Quinton de Kock has smashed his fourth century of the World Cup and Rassie van der Dussen also hit a ton as semi-finals-bound South Africa sealed a comprehensive 190-run victory over New Zealand for a sixth win in seven matches.
New Zealand were left needing a rescue act on Wednesday after collapsing to 5-90 inside 19 overs while chasing 358, with only Will Young (33) and Daryl Mitchell (24) offering any resistance – but South Africa did not relent and dismissed them for 167 in 35.3 overs.
The Black Caps’ loss means they have slipped below Australia on net run rate and Pat Cummins’ side has a game in hand on their trans-Tasman rivals and, on form, should account for England on Saturday, then Afghanistan and Bangladesh to close out the group phase in third spot, avoiding a semi-final showdown with tournament favourites India.
Pace bowler Marco Jansen (3-31) began the rout with an early double strike, while spinner Keshav Maharaj (4-46) landed timely blows to ensure New Zealand had no way back in Pune despite a defiant 60 by Glenn Phillips.
In a highly-anticipated contest just days after the two nations clashed in the Rugby World Cup final, de Kock struck 114 and Van der Dussen exploded late on to score 133 for his second ton of the event as South Africa posted a formidable 4-357.
“Clinical display,” South Africa captain Temba Bavuma said. “The big partnership really set it up for the boys.
“With the ball, we sustained the pressure throughout their innings… Quite clinical with the execution of our skills.”
LEADING RUN SCORERS AT THE WORLD CUP
545-Quinton de Kock, South Africa (7 games)415-Rachin Ravindra, New Zealand (7)413-David Warner, Australia (6)398-Rohit Sharma, India (6)362-Aiden Markram, South Africa (7)359-Mohammad Rizwan, Pakistan (7)354-Virat Kohli, India (6)353-Rassie van der Dussen, South Africa (7)346-Daryl Mitchell, New Zealand (7)
The Proteas built on the pair’s 200-run partnership with 119 in the last 10 overs as David Miller also put the New Zealand bowlers to the sword with a 30-ball 53 at the MCA Stadium.
South Africa began steadily after New Zealand skipper Tom Latham won the toss and opted to bowl, as they shrugged off the dismissal of Bavuma (24) and flexed their muscles with top-scorer de Kock going past 500 runs in the tournament.
De Kock, who will retire from the 50-overs format after the tournament, milked the Black Caps bowlers in a flawless innings and reached his century with a massive six over long-leg off Jimmy Neesham before looking to accelerate.
“We were speaking about 300 to 320 at one stage in the middle but we’ve seen so often in the last 12, 18 months what the guys coming in can do,” said player of the match van der Dussen.
“We knew if we could set a platform again for them, I mean the sky’s the limit. We almost got to 360, so we were pretty chuffed about that.”
De Kock eventually offered a simple catch to Phillips at backward point as Tim Southee (2-77) took his first wicket on his return to competitive action after right thumb surgery in September.
Southee castled Van der Dussen on a day of little joy for New Zealand, who had lost seamer Matt Henry due to a right hamstring problem midway through South Africa’s innings.
Neesham was struck on the hand while stopping a ball off his own bowling and was only able to bat at nine, although he did not suffer broken bones.
“Not our best performance, disappointing the way it panned out,” said Latham, whose side face Pakistan next.
“We were put under pressure with that massive partnership Rassie and Quinton had up top.”