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Nothing went right for New Zealand on Wednesday as they were handed their second-biggest defeat in World Cups by a ruthless South African side at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune. New Zealand folded for 167 in 35.3 overs after South Africa posted 357, the fourth time they went past the 350-run mark in the tournament. Without Kane Williamson, New Zealand's batting unit struggled under the lights as South Africa's pacers and their lone spinner Keshav Maharaj ran riot, making a strong statement of intent. 

South Africa rode on a well-compiled 133 from No. 3 batter Rassie van der Dussen and Quinton de Kock's 113, his fourth century in the ongoing World Cup, as the two batters mixed caution with aggression to stitch a defining 200-run partnership on what seemed a slowish pitch in Pune. David Miller gave the team the much-needed impetus in the end with a quickfire 53 as South Africa plundered 119



runs in their last 10 overs.

With the ball, South Africa were clinical as their pacers Marco Jansen (3/31) and Kagiso Rabada (1/16) rattled the top-order while left-arm spinner Maharaj got the ball turning big under lights with a terrific spell of 4/46. Glenn Phillips batted well with the tail to hit a quickfire 60 but it was not enough for New Zealand who lost by 190 runs.

South Africa moved to the top of the World Cup 2023 points table with 12 points from 7 matches. While they are level on points with unbeaten India, South Africa's Net Run Rate helped them leapfrog Rohit Sharma's men. On the other hand, New Zealand slipped to their third successive defeat as their wheels seem to be coming off at the wrong time.

New Zealand's huge defeat adds spice to the race to the semi-finals as the likes of Pakistan and Afghanistan will fancy their chances to sneak into the top 4.
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