25 Mar 2015

NZ into Cricket World Cup final

9:00 am on 25 March 2015

Grant Elliott is the toast of the nation this morning after launching the Black Caps into their first Cricket World Cup final.

With two balls remaining and the Black Caps needing five runs to win, Elliott hit South African fast bowler Dale Steyn for six to give New Zealand a four wicket win in their semi-final at Eden Park.

The dramatic win broke the jinx that had seen the New Zealand team lose six previous world cup semi-finals. The Black Caps will now play the winner of the tomorrow's second semi-final in Sydney between Australia and India.

Set 298 in 43 overs, after South Africa's innings was curtailed by rain New Zealand got off to a rollicking start with skipper Brendon McCullum making 59 off 26 balls to have the Black Caps 71-1 after six overs.

But at 149 for four the match was in the balance.

Corey Anderson, who scored 58, and Elliott combined for a 103-run fifth wicket partnership to bring New Zealand to the brink of victory.

Elliott, who is nicknamed "the hairy javelin" for his stature and body hair, said he tried to remain detached throughout his innings, but it was difficult, especially in the closing stages.

“I really did feel the pressure, I had two balls and Dan (Vettori) said we weren't going to run to the keeper again so I knew it was up to me,” he said.