New Zealand enter final
AFP AUCKLAND — South Africa-born Grant Elliott's brilliant 84 not out, capped with a stunning six off the penultimate ball, saw New Zealand to a four-wicket win over the Proteas in a cliffhanger World Cup semifinal at Auckland's Eden Park on Tuesday.
Elliott's winning hit, off injured South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn, took New Zealand into the World Cup final for the first time and they will play the winner of Thursday's second semi, between Australia and India in Sydney, in Sunday's showpiece match in Melbourne
New Zealand faced a revised target of 298 under the Duckworth/lewis method after South Africa made five for 281 in 43 overs, which included a near two-hour rain stoppage.
Black Caps skipper Brendon Mccullum made a typically quickfire 59 off 26 balls at the head of the innings.
Then came a valuable 103-run partnership between Elliott and Corey Anderson and New Zealand appeared to have the game in hand with six overs to go.
But Morne Morkel regained the initiative for South Africa by taking a wicket and conceding only one run in the 38th over, and by the start of the 43rd, and final, over New Zealand required 12 to win.
They started with a bye, a single, a four to Daniel Vettori, another bye and then Johannesburg-born Elliott, who turned 36 last weekend, smacked Steyn high into the stands as New Zealand, after losing all six of their previous World Cup semi-finals, completed a thrilling win. — AFP