March 25, 2011 - On this day in Dhaka, South African bowlers bowled their heart out against New Zealand in the 2011 World Cup quarter-final before their batsmen surrendered to Jacob Oram and Nathan McCullum, losing their fifth knockout encounter since they participated in the tournament for the first time in 1992.
The 2011 edition of the showpiece event was held in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Led by an inspirational leader in Graeme Smith, South Africa got their campaign off to a solid start beating West Indies by seven wickets. They emerged as the table-topper from Group B and defeated the likes of Netherlands, Ireland, Bangladesh, and India who eventually went on to win the title after 28 years. Their only defeat in the group stage came against England where they failed to chase down a paltry total of 171.
Meanwhile, the Black Caps were led by Daniel Vettori. New Zealand finished fourth in Group A with four wins and two defeats. While they lost to Australia and Sri Lanka, their wins against Kenya, Zimbabwe, Pakistan and Canada were enough to see them through to the quarter-finals.
THE JINX CONTINUES
Smith started with Robin Peterson after New Zealand won the toss and opted to bat first at the Shere Bangla National Stadium and the move paid off as the left-arm spinner got rid of Brendon McCullum in the third over. Dale Steyn then sent Martin Guptill back in the hut and New Zealand were reduced to 16/2 in no time. The Black Caps needed some stability and that's when Jesse Ryder and Ross Taylor stepped up.
The two batted with patience and added 114 runs for the third wicket. The focus was largely on the strike rotation and just when it looked like the duo were ready to up the ante, legspinner Imran Tahir got an important breakthrough by dismissing Taylor for 43. Scott Styris (16) couldn't contribute much but Ryder played an uncharacteristic innings of 83 off 121 deliveries, studded with eight fours.
The bowling all-rounders - Nathan McCullum, Oram and Vettori - didn't contribute much but Kane Williamson played a handy unbeaten knock of 38 to propel his team to a competitive total of 221/8 in 50 overs. For South Africa, Morne Morkel took three wickets, while Steyn and Tahir got two each.
In reply, South Africa got off to the worst possible start with Hashim Amla getting out in a bizarre fashion in the very first over. The ball from Nathan McCullum was short and wide but Amla bottom edged the cut and it hit the wicketkeeper's right boot and ballooned straight into the hands of first slip. Despite losing their first wicket early, Smith (28), Jacques Kallis (47) and AB de Villiers (35) all got starts but not one of them could carry on.
The Proteas were 108/2 at one stage and that's when the collapse happened. Tim Southee got the important wicket of Kallis before Nathan McCullum knocked over JP Duminy. Faf du Plessis (36) put up a fight but found no support from his allies. South Africa lost their last eight wickets for 64 runs and were bundled out for 172 in 43.2 overs. While Oram finished with the bowling figures of 4/39, Nathan McCullum too chipped in with three wickets.
- New Zealand made it to their sixth semi-final where they lost to Sri Lanka by five wickets.
- This was South Africa's fifth defeat at the knockout stage since 1992, in which they made their first World Cup appearance.
- Incidentally, these two sides once again met in the semi-final of the 2015 World Cup, but the result was no different.