Quinton de Kock and Rassie Van der Dussen brought cricket back to prominence in South Africa amid the euphoria over the country’s epic triumph in rugby, their scintillating hundreds ensuring a 190-run hammering of New Zealand in the World Cup in Pune on Wednesday. De Kock (114 off 116 balls) hit his fourth century of the tournament to go level with Kumar Sangakkara who achieved the feat in the 2015 edition, while Van der Dussen blazed away to a 118-ball 133 as South Africa racked up an imposing 357 for four after being asked to bat first.
New Zealand were bowled out for 167 in 35.3 overs.
So far, only three batters have scored four or more centuries in a single edition of World Cup.
The Proteas have displaced India at the top of the points table following the win. Both are on 12 points, though India have played one game less.
David Miller blasted 53 in 30 balls to provide the final flourish four days after the whole country was basking in the rugby team’s record fourth World Cup triumph in Paris where the Springboks beat New Zealand’s All Blacks, their biggest rivals in the sport.
New Zealand’s reply was horrendous as they lost their in-form batters Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra with just 45 runs on the board.
Marco Jansen (3/31) struck the first blow with the new ball, getting the dangerous Conway (2) to edge one to Aiden Markram at second slip.
It was Jansen again who gave South Africa the second breakthrough as he dismissed the in-form Ravindra (9), who went for a pull shot but ended up top-edging it, putting the Proteas on top.
Gerald Coetzee struck with his third delivery of the spell as Will Young poked at a short-of-a-length delivery outside off to give De Kock a regulation catch and leave the Kiwis reeling at 56 for three in the 11th over.
It became 67 for four when Kagiso Rabada sent back skipper Tom Latham in a rather soft dismissal after the batter went for his shot too early.
From there, it was a matter of time before the New Zealand innings folded with plenty of overs remaining.
Meanwhile, left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj (4/46) bowled James Neesham with a turner that would make the late Shane Warne proud.
Glenn Phillips delayed the inevitable with his 60 off 50 balls.
Earlier, taking dew into account, New Zealand’s stand-in skipper Latham opted to bowl first at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium whose stands were half-full with some people gathered outside when the in-form De Kock and skipper Temba Bavuma walked out to bat.
However, dew was not a factor as South Africa proved to be too good for their opponents who suffered their third defeat of the tournament in seven outings. For the Proteas, it was their sixth win in seven matches, the margin of victory doing their net run rate a world of good.
After Bavuma’s (24) dismissal, in De Kock and Van der Dussen, the South Africans had the perfect duo to set the tone, and they did exactly that with a 200-run partnership in little over 30 overs.
Riding on a bit of luck with one of his shots falling in a no man’s land, De Kock stepped outside against Mitchell Santner and hoisted the seasoned left-arm spinner over the long-on boundary for a six.
Van der Dussen, too, got into the act and looked comfortable while accumulating his runs.
Dealing with two set batters was not the only challenge for the Kiwis as they also had players getting injured, the last thing for a team that was already grappling with injuries to key players heading into this match.
After Matt Henry hurt his right hamstring and received treatment, Jimmy Nesham also had some injury issues.
Meanwhile, luck also smiled on Van der Dussen as he got more than one reprieve on way to his century.
First, De Kock reached his hundred in style, smashing Neesham on the onside for a maximum. Soon, Van der Dussen got to his ton with a four.
Batting on 104 off 105 balls, Van der Dussen shifted gears and launched into Neesham for two consecutive sixes, the first one was thanks to Trent Boult tipping the ball over the ropes while trying to catch it.
Then, Van der Dussen carted Tim Southee for a maximum over long-on. By the time De Kock and Van der Dussen were dismissed, they had done enough for South Africa to aim for 350.
Then, Miller produced a few big hits to prop them up towards the end.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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