Belfast Telegraph

Cricket World Cup: New Zealand beat South Africa to reach final

By Jack de Menezes

New Zealand have beaten South Africa by four wickets in their Cricket World Cup semi-final. They will play either Australia or India in Sunday's final.

New Zealand reached their first ever Cricket World Cup final after a nail-biting victory over South Africa, in which all-rounder Grant Elliott hit a huge six off Dale Steyn with just a ball to spare.

In a rain-affected semi-final in Auckland, both teams were vying to put previous World Cup disappointments behind them and book a place in Sunday morning's final, which will be held in Melbourne against either co-hosts Australia or India.

South Africa had to deal with a rain delay towards the end of their innings, which was eventually reduced to 43 overs, and Faf du Plessis top-scored with 82 off 107 balls to help the Proteas reach 281-5. A B de Villiers also contributed with 65 off 45, but New Zealand will have hoped to reach the revised target of 298 off the same number of overs.

Captain Brendon McCullum got them off to a lighting start as he hit an impressive 59 off 26 balls, but his dismissal saw the co-hosts wobble in the middle of their innings and they suddenly found themselves chasing the game.

But while Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Luke Ronchi all failed to fire, Elliott steadied the innings with a beautifully-built 84 0ff 73 balls,with the most important six runs coming off the penultimate ball to seal their place in the World Cup final.

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