AB, Faf lead Proteas revival, NZ off to storming start

AB de Villiers & David Miller built on the good platform Rilee Rossouw and Faf du Plessis built.

South African batsman Faf du Plessis (L) speaks to teammate AB de Villiers (R) after he was dismissed by New Zealand during the Cricket World Cup semi-final match between New Zealand and South Africa at Eden Park in Auckland on 24 March, 2015. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - After winning the toss and choosing to bat first, South Africa got off to a jittery start as they found themselves down two wickets inside the first seven overs, with opening batsmen Hashim Amla and Quinto de Kock back in the hut with 31 runs on the board.

Amla chopped a Trent Boult delivery onto his stumps to depart for 10 while de Kock was caught on the boundary, also off a Boult ball.

Faf du Plessis and Rilee Rossouw then steadied the Proteas ship for 14 overs, adding 83 runs for the third wicket, before Rossouw was dismissed for 39 by a brilliant Martin Guptill catch.

Enter Captain AB de Villiers.

The skipper picked up from where Rossouw and du Plessis left off as he assaulted the Black Caps attack with regular strokes to the boundary.

He flew to his half century in just 32 balls, but it would have been a different story had Kane Williamson not dropped him on 38.

After the completion of 38 overs, the match as delayed for over an hour, resulting in the match being reduced to 43 overs, with South Africa on 217/3.

Du Plessis was next to fall after that rain delay for a well-played 82, having put on a destructive 103 run stand with de Villiers.

David Miller then stepped in to pile on more runs in the final 5 overs of the Proteas innings as he and the skipper pushed their side to 281/5 with Miller falling for a quickfire 49 off 18.

New Zealand now have to chase a revised total of 298 in their 43 overs to win.

The Black Caps made a storming start to their innings, racing to 71 off six overs. The dangerous Brendon McCullum was dismissed when he was caught by Dale Steyn off the bowling of Morné Morkel.

Morkel bagged his second wicket when Kane Williamson played the ball onto his stumps with the score on 81.

Guptill and Ross Taylor steered the hosts to 128 before Guptill was run out by the combination of de Kock and Amla.

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