New Zealand enter historic World Cup final

New Zealand enter historic World Cup final

South Africa faltered yet again at a critical moment in the World Cup on Tuesday when New Zealand snatched a semifinal victory which appeared to be beyond their grasp for much of a rain-affected match at Eden Park.

New Zealand's Grant Elliott, born in Johannesburg, struck the premier South African strike bowler Dale Steyn for a six to give the World Cup co-hosts an epic four-wicket victory with a ball to spare.

Twelve runs were required off the final over of the rain-reduced match after New Zealand had been set a daunting 298 to score off 43 overs.

Veteran Daniel Vettori squeezed a four past third man, the pair ran a bye and Elliott hit the winning six over long-on to secure New Zealand's first semifinal victory in seven attempts. They will now meet the winners of Thursday's second semifinal between Australia and India in Sydney at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday. New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said it was the greatest time of their lives. “It was a great advertisement for cricket, everybody will remember this for the rest of their lives,” he said.

Man-of-the-match Elliott, who scored 84 not out, said the support from the crowd had been amazing as New Zealand chased down their demanding target. “It's not for myself, not for the team but its for everyone here. The support has been amazing,” Elliott said.
Distraught South Africa captain A B de Villiers laid the blame for the loss on a string of costly errors on the field.

“We had our chances especially in the second half of the game and we didn’t take them so its difficult to say what kind of emotions I’m feeling. It is obviously painful,” said the Proteas captain.

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