Kashmir Indepth
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Williamson’s Ton Guides NZ To Thrilling Win Over S.Africa

Birmingham: New Zealand captain Kane Williamson led from the front and showed nerves of steel with a masterful unbeaten hundred as he guided his team to a four-wicket win over South Africa in a thrilling World Cup clash here on Wednesday.

Williamson remained not out on 106 off 138 balls, his innings decorated with nine fours and a six, as the Kiwis saw off stiff resistance from the Proteas to win with three balls to spare.

Colin de Grandhomme supported Williamson well with a gutsy 47-ball 60 which was studded with five fours and two sixes.

The pair shared a match-winning 91-run stand for the sixth wicket.For South Africa, Chris Morris (3/49) was the best bowler.

New Zealand moved to the top of the table with the win, having nine points from five matches and remaining unbeaten.

South Africa, meanwhile, succumbed to their fourth loss in six games, having three points and being in eighth position in the 10-team table.

Chasing 242 for victory, the Black Caps were reduced 80/4 after Colin Munro (9), Ross Taylor (1), Martin Guptill (35) and Tom Latham (1) failed to get going.

Munro was caught and bowled by Kagiso Rabada (1/42) while Guptill, who looked good, could not carry on as he was hit wicket off Andile Phehlukwayo (1/73).

Taylor was caught behind by de Kock off Morris and Latham was dismissed in similar fashion. But with Williamson holding up one end, James Neesham (23) shared a crucial 57-run stand with his captain to steady to ship.

After Morris broke the partnership sending Neesham back in the hut, de Grandhomme joined the rock-solid Williamson in the middle with the game still in the balance.

The big moment of the match came in the 38th over when Williamson, batting on 76, bottom edged Imran Tahir to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock. South Africa did not appeal but replays showed the Kiwi skipper had nicked it with stump microphone also picking up the sound of the ball kissing the bat.

IANS

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