Morkel makes the difference
An onslaught of sixes from Albie Morkel helped South Africa to a 13-run victory over New Zealand in their opening World Twenty20 Super Eight match at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.
Morkel smashed five sixes in his 18-ball 40 as he and AB de Villiers, who struck 47 not out, helped the Proteas post 170 for four after winning the toss.
Jesse Ryder top-scored for New Zealand but, in truth, their run-chase never really got going and they could only manage 157 for seven.
The win put South Africa top of Group E after the first round of matches, ahead of England on run-rate.
Jacques Kallis top-edged a pull for six as Shane Bond’s first over went for 13, but opening partner Graeme Smith was caught in the deep by Martin Guptill off Tim Southee to end an opening stand of 40.
Kallis and Herschelle Gibbs struggled to score freely off Jacob Oram and Daniel Vettori, and Southee produced a fine diving catch off Oram at third man to remove Kallis for 31.
Scott Styris helped limit South Africa to 66 for two at the halfway stage, and when de Villiers hit the medium-pacer for four in the 12th over it was the first boundary for 30 balls. He he followed it up with a beautiful straight six off Oram.
Gibbs smashed Nathan McCullum for six but fell to a catch by the bowler’s brother, Brendon, next ball.
Morkel subjected Vettori to rare maximum, though the New Zealand skipper still only went for 21 off his four overs, then hammered Southee for another.
De Villiers was also finding his range and punished a dropped catch by Nathan McCullum by heaving Bond for a huge maximum two balls later.
Morkel struck another three sixes off the penultimate over but was run out as Bond’s final six balls went for just five.
From the moment Brendon McCullum fell to a spectacular one-handed catch by Gibbs in the first over of their reply, New Zealand did not look like keeping up with the rate.
They were 39 for one at the end of the first six overs of powerplay, and Guptill fell soon after.
Ryder briefly looked threatening with a six off Morkel, only to lob a simple catch to de Villiers off Johan Botha to depart for 33.
Ross Taylor fell to Morne Morkel soon after, and when Styris and Oram fell in quick succession to leave New Zealand 110 for six in the 16th over, their challenge was effectively over.