Imran Tahir's final over against New Zealand saw two catches dropped and an appeal for a catch not taken as South Africa lost the ICC Cricket World Cup encounter by four wickets. (Image credit: Getty Images)
The New Zealand vs South Africa clash in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 was poised on a knife-edge. Kane Williamson, the New Zealand skipper was reviving the innings and he was given good support from Colin de Grandhomme. The 38th over of the innings saw Imran Tahir bowling his final over and New Zealand needed 69 off 72 balls. What followed was one of the most dramatic overs in the 2019 edition of the tournament. This was the over which potentially changed the course of the game. The action began with the first ball of the over and it set the pattern for the rest of the over and the match.
The first ball was a flighted delivery on the pads and the ball stopped on Williamson who was too early into the flick, the ball looped in the air but David Miller at shortish mid on could not get there as the ball landed just in front. The third ball was dramatic. Tahir bowled a short and flat delivery on middle and leg stump and de Grandhomme punched it uppishly to short midwicket. Miller dived to his left and almost took the catch behind him but the ball did not stick.
New Zealand was third time lucky in the same over. Tahir got a delivery to spin away at pace just outside off, Williamson hung his bat out and got beaten. The legspinner appealed for a catch but Quinton de Kock was unmoved. South Africa did not take the review. To their horror, replays showed that there was a spike on Real-Time Snicko as the ball hit the under edge of the bat.
Tahir ended with figures of 10-0-33-0 but South Africa missed the ultimate opportunity to kill off the contest and put New Zealand out when they missed a run-out of Williamson two overs later when Miller failed to collect the ball at the non-striker's end. The tables were turned spectacularly. Williamson stroked his maiden century and New Zealand prolonged the pain of the Proteas by winning the match by four wickets. The fact that it happened in Edgbaston is a reminder of how cricket is a great leveller.
In the 1999 World Cup semi-final at the same venue, South Africa had a chance to reach the final against Australia but a run-out saw the match end in a tie and their final dreams were dashed. In 2019, 20 years on, South Africa failed to close the deal against New Zealand and they are now on the brink of elimination in the league stages.