Kiwi miracle as SA chokes again

Written By komlim puldel on Selasa, 24 Maret 2015 | 20.01

New Zealand are heading to their first ever Cricket World Cup final after they beat South Africa by 4-wickets in a thrilling semi-final that had it all.

New Zealand's Corey Anderson reacts in frustration. Source: AFP

NEW Zealand is into the Cricket World Cup final for the first time, and in the most extraordinary of circumstances.

Grant Elliott closed out the victory over South Africa with a six off the penultimate ball against his native country, giving the Kiwis a thrilling four-wicket win.

For South Africa, it meant the country's incredible World Cup curse continued. Players were reduced to tears.

Set a formidable target of 298 in a semi-final reduced by rain to 43 overs a side, the Black Caps got a blazing start from skipper Brendon McCullum.

Elliott and Corey Anderson then combined for a fifth-wicket century partnership to keep the home side in with a chance.

Anderson had a huge reprieve on 33, when well short of his ground, but Proteas skipper AB de Villiers lost the ball in trying to effect a run-out.

AB de Villiers makes a shocking mistake during a crucial runout chance. Source: Getty Images

The image of de Villiers — South Africa's superman — fluffing the chance will remain the enduring image of this World Cup.

When Anderson fell for 58, New Zealand needed 46 from 30 balls.

Then Elliott had a life with seven balls to go as JP Duminy and substitute fielder Farhaan Behardien collided when going for a catch in comical scenes.

That left the equation at 12 needed from the final over.

A Daniel Vettori boundary through third man and then a single made it five from two balls, before Elliott lofted the ball over the long-on boundary to finish unbeaten on 84, with New Zealand on 6-299.

New Zealand has now reached the final for the first time after seven semi-final appearances.

It will meet either defending champions India or four-time winners Australia in Melbourne on Sunday.

South Africa's Farhaan Behardien (right) and JP Duminy collide as another chance goes begging. Source: AFP

The Duckworth-Lewis method came into play after South Africa's innings was disrupted by a two-hour rain delay.

When the players came back out, the Proteas smashed 65 runs from their remaining five overs to end on 5-281.

It was big-hitting David Miller who pumped the accelerator in the closing stages, smacking

49 from 18 balls.

Before the wet weather arrived, de Villiers and Faf du Plessis had set South Africa towards a big total after upping the tempo and taking their stand past 100.

De Villiers, who ended unbeaten on 65, had a life of his own on 38 when he thrashed an Anderson delivery to cover, but Williamson couldn't hold on to the chance.

He responded to the let-off by hitting the next three balls of the over for a six and two fours to bring up a 32-ball half-century.

Du Plessis fell for 82 to the first delivery he faced after the resumption, caught behind off Anderson, who was expensive but ended with three wickets.

— with AAP

Re-live the epic encounter with our rolling blog below.

A distraught Morne Morkel was moved to tears after the loss. Source: AFP

SOUTH AFRICA CHOKES AS KIWIS PULL OFF A MIRACLE

THIS was one that had it all.

Dropped catches, missed runouts, brilliant catches, superb innings.

And, not least of all, another incredible South Africa choke.

New Zealand needed 12 to win off the last over — and against arguably the best bowler in the world, Dale Steyn.

Suddenly it was six from three as Kiwi legend Daniel Vettori squirted the ball for a boundary.

Then it was over to Grant Elliott, the unlikely hero, to hammer a six for the winning runs.

An over earlier, there was a comical collision between Farhaan Behardien and JP Duminy that led to Elliott being dropped.

How costly that proved to be.

8.25pm — FANTASTIC CATCH FROM DU PLESSIS

FAF du Plessis, take a bow.

With everything at stake, the South African star has taken the most under pressure of catches as Corey Anderson skied the ball a mile in the air.

Anderson departs for 58 off 57 balls, leaving New Zealand requiring 46 more runs off 30 balls with five wickets in hand.

The catch came after four dot balls from Morne Morkel, heaping on the pressure that led to the dismissal.

8.15pm — SEMI GOING DOWN TO WIRE

TWO unlikely heroes are standing up for New Zealand, with both Grant Elliott and Corey Anderson registering half centuries under enormous pressure.

The Kiwis now need 55 to win from 42 balls with six wickets remaining.

Corey Anderson has produced an innings to remember for New Zealand. Source: AP

7.50pm — AB DE VILLIERS' SHOCKING ERROR

AB de Villiers is human after all.

South Africa's Superman has fumbled what was — by his lofty standards — the easiest of runout chances as New Zealand closes in on a mammoth total.

De Villiers fumbled the low return at the non-striker's end with New Zealand batsman Corey Anderson nowhere near making his ground.

But de Villiers removed the bails without the ball in hand.

Whispers of "choke" going around the cricket world once more.

Watch the incident below.

South Africa captain AB de Villiers has missed a crucial run-out attempt as the Proteas look to stop New Zealand winning their Cricket World Cup semi-final.

6.40pm — BRAIN SNAP SCREWS NEW ZEALAND

AFTER a fast start, the Kiwis were pretty well on track in their mammoth semi-final run chase, but a moment of madness changed all that.

Martin Guptill, the man who made a World Cup record 237 not out last time out, was run out for 34 (38 balls) going for a single that just was not there.

Ross Taylor nudged the ball towards Hashim Amla at backward point and tehy took off.

But then hesitated. And that hesitation was fatal as Guptill was well short of his crease at the keeper's end.

Guptill was furious as he left the field. And rightly so.

After 18 overs, New Zealand was 3/133, needing 165 runs off 25 overs at 6.60.

6.10pm — WILLIAMSON OUT FOR SIX

MORNE MORKEL has struck again, taking the key wicket of Kane Williamson for six runs.

Williamson played on to his own stumps as New Zealand fell to 2/81 off 8.5 overs.

New Zealand's Kane Williamson is bowled by South Africa's Morne Morkel. Source: AFP

6pm — MCCULLUM BLASTS RAPID-FIRE 50, DEPARTS

KIWI opener Brendon McCullum brought up his 50 off just 22 balls but could only manage nine more runs before falling to Morne Morkel, caught by Dale Steyn at mid-on.

When his wicket fell, New Zealand was 1/71 after just 6.1 overs.

5.40pm — KIWIS OFF TO A FLYING START

AFTER just three overs, New Zealand has flown to 0-32 in its mammoth chase of 298 off 43 overs.

Brendon McCullum has done all the damage so far, racing to 26 off 14 balls.

Brendon McCullum launched out of the gates. Source: AP

5.20pm — HAS NZ DROPPED THE WORLD CUP?

OH, boy. New Zealand's Kane Williamson has dropped the one man you do not want to drop, AB de Villiers.

The South African superstar got a life on 38, blasting a ball to Williamson at short cover and it burst through his hands.

It was a tough chance but he got both hands to it, as you can in the video player below.

De Villiers made the Kiwis pay immediately, smashing the very next ball for six and then going, four, four, to bring up his 50.

After a lengthy rain delay, and with the overs reduced to 50 overs a side, de Villiers and David Miller kept the fireworks going.

The superstar finished with 65 off 45 balls, as South Africa posted 5/281 off 43 overs.

Miller exploded with 49 off 18 balls at the death for the Proteas.

New Zealand's revise chase, due to the Duckworth-Lewis method, is 298 off 43 overs, at a run rate of 6.93.

South Africa batsman AB de Villiers is looking to make the Black Caps pay after Kane Williamson dropped the Proteas skipper when he was on 38 in their Cricket World Cup semi-final.

4.50pm — NZ STRIKES AFTER BREAK

TWO balls after the rain delay, Faf du Plessis has departed for 82 after being caught behind from an attempted pull shot.

Faf du Plessis steadied South Africa's inning before being dismissed for 82. Source: AFP

4.30pm — PLAY RESUMES AFTER RAIN DELAY

THE semi-final has been reduced to 43 overs a side after a lengthy rain delay at Eden Park.

South Africa will resume play at 3/216 after 38 overs, with five overs left to swing from the hip.

Rain, rain, go away. Source: AFP

2.21pm — AB'S UNBELIEVABLE BACKFOOT DRIVE

THIS journalist was deadset drooling after AB de Villiers hit the most exquisite of backfoot drives down to the long on boundary for four.

De Villiers is starting to hit his straps at precisely the right time for South Africa, moving to 26 off 23 balls.

Faf du Plessis has scored a gutsy 63 runs from 91 balls, with South Africa 6/162 off 33 overs.

AB de Villiers is turning it on for South Africa. Source: AP

1.55pm — GUPTILL TAKES A SCREAMER

THE man cannot not do a thing wrong right now.

Days after smashing a World Cup record 237 not out, New Zealand's Martin Guptill has taken one of the catches of the tournament to remove Rilee Rossouw.

Guptill, fielding at backward point, dove to his right and stuck out his right hand, reeling the ball in, in his fingertips.

The dismissal brings danger man AB de Villiers to the crease and boy do the South Africans need him, with the score at 3/114 after 26 overs.

Cricket World Cup: New Zealand star Martin Guptill has provided definitive proof that kiwis can indeed fly, snaring a screamer to remove South Africa's Rilee Rossouw

1.30pm — SOUTH AFRICA DIGGING IN

FAF du Plessis (34 off 60 balls) and Rilee Rossouw (20 off 35) are slowly bring South Africa back into the game after a terrible start that saw the Proteas lose two wickets in the first eight overs.

South Africa has moved to 2/85 after 21 overs and will be need to put the foot down to post any sort of defendable total against the strong New Zealand batting lineup.

It's been slow, slow going for South Africa. Source: AP

1pm — KIWIS' ULTRA-AGGRESSIVE TACTIC

IT'S unheard of in one-day cricket but New Zealand is getting in the heads of South Africa by using four slips and a gully in their World Cup semi-final.

South Africa has crawled 2/55 after 14 overs.

12.25pm — WICKET! DE KOCK GONE FOR 14

NEW Zealand has South Africa in a bit of early trouble, with both openers dismissed cheaply.

Quinton de Kock (14) has followed Hashim Amla (10) back to the pavilion after thick edging an attempted drive straight to third man.

Trent Boult has picked up both the wickets to fall as South Africa moves to 2/31 in the eighth over.

Quinton De Kock makes his way back to the sheds. Source: AP

12.15pm — WICKET! AMLA BOWLED FOR 10

KIWI paceman Trent Boult has taken the big wicket of Hashim Amla for just 10 runs as the South African opener played on to his stumps in the fourth over.

New Zealand's Trent Boult celebrates the wicket of Hashim Amla. Source: Getty Images

12.10pm — RONCHI DROPS DE KOCK

NEW Zealand wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi put down South African opener Quinton de Kock in the second over off the bowling of Trent Boult.

De Kock edged the full, swinging delivery but Ronchi couldn't grasp the chance low to his left.

Three balls later another chance went begging as Hashim Amla skied an attempted hook but Boult couldn't get there at long leg.

Hashim Amla skied a hook but Trent Boult couldn't get there at long leg. Source: Getty Images

12pm — SOUTH AFRICA WIN TOSS, BAT FIRST

PROTEAS captain AB de Villiers won the toss and elected to bat first against the Kiwis as both teams attempt to reach the World Cup final for the first time.

Steady overnight rain dampened the outfield at Eden Park but didn't prevent the match from starting on time and wasn't expected to cause any disruption.

New Zealand is playing in a semi-final for the seventh time, South Africa for the second time: whichever team wins will meet the winner of Thursday's match between Australia and India.

Fast bowler Matt Henry, who was only called into the New Zealand squad on Monday as a replacement for injured Adam Milne, has been drafted directly into the lineup.

Vernon Philander returned to the South African XI after recovering from a hamstring injury that has allowed him to play in only three previous matches at the tournament. He displaces Kyle Abbott.

TEAMS

NEW ZEALAND: Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum (capt), Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Grant Elliott, Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi, Daniel Vettori, Matt Henry, Tim Southee, Trent Boult.

SOUTH AFRICA: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, A.B. de Villiers (capt), Rilee Rossouw, David Miller, J.P. Duminy, Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir.


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