamstring injury to seamer Matt Henry, who had to leave the field during his sixth over.
The exceptional display by De Kock, Van der Dussen, and the Proteas’ bowlers underscores South Africa’s strong pursuit of World Cup glory while leaving New Zealand with a challenging path ahead in the tournament.