Kane Williamson leads New Zealand to dramatic, last-over win against South Africa at Edgbaston

New Zealand’s Kane Williamson celebrates a century, which helped the Kiwis to a tense, last-over victory over South Africa at Edgbaston in the Cricket World Cup. (Action Images via Reuters)
Updated 20 June 2019

Kane Williamson leads New Zealand to dramatic, last-over win against South Africa at Edgbaston

  • Williamson and de Grandhomme joined with the total at 137-5 in reply to South Africa’s 241-6
  • The win moved New Zealand atop the standings

BIRMINGHAM: Kane Williamson hit a six in the last over to reach his century and followed it up with a boundary to give New Zealand a four-wicket victory over South Africa with three balls to spare Wednesday, in the closest finish of the Cricket World Cup so far.
New Zealand went into the last over at 234-6 and chasing 242 for victory. Andile Phehlukwayo’s first ball was sent for a single by Mitchell Santner, sensibly giving Williamson the strike, and the New Zealand captain immediately took his chance with a powerful six.
Williamson finished 106 not out off 138 balls as New Zealand reached 245-6 in a match reduced to 49 overs each innings.
He called it “a great game of cricket on a surface that was tough for both sides.”
The win moved New Zealand atop the standings and effectively put an end to South Africa’s chances of reaching the playoffs.
“I’m feeling five years older. My body is really sore after that,” South Africa captain Faf du Plessis said. “We left everything out there, and that’s all I can ask for as a captain, that the guys fought.”
So did Williamson, who was brilliantly supported and occasionally overshadowed by Colin de Grandhomme, who smashed a 47-ball 60, with five fours and two sixes. He impatiently holed out to du Plessis at long-off to a delivery from Lungi Ngidi at the start of the penultimate over — the 48th — while going for his third six.
Williamson and de Grandhomme joined with the total at 137-5 in reply to South Africa’s 241-6 off 49 overs, and their partnership was crucial in guiding New Zealand to its fourth win of the tournament.
The Black Caps now have nine points, one clear of top-ranked England and defending champion Australia. At the other end of the table, South Africa is almost certainly out of contention — in the first major shock of the 2019 edition — with only three points from six games.
The New Zealanders appeared content with the run chase ahead of them but the wicket was trickier than it appeared, and the chase far harder. Except for Williamson.
The Black Caps had kept an unchanged XI from its last completed match against Afghanistan on June 8. Fast bowler Lungi Ngidi (1-47) returned from a hamstring injury in South Africa’s only change from its nine-wicket win over Afghanistan last Saturday.
Williamson won everything on Wednesday, including the toss. And while New Zealand failed to bowl out a team for the first time at the tournament, South Africa’s total appeared too little to test the Black Caps. Yet the result was in the balance until the end.
“Obviously, I’m extremely disappointed. Cricket means a lot to me, and the performance of this team means a lot to me,” du Plessis said.
Hashim Amla reached a personal landmark as the second-quickest batsman with 8,000 runs in ODIs, but the 36-year-old opener again took his time with an 83-ball 55 before falling to Santner’s spin.
Amla shared a 50-run second-wicket partnership with du Plessis (23) and a 52-run third-wicket stand with Aiden Markram (38). But it was mostly slow going.
Rassie van der Dussen provided some late-innings impetus with an unbeaten 67 off 64 balls, with two fours and three sixes. David Miller scored a lively 36 from 37. The pair shared a partnership of 72.
Miller swung and hit intimidating quick Ferguson for a four to bring up the 200 at the start of the 45th over and clipped the pacer away for another boundary right after. Ferguson had the last laugh in the same over when Miller top edged deep to Trent Boult at third man.
Boult had bowled Quinton de Kock for 5 to win an early battle but finished on 1-63.
Ferguson did the most damage with 3-59 while Matt Henry bowled tightly, with two maidens, ending on 0-34.
Martin Guptill became the first New Zealander to be dismissed by hitting his own wicket in any Cricket World Cup tournament, dating back as far as 1975. In the end it didn’t matter.


TV umpire to call no-balls in cricket first

Updated 06 December 2019

TV umpire to call no-balls in cricket first

  • Decision comes after TV replays showed 21 no-balls were missed in Pakistan-Australia Test series
  • Trial will be used for India-West Indies T20 series

NEW DELHI: Cricket is to trial using a TV umpire instead of the on-field official to call no-balls in the series between India and West Indies, following a rash of mistakes.
The Twenty20 and one-day games, starting with the first T20 in Hyderabad on Friday, “will be contested trialing technology to call front foot no balls,” the International Cricket Council said.
“Throughout the trial, the third umpire will be responsible for monitoring every ball bowled and identifying whether there has been any front foot infringement,” an ICC statement said on Thursday.
“If there has been an infringement on the front foot, the third umpire will communicate this to the on-field umpire who will subsequently call a no-ball.”
The on-field umpire usually calls front-foot no-balls, which are when the bowler’s leading foot lands beyond the crease. The delivery is ruled illegal and one run is awarded to the batting side.
Pressure has been building for a new approach after TV replays showed 21 no-balls were missed in two sessions on the second day of the Australia-Pakistan Test in Brisbane last month.
Trent Copeland, a former Australian player and now a television analyst, called the misses “astonishing” and said the issue had to be dealt with.
Even before the 21 no-balls, the umpires’ actions had come in for question. Australian bowler Pat Cummins’ dismissal of Mohammad Rizwan was upheld even though replays showed his foot was over the bowling line.
“The outcomes of the trial will be used to gauge whether the system has a beneficial impact on the accuracy of no ball decisions and whether it can be implemented while minimizing disruption to the flow of the game,” the ICC said.
India and West Indies will play three T20s followed by three one-day matches, which start on December 15.
India’s cricket board last month announced that it will experiment with a separate no-ball umpire in the Indian Premier League after controversies in the 2019 tournament.
International cricket already employs a Decision Review System, where players can challenge an umpire’s decision using slow-motion replays, ball-tracking, audio and heat-sensing technology.