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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

South Africa Leads Group B With Win Over New Zealand

COMBINED REPORTS


FAISALABAD, Pakistan -- Captain Hansie Cronje inspired South Africa to a comfortable five-wicket victory over New Zealand in their World Cup Group B match Tuesday.


Containing New Zealand to 177 for nine off 50 overs with a fine display in the field, South Africa showed early aggression with the bat to race to victory with 12.3 overs to spare.


Cronje, who made 57 in his team's win against the United Arab Emirates in Rawalpindi last Friday, hammered 78 as South Africa raced home at 178 for five off 37.3 overs.


The win, watched by just over 2,000 fans, enabled South Africa to displace New Zealand at the top of Group B.


New Zealand, despite its low score, might have made a contest of the game had they not spilt three possible catches from South Africa's opening pair in the first eight overs -- twice off Steve Palframan and once from Gary Kirsten.


Meanwhile, in Sri Lanka, organizers mounted an extensive security cover Tuesday to protect Zimbabwean cricketers who will play a match in Colombo, a frequent target of terrorist attacks by Tamil separatists.


About 450 policemen with machine guns, many accompanied by bomb-sniffing dogs, will encircle the Sinhalese Sports Club ground during the match Wednesday, a senior police official said.


About 17,000 spectators expected to attend will pass through metal detectors and be frisked by policemen, said the official on condition of anonymity.


On Tuesday, armed soldiers searched the rooms of the luxury sea-front Taj Samudra hotel where the Zimbabweans will stay. Although they were scheduled to arrive by Tuesday mid-morning, organizers refused to officially confirm their itinerary for "security reasons.''


The elaborate security is partly intended to show to the Australian and West Indies teams what they could have expected had they not refused to play here. ()