Albie Morkel sparkles in South Africa’s victory over Black Caps


Bridgetown (Barbados) : South Africa marched to an impressive 13-run win over New Zealand in their first Super Eights match of the World Twenty20 at Kensington Oval here.

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South African all-rounder Albie Morkel made the difference Thursday as he blazed away to 40 off 18 balls with five sixes and along with AB de Villiers (47 not out) carried his team to an imposing 170 for four. In reply, New Zealand ambled to 157 for seven in their 20 overs.

South African bowlers Johan Botha (2-23), Charl Langeveldt (2-39) and Morne Morkel (2-27) then combined to stifle the Black Caps’ chase.

The New Zealand innings suffered from lack of partnerships and none of their batsmen showed the willingness to dig their heals with the exception of Jesse Ryder.

Ryder’s 33 came in 28 balls with two fours and as many sixes.

Earlier, deciding to bat, South Africa made a promising start with openers Jacques Kallis (31) and skipper Graeme Smith (14) rustling up 40 runs inside five overs. But Smith was soon caught by Martin Guptill off Tim Southee (1-39) and three overs later Kallis joined him in the dug out.

Herschelle Gibbs made 30 off 24 balls with two fours and a six but it was Morkel who lifted South Africa from a parlous looking state as runs dried up.

The lanky South African, who came after Gibbs’ dismissal, joined hands with De Villers and the two walloped 72 runs for the fourth wicket, with last five overs of the South African innings producing 62 runs.

Morkel feasted on the low full tosses from the New Zealand bowlers and three of his five sixes came off Southee’s over which went for 21 runs.

De Villiers on the other hand took the role of a second foil when Morkel went berserk. The 26-year-old played with controlled aggression to carry his bat till the end. His 39 balls innings included two sixes and a four.