New Zealand have booked their first-ever berth in a World Cup final after Grant Elliott closed out victory over South Africa with a six off the penultimate ball.Elliott’s decisive blow against the country of his birth gave New Zealand a four-wicket win in Auckland on Tuesday.
With five needed from two balls, Grant Elliott hit Dale Steyn into the stands to finish unbeaten on 84 and seal a four-wicket win in Auckland.Elliott and Corey Anderson’s 58 had lifted the Black Caps from 149-4 in their chase of a rain-adjusted 298.
Earlier, David Miller had blazed his way to a 18-ball 49 as the Proteas set a difficult target. Opting to bat, South Africa notched up 281 for five, but the target was revised under the Duckworth/Lewis method after seven overs each were deducted per side following a two-hour rain interruption. Skipper AB de Villiers made an unbeaten 65 off 45 balls, while Faf du Plessis top-scored with a 107-ball 82, but it was Miller’s innings that gave Proteas the much-needed impetuous towards the end.
Chasing the huge target they looked to be sprinting through the run-chase when captain Brendon McCullum destroyed the South Africa attack with a 22-ball half-century that included taking 24 runs from a single Steyn over.Their defiance in the field came with some help from the home side, as McCullum slapped Morne Morkel to mid-on, Williamson pulled the same bowler on to his own stumps and Martin Guptill was run out in a mix-up with Ross Taylor.
And, when Taylor was caught down the leg side from the off-spin of Duminy, New Zealand still needed 139 from 22 overs.
They were pulled back into contention thanks to the watchful Elliott, who was strong through the covers, and the force of Anderson in a partnership of 103.
It was a fourth unsuccessful World Cup semi-final for the Proteas to add to two defeats and the famous 1999 tie with Australia.
“It’s funny how life works. It’s amazing to be at Eden Park today and to hit the winning runs to take New Zealand into the final. It’s been an awesome journey,” said Elliot with a big smile.
Tonight Will hurt.A lot.- said ABDV after match
Match summary: New Zealand 299 for 6 in 42.5 overs (Brendon McCullum 59, Corey Anderson 58, Grant Elliott 84*, Morne Morkel 3/59) beat South Africa 281 for 5 in 43 overs (Faf du Plessis 82, AB de Villiers 65*, David Miller 49, Corey Anderson 3/72) by four wickets (D/L method)
Man Of the match- Grand Elliott for match winning knock.