KARACHI: Albie Morkel’s quick-fire 40 helped take South Africa to a comfortable 13-run win in their opening Super Eight match against New Zealand at the World Twenty20 on Thursday.
His innings at the Kensington Oval lasted just 18 balls but featured five sixes and helped South Africa pile up 170 for four. Together with AB de Villiers, he shared a stand of 72 in six overs as they built on a solid foundation laid by the top order. New Zealand rarely looked like threatening South Africa’s score when Morkel was called on to bowl his only over, by the middle of which the Kiwis required 22 off three balls.
They eventually finished on 157 for seven. “It was a short boundary down the ground and also with the wind, so it worked in my favour,” said man-of-the-match Albie Morkel. South Africa captain Graeme Smith added: “We played smart cricket, Albie made the most of his opportunity, and his partnership with AB was the turning point.”
His New Zealand counterpart, Daniel Vettori, was left distraught by Morkle’s innings. “You needed to be inch-perfect with guys like Morkel hitting at the death, but we were a little off,” said Vettori. “We need guys at the top to play 40 to 50 balls to have a chance of chasing down this target.”