World T20 round-up: AB de Villiers leads Proteas to semi-finals

In the night's other game, New Zealand beat Netherlands by six wickets.

AB de Villiers, South Africa’s stand-in captain, plays a shot against England on Saturday.  AM Ahad / AP Photo
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CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh // South Africa produced another clinical performance to beat England by three runs in Chittagong to advance to the World Twenty20 semi-finals on Saturday.

AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla hit fifties to anchor South Africa’s highest total of the tournament of 196 for five before Wayne Parnell took three for 31 to keep England down to 193 for seven at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium.

South Africa are the second team to qualify for the semis after 2007 champions India cruised to the last four from Group 2.

The defeat, their second in three Group 1 Super-10 matches, sent 2010 champions England out of the semi-final race.

De Villiers was happy at the much-needed win.

“It was a great game, the boys did extremely well,” man-of-the-match De Villiers said. “It’s very tough conditions to field in. I knew from the start we had to be unpredictable and mix things up. But once again the execution of the bowlers was amazing.”

Stuart Broad said his players were heartbroken.

“It’s a fantastic game, credit to the players for that, we’re heartbroken to come out on the wrong end but AB took the game away from us. It didn’t go to plan in the last three overs but apart from that it was a good game for us.”

England, who chased down a 190-run target against Sri Lanka on Thursday, failed to match that performance with Alex Hales (38), Jos Buttler (34) and Ravi Bopara (31) unable to benefit from good starts.

Parnell, who was released from the squad for two days to attend a court hearing relating to drugs charges in the 2012 Indian Premier League in Mumbai on Friday, dismissed Michael Lumb (18), Hales and Moeen Ali (10) to jolt England after they got off to a 46-run start by the fifth over.

Hales hit six fours and a six off 22 balls but once he departed the target continued to climb with 45 needed off the last three overs and 22 off Dale Steyn’s final over.

Half-century from Brendon McCullum lifts New Zealand

CHITTAGONG, BANGLADESH // Brendon McCullum hit a robust half-century to steer New Zealand to a six-wicket win over the Netherlands.

McCullum hit a punishing 45-ball 65 with three sixes and four boundaries to make easy work of a 152-run target, which New Zealand chased down in 19 overs.

McCullum also became the first man to reach 2,000 runs in Twenty20 cricket when he cleared 21 in his 67th match.

The victory gives New Zealand their second win in three games while the Netherlands, the only associate side to qualify for the second round, crashed out with three defeats in as many games.

The win sets up a showdown with Sri Lanka on Monday, with the winners joining South Africa in the semi-finals. McCullum added 42 for the second wicket with Kane Williamson (29) and another 46 for the fourth wicket with Corey Anderson (20 not out).

“Definitely, Netherlands put up a really good fight,” man-of-the-match McCullum said. “There was a lot of talk about their game against Sri Lanka [all out for 39], but we had a lot of respect for them and we were focused.”

The losing captain, Peter Borren, said McCullum made the chase easy. “Brendon got them through, but if we’d got him early something could have happened,” Borren said.

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