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Put in to bat, South Africa posted 128 for seven but some fine effort by their bowlers saw the Proteas restricting New Zealand to 127 for five at Lord's last night. "We were probably 20 runs short when batting. After we lost (Jacques) Kallis we lost the momentum," Smith said after his side pulled off a thrilling one-run victory. "But the bowlers did a good job. We knew the wicket wasn't easy and it was great challenge for us," said Smith.
Smith also lavished praise on spinners Roelof van der Merwe and Johan Botha for containing the New Zealand batsmen. Van der Merwe (2/14 from four overs) and Botha (0/17 from three) choked New Zealand batsmen who failed short by two runs in chase of 129.
Both the sides though made it to the Super Eights from Group D with minnows Scotland being eliminated from the group. New Zealand stand-in captain Brendon McCullum rued losing wickets at regular intervals cost them the match but hoped his batsmen will pull their shocks once the Super Eights gets underway.
"Everytime we got a partnership going we lost a wicket," McCullum said. New Zealand lost way after they were cruising along nicely at one stage and McCullum who was leading the side in the absence of injured Daniel Vettori hoped his batsmen would not repeat it in the Super Eights. "We have a good batting line-up and they know how to clear the ropes," said McCullum, who top scored with a 54-ball 57. He praised his bowlers for restricting South Africa to 128 for seven.