New Zealand stun South Africa to reach semi-finals

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The Independent Online

New Zealand secured a surprise World Cup semi-final berth with a thrilling 49-run victory over South Africa in Dhaka today.

The Black Caps were first thankful to Jesse Ryder (83) and Ross Taylor (43), who rescued them from 16 for two at one stage and helped them post 221 for eight.



And Jacob Oram and Nathan McCullum then combined superbly with the ball to bowl the Proteas out for 172, as their last six batsmen were dismissed for just 51 runs.



New Zealand now await the winners of tomorrow's quarter-final clash between England and Sri Lanka.



They lost two wickets in the early exchanges - Brendon McCullum departed for four and Martin Guptill for one - but Ryder and Taylor staged a good recovery.



They maintained a largely cautious approach, edging the total to 77 in 20 overs, with Ryder reaching his 50 soon after.



He and Taylor took 27 overs for their third-wicket stand, but Imran Tahir at last gave the Proteas some respite when Taylor holed out to deep mid-wicket.



Scott Styris could only add 16 off 17 balls before being bowled by Morne Morkel and Tahir again claimed a big wicket as Ryder's slog sweep only found substitute Peter Ingram.



Kane Williamson's late 38 helped New Zealand surpass 200, even as Nathan McCullum, Oram and skipper Daniel Vettori fell for single figures.



In reply, Hashim Amla (seven) was out in the first over in bizarre fashion when his slice off Nathan McCullum bounced off wicketkeeper Brendon's foot to be caught by Vettori in the slips.



Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis steadied the ship by putting on 61, but Oram hit back to dismiss the South African skipper for 28.



Kallis held firm on a turning wicket but a well-built 47 was ended by Tim Southee as Oram took a good catch in the deep.



Two wickets in the 28th over further dented South Africa's progress as JP Duminy (three) was bowled by Nathan McCullum while AB de Villiers was run out after his patient 35.



Oram's superb spell continued as he dispatched Johan Botha (two), Robin Peterson (nought) and Faf du Plessis, who fought bravely for his 36 off 43.



Luke Woodcock then wrapped things up with Morkel's wicket.



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