An excellent crowd of 31,940 was in attendance at the MCA Stadium in Gahunje, Pune as South Africa went to the top of the table after thrashing New Zealand by 190 runs. The result saw NZ’s run rate drop from 1.23 to 0.48, and potentially opens the door for Pakistan, whose next game is against the Black Caps in Bangalore.
Somewhat oddly, Black Caps skipper Tom Latham opted to put South Africa in after winning the toss, and it backfired badly as centuries from Quinton de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen took the Proteas to an imposing 357/5 in their 50 overs.
New Zealand were not helped by Matt Henry going off with a hamstring injury midway through his spell, necessitating Jimmy Neesham to bowl more than 5 overs.
South Africa hit 119 in their final 10 overs, and their fearsome pace quartet blew New Zealand off the park in the chase. The Black Caps were 110/8 at one stage and could’ve taken an even worse hit to their NRR but Glen Phillips’ 50 saved them some blushes, and they were forced to send Henry out to bat to help their run rate.
South Africa’s next game is against India in Kolkata- a fixture that could well decide which one of these two teams will top the table after the round robin stage.
For a weekday game not involving India, the turnout was excellent- more than 2.5 times the 12,177 who were in attendance for Afghanistan Sri Lanka at the same venue a couple of days ago.