Player of the Match
Player of the Match

11.25pm Oh what a night. We will never forget it. Boult's swing at the top of the innings, du Plessis' absorption of all New Zealand could throw at him, Williamson dropping de Villiers, de Villiers and Miller exploding in the end, the rain, the readjusted target, McCullum making mockery of some of the best and most fearsome fast bowlers of the world, Morkel bringing South Africa back bowling with heart and menace, New Zealand losing wickets to nerves, Anderson and Elliott bringing them back, de Viliiers missing a run-out, spidercam nearly costing South Africa a wicket, de Kock missing a run-out, Steyn diving with a dodgy leg to save three runs in the penultimate over, Vettori squeezing out a yorker for four in the final, Elliott ending it with a six, the tears of Morkel, the roar of Elliott, what would this World Cup be without this match?

Cold-blooded analyses will question the selection of Philander; it will question New Zealand's running, their fielding; we will look back ruefully at missed run-out. Equally we must cherish the execution of skills under such immense pressure. In the end the better team won, they shook hands, they hugged each other, nobody abused the other, and we can be thankful for that. Let's just keep in mind that Elliott was the first man to go up to the vanquished Steyn and lift him off the pitch. It has been an absolute pleasure to bring this game to you. This is Sidharth Monga saying goodbye

11.20pm What rousing speeches from both captains. Yes, AB, your country can still be proud of you. Yes, Brendon, your country - and fans of your cricket all over the world - are dreaming as much as you are

Pawan: "This is what cricket is all about. No sledging, mind games or silly altercations. Just skill, passion and humility in defeat. Hold your heads high de Villiers and Mccullum. Your boys have given us a true spectacle of the game."

Russell: "Very emotional for South Africa, they gave their best and lost in the last moment. In a game like this, both teams are winners - painful words from AB to end it, and congratulations to NZ."

11.10pm "I can promise you. I took this walk back in 1992. It felt a lot different," says Ian Smith of the return of the team into the sheds. I hear ya, Ian

"Pretty amazing," says Brendon McCullum. "South Africa gave as good as they got all day. Great advertisement for cricket. Everybody involved will remember this for the rest of their lives. Keep raining is what I thought when AB was going. Two very destructive batsmen. The way we kept giving it in the field, the way we bowled, we did good. Even with the bat. We wanted to hang in till the end. What a great innings from Grant. Came out of wilderness not long ago. We had to generate some sort of run-rate early, that is what we tried to go. Credit to South Africa the way they played tonight and throughout the tournament. The greatest time of our lives. We have enjoyed the experience. The crowds that have turned, the brand of cricket we have tried to play. Hope the crowds are all dreaming the way we are. gee it would be nice to win it. We don't mind whom we face in the final. They are both quality sides, but we know if we play the way we want to we are a good chance. Really proud to represent New Zealand."

"Amazing game of cricket," says AB de Villiers. "Probably the most electric crowd I have ever heard in my life. I guess the best team has come out on top. We gave it our best. No regrets. We left it all out there. It is hurting. It is going to take a while to recover. Worst of all is we don't play for ourselves. The bigger picture is for the people back home. We play for them. I hope they can still be proud of us. There have been great performances. I felt we had a wonderful thing going. Had a great feeling. Don't want to single out any performance. To the teams in the final, all the best."

11pm Finally a beauty at the World Cup. Such raw emption after such a great show of skill, audacity, humanly mistakes. Joy, sadness. Smiles, tears. Roars of ecstasy, roars of anguish. We have seen it all tonight. After six agonising semi-finals, New Zealand have finally made it to a World Cup final. Martin Crowe will rest easy now. Dion Nash will rest easy. His is the lesser stories exit after his side had looked exceptional in 1999. I remember talking to him about it in 2009. He sat there for hours inside the dressing room, in an absolutely filthy mood. They can all rejoice today

And for South Africa, the wait continues. It is a cruel sport

"It's great," says Grant Elliott, the Man of the Match. "I don't think this win is for myself or the team, but everyone here. The supporters have been amazing. We wanted to take it as deep as we could [The crowd is not letting him talk]. I think we timed the pace of the innings to perfection. Not as calm as I looked. When you have 45000 fans screaming at you every ball... It has been an absolute pleasure playing in front of this crowd. We have had a good run. It is the first final we have been in as New Zealand. We are a very level team, we will approach it as any other game. Nothing going in my mind when I hit the six. I don't even know where the ball went."

**

What a finish. Elliott has shown nerves of steel. South Africans are on the ground. Morkel, who gave it his all with the ball. Du Plessis, who weathered the storm with the bat, and ran every ball down in the field. They are weeping. Even Steyn. What emotion. Jubilation for New Zealand. Fireworks in the air. Tears at the ground. Sport at its best. Two immensely likeable teams. They have left it all on the field of play. Elliott you beauty. Came into the side at the last moment. Has held his nerve to win it for them. The ghost of 1992 lays exorcised in front of 45000 people. Fireworks in the rest of Auckland too

42.5
6
Steyn to Elliott, SIX runs, no he doesn't. He hits this over long-on for six. Lets out an almighty roar. All 45000 roar with him. Steyn has bowled length. Why length at this time? Surely you would expect a yorker or a bouncer. Elliott - South African by birth - goes deep into the crease, and lofts this over wide long-in for surely the most important hit he has ever hit in his life. Why would you bowl length, Dale?

Down to five off two. A boundary takes them home. Does Elliott think he has two balls to hit one boundary and turn down the single if it arises?

42.4
1b
Steyn to Vettori, 1 bye, bouncer, Vettori misses the pull, Elliott rushes through for the bye, de Kock Misses at the striker's end, Steyn misses at the non-striker's as Vettori dives
42.3
4
Steyn to Vettori, FOUR runs, Steyn bowls the yorker. The grand old man of NZ cricket Vettori makes room, opens the face with the horizontal bat. Squeezes this out perfectly to the left of third man for four. What a moment

Steyn stretches as he walks back to his mark. Dodgy hamstring. "Daniel Vettori," chants the crowd. The batsmen come up for a conversation. Play is held up as the physio comes in for Steyn. There is no way he will not bowl this over. It is the calf this time. A loud hush around the ground. The loudest hush you can imagine. Ten off four to win. Nine to tie. Steyn gets up after what looks like a couple of minutes

42.2
1
Steyn to Elliott, 1 run, full toss, drilled hard, in the air, on the bounce to cover. They get just the single

Eleven to win. Ten to tie. Anything will do. Dot. Wicket. Pressure from South Africa. This is a great match. Mid-off up, fine leg up

42.1
1b
Steyn to Vettori, 1 bye, Vettori backs away and swings, is beaten by a slower ball, but Elliott charges through to claim the strike

Steyn to bowl the final over

END OF OVER:
42 | 11 Runs | NZ: 286/6 (12 runs required from 6 balls, RR: 6.80, RRR: 12.00)

  • GD Elliott77 (71b)
  • DL Vettori3 (3b)
  • M Morkel9-0-59-3
  • DW Steyn8-0-65-1
41.6
2
Morkel to Elliott, 2 runs, Collision. Collision. Elliott pulls from outside off, gets a massive top edge between deep backward and fine leg. Behardien gets under it. Duminy rushes in from fine leg. No calling. They have dropped it. In the meanwhile Elliott and Vettori have missed out on the opportunity to take the third because they are standing in the middle of the pitch, waiting to see what happens
41.5
4
Morkel to Elliott, FOUR runs, Elliott pulls one back for New Zealand. He stays deep in the crease, moves across too to set himself up. Morkel thinks he wants to leg side, and he bowls full and wide. Elliott instead goes over extra cover. Nails it. Four crucial runs
41.4
1
Morkel to Vettori, 1 run, Steyn saves three there. Vettori moves inside the line to pull this to long leg. Steyn - dodgy hamstring - rushes to the right from fine leg and dives full length to save three
41.3
1
Morkel to Elliott, 1 run, bouncer, Elliott thinks this is his opportunity, but it is a slower bouncer, he gets a bottom edge for one
41.2
2
Morkel to Elliott, 2 runs, what luck for New Zealand. Elliott plays the pressure shot. He goes back into the crease, premeditating a short ball. Morkel bowls length. He swings. The ball gets big. It lobs up into the night sky. Midwicket goes back. Two fielders from the deep on the leg side rush in. But it falls smack in between

Gyanesh Prakash: "I am sitting in my office and everyone seems to be reporting to Sidharth Monga now. Including my boss :)"

41.1
1
Morkel to Vettori, 1 run, low full toss from round the wicket, Vettori makes room and drives, Amla makes a diving save at short cover. Saves three runs. What a contest. Everybody is giving it his all

Morkel has kept South Africa alive here. Can he bowl six good balls to give Steyn a big total to defend

END OF OVER:
41 | 6 Runs 1 Wkt | NZ: 275/6 (23 runs required from 12 balls, RR: 6.70, RRR: 11.50)

  • GD Elliott68 (67b)
  • DL Vettori1 (1b)
  • DW Steyn8-0-65-1
  • Imran Tahir9-1-40-0
40.6
0
Steyn to Elliott, no run, pressure on New Zealand here. Low full toss, nearly a yorker, dug out to short straight midwicket where AB is in to save the single. Vettori is backing up too far. De Viliiers misses with the throw. They don't get the overthrow because mid-off is in the circle

A Record

299

Runs scored by NZ, the highest successful chase in a World Cup knockout match.

Blazin' Bazz

4

Number of times McCullum has scored a WC fifty in 22 balls or less. This has only been done nine times in all.

On Fire

71

Runs scored by NZ in the first 5 overs, the second-most for any team since 2001. The best such score (78) is also by NZ (v BANG, 2007)

AB nearing a milestone

471

Runs scored by AB de Villiers in this WC, the second-most by any SA player in one WC. Kallis scored 485 runs during the 2007 WC.

Boult keeps striking

21

Wickets taken by Trent Boult in this WC, the most by any NZ bowler in one WC. Geoff Allott took 20 wickets in the 1999 WC.

Double Donut

0

Number of times either South Africa or New Zealand have won a World Cup semi final. They have cumulatively play in nine (NZ 6, SA 3).

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