Cricket World Cup: New Zealand beat South Africa in thriller to final

New Zealand beat South Africa with a six off the penultimate ball to reach the World Cup final for the first time.

World Cup semi-final, Auckland
South Africa 281-5 (43 overs): Du Plessis 82, De Villiers 65*
New Zealand 299-6 (42.5 overs): Elliott 84*, McCullum 59, Anderson 58
New Zealand won by four wickets (Duckworth/Lewis method)

With five needed from two balls, Grant Elliott hit Dale Steyn into the stands to finish unbeaten on 84 and seal a four-wicket win in Auckland.

Elliott and Corey Anderson’s 58 had lifted the Black Caps from 149-4 in their chase of a rain-adjusted 298.

South Africa had earlier posted 281-5, with Faf du Plessis making 82, in a match reduced to 43 overs per side.

Captain AB de Villiers weighed in with an unbeaten 65 for South Africa and David Miller an 18-ball 49 in a target that was escalated by Duckworth-Lewis, but just within New Zealand’s reach.

It was a fourth unsuccessful World Cup semi-final for the Proteas to add to two defeats and the famous 1999 tie with Australia.

For New Zealand, a seventh last-four tie finally yielded a place in the final after six previous losses.

It was earned in a thrilling, fluctuating contest played out in front of a raucous and partisan crowd at Eden Park.

In scarcely believable drama that had echoes of Kane Williamson’s six to defeat Australia by one-wicket earlier in the tournament, South Africa-born Elliott smashed Steyn for six over long-on two balls after Daniel Vettori steered a four to the third-man boundary.

Elliott should have been caught from the final ball of the previous over, but his top-edged hook fell to the ground after a boundary collision by JP Duminy and sub fielder Farhaan Behardien.

That South Africa came so close was down to their third comeback of a game that both teams controlled at various points.

Read more at BBC Sport