Albie Morkel’s 40 from 18 balls, including five sixes, proved the difference between the two sides as New Zealand fell 13 runs short of South Africa’s 170-4.
With 171 required to win, a solid partnership or two was required from New Zealand to chase it down, but outstanding fielding led by Herschelle Gibbs ensured that the game remained in South Africa’s hands.
Earlier, the last five overs of South Africa’s innings (which produced 62) proved the difference between the teams. South Africa had slumped a little in the middle overs, but AB de Villiers and Gibbs saw off a quiet period which included a boundary drought which lasted 22 balls. But Morkel was provided the exceptional in an innings which may otherwise have qualified as solid.
Belting low full tosses employed by the Kiwis (three of his five sixes coming in a 21 run Tim Southee over) Morkel was never tested with the short ball. De Villiers, played his part with two sixes of his own; the partnership produced 72 runs in just 6.2 overs and wrecked New Zealand’s plans of restricting South Africa to a score in the 140s, effectively batting them from the game.
In response, the best partnership New Zealand could manage was 44 between Jesse Ryder and Martin Guptill for the second wicket, but when Johan Botha put the brakes on, Guptill fell hitting out. New Zealand needed their starts to be converted, but both Ryder (33) and Ross Taylor (19) capitulated, each ending their innings with soft shots to players in the inner circle.
Morkel’s influence was clearly felt; at the 15th the Kiwi’s required 62, the exact number of runs raked in by Morkel and de Villiers in the final five overs of the Protea’s innings. But New Zealand could not match Morkel’s ferocity; falling 13 runs short despite cameos from Gareth Hopkins and Nathan McCullum.
South Africa 170-4 (20 overs)
AB de Villiers 47*, Albie Morkel 40, Jacob Oram 1-22
New Zealand 157-7 (20 overs)
Jesse Ryder 33, Nathan McCullum 26*, Morne Morkel 2-27
South Africa won by 13 runs
Click here for a full scorecard.