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Devastating Dale bowls South Africa to incredible 2 run win against New Zealand

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Dale Steyn bowled one of the great final overs in the history of T20 International cricket to earn South Africa their first victory of the ICC World Twenty20 by a nail-biting two runs over New Zealand at Chittagong on Monday. When Steyn started his final over, he faced the unenviable task of having only five runs to defend to secure victory, six to allow the game to go to a super over while New Zealand needed seven for victory.

As it turned out, Steyn conceded only four runs, took two wickets and made a run out off the last ball to complete a stunning victory by two runs. The world’s best bowler finished with figures of 4/17 plus the run out which he manufactured himself. He does have better figures of 4/9 against the West Indies in three overs but that effort pales into insignificance in the context of what happened today.

Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis, who took outstanding catches in that final over, also deserve credit for their contributions.

This is one occasion on which nobody can accuse the Proteas of not holding their nerve.

The match, in fact, was New Zealand’s to lose when they needed 55 off 40 balls with eight wickets intact and Ross Taylor just having hit Morne Morkel out of the attack with three successive sixes.

AB de Villiers then took a brilliant catch in the outfield off Steyn to remove Kane Williamson after a stand of 51 for the third wicket off only 31 balls.

New Zealand still had the match well in hand when they needed 29 runs off three overs, 21 off two overs and seven off the last over.

Taylor finished unbeaten on 62 (37 balls, 4 fours and 3 sixes) but crucially only faced one ball in the last over when his various partners lost the plot.

It was a tale of two heroes for the Proteas as Man-of-the-Match, JP Duminy, also produced one of his best ever efforts, making an unbeaten 86 off 43 balls (3 sixes and 10 fours) for a strike rate of 200 percent. He scored 39 of those runs in the last four overs when the Proteas slogged 57 runs to give themselves a total that proved to be just defendable.

Imran Tahir also played a key role in the middle of the innings with two wickets to give him five in the tournament to date.

The Proteas may only be in third place on run rate behind Sri Lanka and New Zealand but they have played both these teams and the latter two still have to play one another. If the Proteas beat the Netherlands on Thursday and England on Saturday, they will have every chance of finishing in the top two and qualifying for the semi-final.

Defeat today would have left their fate dependant on the results of other teams and that emphasizes the greatness of Steyn’s performance today.

Mini Scorecard:

South Africa 170-6 (20 overs, 8.5rpo)

JP Duminy 86* (43) C Anderson 2-28 (3)

H Amla 41 (40) T Southee 2-46 (4)

New Zealand 168-8 (20 overs, 8.4rpo)

R Taylor 62 (37) D Steyn 4-17 (4)

K Williamson 51 (35) I Tahir 2-27 (4)

South Africa win by 2 runs