New Zealand Beats South Africa to Reach Cricket World Cup Final

New Zealand defeated South Africa by four wickets to reach its first cricket World Cup final.

Grant Elliott hit a six on the next-to-last ball to push the hosts to 299-6, surpassing the 298 target in 43 overs set by South Africa in the rain-affected match in Auckland. South Africa reached 281-5 in its 43 overs, with Faf du Plessis leading the attack with 82 runs.

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum started off its innings with 59 runs from 26 balls, hitting 8 fours and 4 sixes, before being caught off the bowling of Morne Morkel, who took 3-59. Daniel Vettori and Elliott combined for 30 runs in 2.4 overs to seal the result.

“Pretty amazing,” McCullum said in a televised interview “South Africa gave as good as they got all day. Everybody involved will remember this for the rest of their lives. We had to generate some sort of run-rate early, that is what we tried to go.”

Today’s match was delayed for two hours, and New Zealand’s target was set by the Duckworth-Lewis method of determining rain-shortened matches.

South Africa was on 216-3 after 38 overs when the rain stopped play, with du Plessis on 82 from 106 balls and AB de Villiers on 60 from 38. Du Plessis was out two balls after the restart, caught off the bowling of Corey Anderson, who took 3-72.

“Amazing game of cricket,” de Villiers said. “Probably the most electric crowd I have ever heard in my life. We gave it our best. It is hurting. It is going to take a while to recover.”

New Zealand will face the winner of Thursday’s semifinal between defending champion India and host Australia. The final is March 29.

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