World Cup 2019: New Zealand beat South Africa by 5 wickets

Kane Williamson played a marvellous inning by scoring an unbreaten century to steer New Zealand to a nail-biting victory against South Africa on Wednesday at Birmingham.

Guptill and captain Kane Williamson were coping well with the Proteas’ attack and had moved to 72 for one with the minimum of fuss after the early loss of Colin Munro.

But Guptill, when on 35, pulled Andile Phehlukwayo and ended up swivelling, only to lose his balance and clip his leg stump with his foot.

Two overs later New Zealand slipped to 74-3 when Ross Taylor tickled a Chris Morris leg-side delivery and Quinton de Kock took the catch behind the stumps.

Tom Latham was dismissed for a single as New Zealand slumped to 80-4, piling the pressure on skipper and star batsman Williamson to go on and make a sizeable score.After a soggy outfield delayed Wednesday’s start at Edgbaston and reduced the match to 49 overs per side, Black Caps captain Kane Williamson won the toss and chose to field, hoping to take advantage of bowler-friendly conditions.

Hashim Amla made a sluggish 55 off 83 balls but Van der Dussen’s 67 not out came at better than a run-a-ball.

“It’s a bit of a sticky wicket, there has been a lot of rain around here in the last two weeks,” said Van der Dussen during the innings break.

“We need to make 241 enough. We know it’s not a 300 wicket. If you get 250-260 then you can defend that and that’s what we set out to do.

“Our backs are against the wall so we have to come through,” he added after New Zealand’s bowlers kept the scoring rate to below five an over.

New Zealand, the 2015 losing finalists, were on top early when Trent Boult demolished Quinton de Kock’s stumps, sending him back to the pavilion for just five.

Amla and skipper Faf du Plessis helped the Proteas recover to 59-1 in the 14th over.

But Lockie Ferguson then produced an impressive yorker to bowl Du Plessis for 23 immediately after a testing bouncer.

Amla and Aiden Markram put on 52 for the third wicket before veteran opener Amla was bowled by left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner.

During his innings, Amla became the fourth South African player to reach 8,000 runs in one-day internationals.

He is the second-fastest player (176 innings) from any side to reach the milestone after India’s Virat Kohli (175 innings).

Markram was caught by Colin Munro off Colin de Grandhomme for 38 and David Miller went for 36 before a late flourish from Van der Dussen gave the scoreboard a look of respectability.

South Africa, who brought in fast bowler Lungi Ngidi for Beuran Hendricks, must win this match if they are to stand a realistic chance of reaching the semi-finals after finally recording their first victory of the tournament, against minnows Afghanistan on Saturday.

Despite that nine-wicket win, Du Plessis’s side are still languishing in eighth spot in the 10-team table after five games, with the top four qualifying for next month’s semis.

After Wednesday’s game they will face Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia.

New Zealand are flying high and a fourth win would lift them to the top of the table ahead of matches against West Indies, Pakistan, Australia and hosts England.

Wet weather has caused major disruption at the World Cup, with four no results in which teams shared a point each.

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