World Cup, New Zealand vs South Africa as it happened: Ice-cool Elliott powers Kiwis into first ever final

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World Cup, New Zealand vs South Africa as it happened: Ice-cool Elliott powers Kiwis into first ever final
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    Brendon McCullum: (Huge roar from the crowd) It's pretty amazing. South Africa gave as good as they got all day. Everybody involved will remember this for the rest of their lives. Keep raining is what I thought when AB was going. There were two very destructive batsmen at the crease. The way we kept giving it in the field, the way we bowled, we did good. Even with the bat. We wanted to hang in till the end. What a great innings from Grant Elliott. He came out of wilderness not long ago. We had to generate some sort of run-rate early, that is what we tried to go. Credit to South Africa the way they played tonight and throughout the tournament. This is the greatest time of our lives. The crowds that have turned, the brand of cricket we have tried to play. Hope the crowds are all dreaming the way we are. Jeez! It would be nice to win it (smiles). We don't mind whom we face in the final. They are both quality sides, but we know if we play the way we want to we are a good chance. Really proud to represent New Zealand.

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    De Villiers: It's Probably the most electric crowd I have ever heard in my life. I guess the best team has come out on top. We gave it our best. No regrets. We left it all out there. It is hurting. It is going to take a while to recover. Worst of all is we don't play for ourselves. The bigger picture is for the people back home. We play for them. I hope they can still be proud of us. I felt we had a wonderful thing going. Had a great feeling. Don't want to single out any performance. All the best to the teams in finals.

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    Man of the Match - Grant Elliott: It's great I mean, I don't think this win is for myself or the team but for everyone here who have been amazing. We wanted to take it as deep as we could. Corey batted really well and we timed the pace of our innings to perfection. When you got 40,000 fans screaming at you every ball, it's been an absolute pressure playing at Eden Park, playing at home ground. I think we have had a good run, it's the first final, we are a very level team and will take the final like every other game. (on being asked what was going through his mind when he hit that six) Nothing was going through my mind. I don't even know where the ball went (He smiles)

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    New Zealand beat South Africa by 4 wickets (D/L) method! New Zealand enter the World Cup final for the first time. 

    WHAT AN INNINGS FROM ELLIOTT, he hits the winning six AND WHAT A MATCH!

    Vettori backs away the first ball, Steyn follows him, Vettori misses his swing and they scamper through for a single. Elliott then hits one uppishly to extra cover where the ball falls jsut short of the fielder. They run through for a single. Vettori then hits  CRUCIAL BOUNDARY as he squirts it through point, wide of third man for a boundary. Verroti then misses hsi wild swing and they scamper through for a bye. With 5 needed off 2 balls, Elliott launches Steyn over long on for a six to send the Eden Park crowd in frenzy! Morkel is in tears.

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    Steyn will bowl the last over. 12 needed off 6 now.

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    After 42 overs, New Zealand 286/6 (Elliott 77, Vettori 3) 

    WHAT DRAMA IN THAT OVER. Behardien DROPS ELLIOTT! Vettori takes a single off the first balls. Elliott then goes for a big swing but gets a tope dge which falls in no man's land. They take a couple. He then takes a single and then Vettori pulls one to long leg where Steyn does brilliantly to make the stop and restricts them to just one. Ellliott then hammers one over extra cover for a four. Elliott then goes for a pull but gets a top edge, Behardien at deep square leg settles under it but there is no communication, Duminy goes for a dive and that distracts Behardien who fluffs it. 12 needed off 6 balls.

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    Morkel back on.....

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    23 needed off 12 now.

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    After 41 overs, New Zealand 275/6 (Elliott 68, Vettori 1) 

    A very good over from Steyn. 6 runs and a wicket off it. 

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    RUN OUT MISSED!

    De Kock fails to collect the ball now. Elliott tucks it to square leg, they take a single, and then go for a risky second. The throw comes in fromt he charging fielder and de Kock doesn't gather it. Elliott was struggling and would have been back in the hut had de Kock collected. Another big moment in the match.

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    OUT! Ronchi departs! L Ronchi c Rossouw b Steyn 8 (7b 1x4 0x6) , After 40.1 overs, New Zealand 269/6 (Elliott 63)

    Steyn strikes. Length delivery on off, Ronchi stays in his crease and flicks it straight into the hands of Rossouw at deep square leg. 

    Daniel Vettori is the new batsman.

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    After 40 overs, New Zealand 269/5 (Elliott 63, Ronchi 8) 

    After just two runs off the first four balls, Ronchi plays a brilliant shot as he flicks one over mid-wicket and it races away to the fence. He then smashes one to long off for a couple. 7 runs off the over. 29 needed off 18.

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    After 39 overs, New Zealand 262/5 (Elliott 62, Ronchi 2) 

    After 2 runs off the first three balls, de Villiers delivers a half tracker, Elliott launches it over deep mmid-wicket for a six. Two more singles make it 10 runs from the over. 36 needed off 24 balls now. 

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    de Villiers continues.....

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    After 38 overs, New Zealand 243/5 (Elliott 52, Anderson 51) 

    Brilliant over from Morkel, absolutely brilliant. Just one run and the important wicket of Anderson. TThe tension is building - 46 needed off 30!

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    OUT! Morkel gets the breakthrough at crucial juncture! C Anderson c du Plessis b Morkel 58 (57b 6x4 2x6). After 38 overs, New Zealand 252/5 (Elliott 54)

    Back of a length delivery on middle and leg, Anderson goes for a pull but gets a top edge high in the air, du Plessis at square leg settles under the swirling ball and pouches a brilliant catch. He goes down on the ground and has his arms outstretched in relief. He is pumped up. The umpires check whether the ball hit the spider cam but the third umpire gives a clean chit. Anderson departs. Could this be the twist in the tale? 

    Luke Ronchi is the new batsman.

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    Morkel back on.

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    After 37 overs, New Zealand 243/4 (Elliott 52, Anderson 51) 

    It's been all toss easy for the Kiwis. South Africa desperately need a wicket. After two singles and a quick couple, de Villiers drops one short, Anderson pulls it behind square leg for a boundary. 8 runs off the over. 47 needed off 36 now. 35/0 in the Batting Powerplay, a decent one for the Kiwis!

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    De Villiers brings himself on.

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    After 36 overs, New Zealand 243/4 (Elliott 52, Anderson 51) 

    Brilliant stuff from Anderson and Elliott. Anderson cracks one through covers for four and then Elliott lofts one over cover to bring up his fifty. Four more singles make it 12 runs from the over. New Zealand need 55 from 42. They should get past the finish line now. 

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    FIFTY for Elliott!

    Elliott brings up his 8th ODI fifty. He lofts one over extra cover for a boundary. Six 4s and a six in his innings. He's been calmest of all the batsmen. 

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    FIFTY for Anderson!

    A very good innigns under pressure. 50 off 47 balls. Five fours and 2 sixes in his innigns so far. Brilliant stuff. 

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    As predicted, Imran Tahir is brought back into the attack.

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    After 35 overs, New Zealand 231/4 (Elliott 47, Anderson 45) 

    Good stuff from Elliott, he heaves the first delivery over dep square leg for a six. He then shuffles across and flicks through mid-wicket for a single. Anderson then lofts it over extra cover for a boundary. A single off the last ball makes it 12 runs off the over. 67 needed off 48 balls. South Africa should bring Tahir on now. He's been really good and they need a wicket here.

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    After 34 overs, New Zealand 219/4 (Elliott 40, Anderson 40) 

    A decent over from Steyn. 6 runs off it. Elliott drive one uppishly jsut wide of extra cover for a couple. There is still problems with running between the wickets between these two batsmen. 79 needed off 54 balls.

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    Dale Steyn continues.......

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    After 33 overs, New Zealand 213/4 (Elliott 38, Anderson 37) 

    Good comeback from Morkel in that over. Anderson smashes the first ball through mid off and it whizzes away to the fence. Morkel then beats Anderson's outside edge and concedes just one onre run off the next five balls. 5 runs off the over. 85 needed off 60.

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    New Zealand have taken the Batting Powerplay.

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    After 32 overs, New Zealand 208/4 (Elliott 37, Anderson 33) 

    AB de Vliiers missed a run out of Anderson! Elliott pats it to point and sets off for a single, Anderson too sets off but then Elliott sends him back, Anderson is almost half way down. The fielder throws it to the bowlers end, Ab de Villiers rushes in and looks to take it on the half volley but he doesn't manage to gather it cleanly and breaks the stumps with his hands. He is out of balance, Anderson is still out and de Villiers tries to knock downt he stumps but being out of balance, he doesn't manage to do that. Anderson gets back in and third umpire rules him not out. Elliott then guides one to third man for a boundary. 5 runs off the over and it looks as if the run out miss would prove costly!

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    After 31 overs, New Zealand 203/4 (Elliott 33, Anderson 32) 

    Not a bad over from the Captain. Just 4 singles off it. Kiwis require 95 from 12 overs. 

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    This is interesting, AB de Villiers brings himself back into the attack......

Preview: South Africa or New Zealand is poised to rewrite its World Cup history in the Cricket World Cup semifinal on Tuesday, when the winner will earn a spot in the final for the first time.

Both teams are playing good cricket — in New Zealand's case perhaps the best in its history — both are confident and, despite a late injury to New Zealand fast bowler Adam Milne, both are heading into match in what South Africa captain A.B. de Villiers describes as "a good space."

Yet the fear exists, based partly on their respective World Cup records, that the knockout match may not be won by the best team but might be lost by the team that blinks first.

 World Cup, New Zealand vs South Africa as it happened: Ice-cool Elliott powers Kiwis into first ever final

Brendon McCullum in action during the World Cup. AFP

New Zealand will be appearing in a World Cup semifinal for the seventh time and has never gone further, never taken the next step to give itself the chance in a final to win one of cricket's biggest prizes. South Africa, among the top cricket-playing nations, probably has the most abject World Cup record among the top contenders, a history of misfortune, miscalculation and form implosions.

The semifinal has the potential to provide great sporting theater, with a host of the world's most exciting players and two form teams meeting in a make-or-break contest in front of a packed house. But the possibility exists that one of those teams might find the occasion too much — in a word, choke — and deliver a win to the other side.

"I don't think so," said New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, adding he would sleep well Monday night. "Both teams are playing aggressively, playing an entertaining style of cricket and both teams are trying to win key moments rather than not lose them. Tomorrow will be a great spectacle and I expect the team that is able to handle the crunch situations the best will come out on top.

"We'll have one team that's never made it to the final celebrating and the others will take it in their stride."

South Africa's failures at past World Cups have been well documented. In 1992 it faced England in a rain-affected semifinal: South Africa needed 22 runs from 13 balls when the rain began but somehow was set the revised target of 21 from one ball when it cleared. In 1996, as one of the favorites, it was eliminated in the quarterfinals.

As tournament host in 2003, South Africa failed to progress beyond the group stage when it bungled a run chase in a rain-affected match, leading to the resignation of captain Shaun Pollock. In 2007 it crashed out in the semifinals after being dismissed by Australia for 149 — its lowest World Cup score.

And in 2011, in a match in which current skipper AB de Villiers was a key figure, it was beaten by New Zealand in an acrimonious quarterfinal.

"There has been a lot of emphasis on our past and South Africa not doing well at World Cups," de Villiers said. "We don't mind that too much.

"I have gone through the whole package of emotions, fighting it, accepting it, then fighting it again. I honestly am not putting emphasis on that at all."

South Africa ended its winless streak in knockout matches when it beat 1996 champion Sri Lanka in a quarterfinal last week, and de Villiers' squad is growing in confidence.

"I know the squad is in a really good space and I am going to say it again ... we know if we play a good game of cricket we will come out on top," de Villiers said.

South Africa still has a minor injury concern around seamer Vernon Philander, who has had a hamstring injury. Philander seemed untroubled when he bowled in the nets on Sunday and he might play at the expense of Kyle Abbott.

New Zealand had a setback on Monday when its third seamer, Adam Milne, was ruled out due to a heel injury. McCullum and coach Mike Hesson will check out the Eden Park pitch before making a decision on Milne's replacement, though it is possible the relatively inexperienced Matt Henry, a late addition to the squad, will play.

Those are minor setbacks in what have otherwise been untroubled preparations for this match. South Africa has had longer than New Zealand to focus on this game, after beating Sri Lanka in its quarterfinal. New Zealand has had only two days to refocus after its comprehensive quarterfinal win over the West Indies.

"The way we've been playing has been obviously a pretty exciting brand of cricket as well," McCullum said. "Just because it's a pressure game we shouldn't change that. It's our greatest chance of success. That's our most authentic style of cricket and I wouldn't think that will change tomorrow."

AP

Updated Date: Mar 24, 2015 16:22:02 IST