Seventh time lucky: Kiwis finally break World Cup semifinal jinx

New Zealand made it seventh time lucky as they reached their maiden World Cup final after six semi-final defeats with a thrilling four-wicket victory over South Africa in a rain-affected clash at Auckland's Eden Park on Tuesday.

Here's a look back at New Zealand's World Cup semi-final history:

1975, The Oval: New Zealand 158 (G Howarth 51; B Julien 4-27) lost to the West Indies 159-5 (A Kallicharran 72, G Greenidge 55) by 5 wkts

Left-arm paceman Bernard Julien's haul was mainly responsible for New Zealand batting fewer than 53 of their then scheduled 60 overs, with Geoff Howarth top-scoring with 51.

A second-wicket stand of 125 between Gordon Greenidge and Alvin Kallicharran then took the West Indies, the eventual champions, to the brink of victory.

1979, Old Trafford: New Zealand 212-9 (J Wright 69) lost to England 221-8 (G Gooch 71, M Brearley 53) by 9 runs

New Zealand great Richard Hadlee took a miserly one for 32 in 12 overs but fifties from Graham Gooch and England captain Mike Brearley saw the hosts to a decent total.

 Seventh time lucky: Kiwis finally break World Cup semifinal jinx

New Zealand after their win against South Africa. AFP

Opener John Wright anchored New Zealand's chase until he was run out by Derek Randall and, as wickets kept falling, a target of 14 off the last over, bowled by Ian Botham, proved just beyond New Zealand.

1992, Auckland: New Zealand 262-7 (M Crowe 91, K Rutherford 50) lost to Pakistan 264-6 (Inzamam-ul-Haq 60, Javed Miandad 57 no) by 4 wkts

New Zealand captain Martin Crowe led from the front but suffered a pulled hamstring and a mix-up with his runner saw him run out nine runs shy of a hundred. But with Ken Rutherford making 50, New Zealand set Pakistan a stiff chase.

However, Crowe -- in a bid to be fit for the final -- wasn't on the field when Pakistan batted and, as a result, a series of elaborate bowling changes he had planned were not carried out by acting skipper Wright.

Pakistan were 140 for four after 35 overs, needing 123 from the last 15. But Inzamam-ul-Haq announced himself to the world with a brilliant innings and, with veteran batsman Javed Miandad, he shared a match-changing stand of 87.

1999, Old Trafford: New Zealand 241-7 lost to Pakistan 242-1 (Saeed Anwar 113 no, Wajahatullah Wasti 84) by 9 wkts

New Zealand were undone by a superb opening stand of 194 between Saeed Anwar and Wajahatullah Wasti.

The match ended in chaos when, with Pakistan needing two runs for victory, Roger Twose abandoned an attempt to catch Anwar as spectators charged on to the field, with the runs awarded later by the umpires.

2007, Kingston: New Zealand 208 (M Muralitharan 4-31) lost to Sri Lanka 289-5 (M Jayawardene 115 no, U Tharanga 73) by 81 runs

Sri Lanka piled up an imposing total on the back of a brilliant hundred by Mahela Jayawardene and a fifty by opener Upul Tharanga.

In reply, no New Zealand batsman made more than opener Peter Fulton's 46, with off-spin great Muttiah Muralitharan taking four wickets.

2011, Colombo: New Zealand 217 (S Styris 57) lost to Sri Lanka 220-5 (T Dilshan 73, K Sangakkara 54) by 5 wkts

New Zealand struggled for runs, with Scott Styris playing largely a lone hand in an innings where the next best score was 39, while paceman Lasith Malinga and spinner Ajantha Mendis took three wickets each.

Fine fifties from Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara meant that, although Sri Lanka lost three wickets in the 160s, they inflicted another semi-final defeat upon New Zealand.

2015, Auckland: New Zealand 299-6 (G Elliott 84 no, B McCullum 59, C Anderson 58) bt South Africa 281-5 (F du Plessis 82, AB de Villiers 65 no) by 4 wkts (D/L method)

South Africa were set for a huge total at 216 for three off 38 overs when rain stopped play for nearly two hours and left them with just five more overs to bat.

Faf du Plessis was unable to add to his 82 but, with South Africa captain AB de Villiers largely a spectator, David Miller thrashed 49 off just 18 balls as the Proteas scored 65 runs in their last five overs.

That left New Zealand chasing a revised victory target of 298 in 43 overs. Black Caps skipper and opener Brendon McCullum blasted a quickfire 59 but New Zealand were in trouble at 149 for four.

However, a stand of 103 between Corey Anderson and Grant Elliott swung the match back New Zealand's way.

South Africa fought back despite missed run-outs and dropped catches and, with two balls left, the Black Caps needed five to win.

However, South Africa-born Elliott capped a superb innings and dramatic victory by smashing fast bowler Dale Steyn for six off the penultimate delivery.

AFP

Updated Date: Mar 25, 2015 08:06:53 IST