Styris joy as New Zealand edge home
Scott Styris blitzed 45 off 27 balls and then removed both of South Africa's openers to set up a nail-biting New Zealand victory in their third one-dayer.india Updated: Feb 20, 2004 19:06 IST
Scott Styris blitzed 45 off 27 balls and then removed both of South Africa's openers to set up a nail-biting New Zealand victory in their rain-affected one-day international on Friday.
South Africa looked sure of victory twice in the game only for Styris to thwart them each time as the New Zealanders scraped home by five runs to go 2-1 up in the six-match series.
Yet Graeme Smith's side almost stole the match in the last over when, with 27 needed, Shaun Pollock hit three sixes off four balls.
A fourth maximum off the last delivery would have seen them home but Kyle Mills held his nerve to produce a perfect leg-stump yorker.
New Zealand, put in after the match was cut back to 38 overs a side after a two-and-a-half hour delay, looked in trouble after losing three top-order wickets for seven runs to slip to 170 for five late in their innings.
But Styris and wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum came together and put on an undefeated stand of 84 at 10 runs an over to take the final score to 254.
The real fireworks came in the last four overs, when the pair hit five sixes and six fours in scoring 69 off those final 24 deliveries. Makhaya Ntini's last over went for 16.
Styris, favouring the straight and midwicket boundaries, hit four sixes and one four. McCullum hammered a 24-ball 41 not out.
Michael Papps had made 67 off 100 balls at the top of the order, but South Africa's hopes took a huge blow when strike-bowler Pollock was injured after an exemplary spell of 5.5 overs costing eight runs.
The South Africans, however, looked in control again after reaching 134 for one from 20 overs only for Styris, who had earlier dismissed Smith for 43, to strike again by removing Herschelle Gibbs for 69.
That prompted a collapse as five wickets fell for 19 runs.