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This article was first published 9 years ago  » Cricket » PHOTOS: Elliott's six powers Kiwis to maiden World Cup final

PHOTOS: Elliott's six powers Kiwis to maiden World Cup final

Source: PTI
Last updated on: March 24, 2015 17:10 IST
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Grant Elliott

Grant Elliott celebrates hitting the winning runs. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand scripted history by entering their maiden ICC World Cup final appearance with a stunning four-wicket win in a nerve-wracking semi-final against South Africa, finally shedding the tag of perennial under-achievers in the mega-event.

- Scorecard

Chasing a stiff target of 298 runs in 43 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis rule in a rain-curtailed game, New Zealand clinched victory when Grant Elliott (84) smashed Dale Steyn over long-on for a six with just one ball to spare in a thrilling showdown.

Their opponents in Sunday's final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground will be either India or Australia who play the second semi-final on Thursday.

 Grant Elliott hits a six

Grant Elliott hits a six to win the match for New Zealand. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

Needing 12 to win off six balls, veteran Daniel Vettori steered Steyn for a four through the off-side to bring the equation down to five from two balls, before Elliott hit the winning runs as the Eden Park broke into wild celebrations.

Grant Elliott (right) helps Dale Steyn up after the semi-final match. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Steyn appeared to be struggling with a leg injury and, in fact, had to receive treatment midway through the final over.

Elliott was rightly named the man of the match for his superb innings of 84 off 73 balls, having hit seven fours and three sixes as he put on a crucial partnership of 103 runs for the fifth wicket with Corey Anderson, who stroked a quickfire 58 off 57 balls.

The dejected South African players walk off the field. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

The result meant the perennial choker's tag will continue to haunt South Africa and they will again look for soul searching.

New Zealand's players celebrate winning the semi-final match. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

Since the inaugural edition in 1975, New Zealand have reached the semi-finals of the showpiece event six times, but failed to clear the penultimate hurdle on all the occasions.

Brendon McCullum

Brendon McCullum hits out. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

Captain Brendon McCullum had set the pace for the chase with his blazing innings of 59 off 26 balls, having blasted eight fours and four sixes. He put on a whirlwind opening partnership with Martin Guptill of 71 runs from the first five overs.

Tim Southee of New Zealand looks on as David Miller of South Africa and AB de Villiers of cross for a run

Tim Southee of New Zealand looks on as David Miller of South Africa and AB de Villiers of cross for a run. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Earlier, David Miller blazed his way to a 18-ball 49 as South Africa set New Zealand a daunting target of 298 runs in 43 overs in the rain-curtailed first semifinal of the cricket World Cup in Auckland on Tuesday.

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 at Eden Park.

Miller clobbered six fours and three sixes, narrowly missing out on equalling the record for fastest World Cup fifty.

AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers falls over after taking a quick single. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

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.

Thanks to his blitzkrieg, South Africa, who were 184 for three at the end of 35th over, scored 65 runs in the last five overs.

South Africa also seemed to have brought all the luck with them as Williamson dropped de Villiers at short cover just as the batsman was settling down. The Proteas skipper smashed one hard off Anderson but the ball burst through Williamson's fingers.

Faf du Plessis of South Africa dives

Faf du Plessis dives to make his crease. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

As expected, the drop cost New Zealand dear as de Villiers launched into Anderson, hitting the next ball for a six over long-on and followed that up with two boundaries to signal his intention.

With de Villiers hitting top gear and du Plessis keeping one end solid, the 200 was up in the 37th over. The cloud cover then gave way to rain, which interrupted proceedings with South Africa going strong at 216 for three after the end of the 38th over.

When play finally resumed, de Villiers was not at his best but Miller made up for that with his attacking knock.

Trent Boult of New Zealand celebrates

Trent Boult (left) celebrates with team mates after taking the wicket of Hashim Amla. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Earlier, South Africa looked edgy and found the going tough with Trent Boult sending back both the openers, Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock, with only 31 runs on the board in the eighth over.

Though both Amla and de Kock got a reprieve each, they failed to make them count, getting dismissed for 10 and 14 respectively.

However, New Zealand were made to suffer after Kane Williamson dropped de Villiers in the 36th over.

But before that, with the two early scalps, Boult became New Zealand's leading bowler at a World Cup, overtaking Geoff Allott's 21 victims in 1999. He now has 22, the highest in this edition of the tournament.

New Zealand kept things tight and it encouraged skipper Brendon McCullum to employ an attacking field with five slips and a gully in place at one stage of the innings, a rare sight in one-day cricket.

The South African ship was steadied by du Plessis and Rilee Rossouw (39) as the pair added 83 runs for the third wicket.

Scoring was not easy but the two fought it out in their quest to lay a base for the likes of de Villiers and Miller to hit out later. Rossouw hit two fours and a six in his 53-ball knock, which was brought to and end by Corey Anderson.

The dismissal brought to the crease de Villiers and as is the case normally, in his presence the momentum swung South Africa's way in no time. 

Don't miss Prem Panicker on World Cup 2015!

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