BIRMINGHAM, June 19: 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.
Put into bat, South Africa were off to a poor start as they lost opener Quinton de Kock (5) cheaply in the second over, castled by Boult while attempting an on-drive. Amla and skipper Faf du Plessis (23) then shared a 50-run partnership for the second wicket. However, just when the partnership seemed developing, Ferguson came with the breakthrough, dismissing du Plessis to reduce South Africa to 59/2. Aiden Markram (38) then joined Amla and the two added 52 runs for the third wicket before Santner packed back the latter in the 28th over after a good length delivery turned sharply to dislodge Amla�s off-stump, leaving the Proteas at 111/3. � IANS
Brief scores: South Africa 241/6 in 49 overs (der Dussen 67 not out, Hashim Amla 55; Lockie Ferguson 3/59) vs New Zealand 245/6 in 48.3 overs (Kane Williamson 106 not out, Colin de Grandhomme 60; Chris Morris 3/49)