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South Africa edges Kiwis by single run

SOUTH Africa edged New Zealand by one run in an exciting if ultimately meaningless Twenty20 World Cup Group D match at Lord's on Tuesday.

Both teams had already qualified for the second round at the expense of Scotland and the result made no difference for the Super Eight draw.

South Africa, defending a meager total of 128 for seven after reaching 61 for one in 10 overs, tenaciously fought its way back into the match after captain Brendon McCullum looked to be winning the contest for the Kiwis.

McCullum was deputizing for Daniel Vettori who decided to rest his sore left shoulder for a second match.

After McCullum's dismissal for 57 with the score at 93 for four off 17 overs, New Zealand lost momentum. Fifteen from the final over bowled by paceman Wayne Parnell proved just too much even though Jacques Kallis spilled a catch off Jacob Oram.

South Africa captain Graeme Smith believed the experience would serve his side well in the Super Eight.

"I think we were probably 20 runs short," he admitted. "We lost our way a bit when we lost Jacques, but we did quite well to keep them under 130, because we knew it wasn't an easy wicket. It was a great effort and it was really useful to have a pressurized game and have a low total to defend."

Smith scored 33 and put on an opening stand of 49 with Kallis, who hit 24, but South Africa lost its next nine wickets for 77 thanks to excellent fielding by New Zealand.

Ian Butler was the pick of the Kiwi bowlers with 2-13.

Earlier at the same London venue, Pakistan leg-spinner Shahid Afridi destroyed the Netherlands' dreams with 4-11 from his four overs in the final Group B match.

The Netherlands, who needed to score at least 151 to advance to the Super Eight stage at the expense of their opponents, tumbled to 93 all out from 17.3 overs, losing by 82 runs.

The Dutch had needed to get to within 25 of Pakistan's 175-5 to advance to the second round with England by virtue of their superior run rate after upsetting the host last Friday.

The first six Pakistan batsmen all reached double figures with wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, promoted to opener in a bid to accelerate the scoring rate, top-scoring with 41 from 30 balls with three sixes.

In reply, the Netherlands reached 42 for one before the Pakistan spinners, headed by Afridi, took control.

Afridi, whose faster delivery confounded all the Dutch batsmen, bowled Bas Zuiderent with his first ball.

He went on to record the fourth-best figures in all Twenty20 cricket while off-spinner Saeed Ajmal took 3-20.


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