• David Miller blasts 49 off 18 balls as South Africa post 281
  • AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis make half centuries in interrupted innings
  • New Zealand set a revised target of 298 to win on D/L method
  • Brendan McCullum blasts 59 off 26 balls to give perfect start
  • South Africa hit back before De Villiers misses crucial run out
  • Grant Elliott and Corey Anderson make fifties in partnership of 103

New Zealand reached their first ever World Cup final as they secured a sensational four-wicket Duckworth/Lewis win over South Africa at a sold out Eden Park on Tuesday.

An explosive 49 off 18 balls from South African batsman David Miller saw New Zealand set 298 (D/L) to chase for victory, after a burst rain reduced the match to 43 overs per side.

In response, Brendon McCullum blazed his way to 59 and despite the regular loss of wickets, Grant Elliott smashed the penultimate ball for six to lead New Zealand to a tense victory.

Grant Elliott celebrates after smashing the winning runs as New Zealand reached their first ever final

Grant Elliott celebrates after smashing the winning runs as New Zealand reached their first ever final

South Africa missed chances in the field, JP Duminy and Ferhaan Berhardian colliding at a crucial moment

South Africa missed chances in the field, JP Duminy and Ferhaan Berhardian colliding at a crucial moment

Du Plessis and Farhaan Behardien cannot believe it after a crucial drop which reprieved Elliott

Du Plessis and Farhaan Behardien cannot believe it after a crucial drop which reprieved Elliott

Daniel Vettori congratulates his team-mate as Dale Steyn looks away, following a thrilling climax in Auckland

Daniel Vettori congratulates his team-mate as Dale Steyn looks away, following a thrilling climax in Auckland

The emotion is too much for Steyn, who lies on the wicket after failing to defend 11 from the final over

The emotion is too much for Steyn, who lies on the wicket after failing to defend 11 from the final over

Elliott consoles Steyn as New Zealand reached the World Cup final at South Africa's expense

Elliott consoles Steyn as New Zealand reached the World Cup final at South Africa’s expense

Faf du Plessis (right) and Behardien look on, dejected, after losing by the narrowest of margins

Faf du Plessis (right) and Behardien look on, dejected, after losing by the narrowest of margins

The New Zealand players celebrate out in the middle with hugs for Daniel Vettori, who helped see them home

The New Zealand players celebrate out in the middle with hugs for Daniel Vettori, who helped see them home

Vettori (left) leads his team-mates on a lap of honour to show appreciation for the home fans

Vettori (left) leads his team-mates on a lap of honour to show appreciation for the home fans

Imran Tahir wipes away a tear after South Africa again failed to reach the final of a World Cup

Imran Tahir wipes away a tear after South Africa again failed to reach the final of a World Cup

The dejection is clear to see on the faces of the South Africans, after they failed to make it over the line

The dejection is clear to see on the faces of the South Africans, after they failed to make it over the line

There was an added spice to the match with neither side having ever previously made it past the semi-finals.

New Zealand’s own dismal record of six defeats out of six at this stage of the tournament was a disappointment the native supporters were confident their side would finally overcome in Auckland.

But, following their quarter-final victory over Sri Lanka, South African captain AB de Villiers said his side embraced the tag of ‘chokers’ and were striving under the pressure.

Having won the toss South Africa chose to bat first and the continued rotation of their side saw Vernon Philander replace the heretofore-impressive Kyle Abbott.

With arguably the best attack of the World Cup, New Zealand’s pace bowlers Trent Boult and Tim Southee were successfully swinging the ball and causing the opposition openers all sorts of problems.

Cricket World Cup: New Zealand defeat South Africa by four…

AB de Villiers falls over the stumps after failing to gather the ball cleanly to run out Corey Anderson

AB de Villiers falls over the stumps after failing to gather the ball cleanly to run out Corey Anderson

The anguish is clear on De Villiers' face as he let the momentum shift away from South Africa in the semi final

The anguish is clear on De Villiers’ face as he let the momentum shift away from South Africa in the semi final

De Villiers has been one of South Africa's stars of the tournament, but his mistake cost his side dear

De Villiers has been one of South Africa’s stars of the tournament, but his mistake cost his side dear

New Zealand celebrate after taking a wicket during the first innings of their semi-final against South Africa

New Zealand celebrate after taking a wicket during the first innings of their semi-final against South Africa

Faf du Plessis top-scored for South Africa with 82, as the Proteas scored 281 in an interrupted innings

Faf du Plessis top-scored for South Africa with 82, as the Proteas scored 281 in an interrupted innings

Corey Anderson, who was expensive but took three of the five wickets to fall, celebrates as dismissal

Corey Anderson, who was expensive but took three of the five wickets to fall, celebrates as dismissal

David Miller blasted three sixes in his quickfire 49, which boosted the South African score at the end

David Miller blasted three sixes in his quickfire 49, which boosted the South African score at the end

Somewhat surprisingly the Black Caps’ fielding early on let them down, as first Quinton De Kock was dropped on six by wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi off Boult.

Hashim Amla was then put down three balls later on naught at long leg, with Boult the guilty party this time, after he hit a top-edge off Southee.

Nonetheless, the tournaments leading wicket-taker redeemed himself in the following over as Boult followed up a bouncer with an in-swinger that took Amla’s (10) inside edge and cannoned into middle stump, with Eden Park erupting in jubilation.

Attempting to release the shackles, De Kock (14) shuffled down the wicket to Boult and as he swung hard at a full ball, a thick edge flew to third man and South Africa were reduced to 31 for two after eight overs.

Slow starts coupled with explosive finishes have the been framework for many of De Villiers side’s innings during this World Cup and their efforts in Auckland was following the same suit.

Required to rebuild, Faf du Plessis and Rillee Rossouw put on an 83-run third-wicket partnership to steady the ship.

De Villiers hit another impressive 65, continuing his excellent form, as South Africa accelerated their innings

De Villiers hit another impressive 65, continuing his excellent form, as South Africa accelerated their innings

The South African captain salutes the crowd after reaching yet another half century

The South African captain salutes the crowd after reaching yet another half century

However, McCullum brought on Corey Anderson and he sent down a bouncer that hit the shoulder of the Rossouw’s bat and was caught one-handed by Martin Guptill at backwards point to dismiss the left-handed batsman for 39.

As De Villier’s came to the crease he was once again required to provide a rescue mission but was almost dismissed on his first delivery as he nearly gloved the ball onto the stumps.

But, the right-handed batsman remained un-fazed and in typical style he took the attack to the opposition.

Kane Williamson committed the cardinal sin of dropping the South African captain and New Zealand were made to pay as the next three balls were dispatched to the boundary rope.

As Du Plessis and De Villier’s partnership passed the 100-run mark some unscheduled rain arrived to check their progress on 216-3 after 38 overs.

It was an interruption that undoubtedly favoured New Zealand, just as South Africa looked like they were ready to explode and by the time the skies cleared the match was reduced to 43 overs per side.

Having anchored his sides innings Du Plessis was dismissed for 82 off the second ball after the restart, as he gloved a bouncer from Anderson to Ronchi behind the stumps.

For South Africa it turned out to be the perfect catalyst for an exciting end as Miller entered and smashed six fours and three sixes in his quick-fire 49.

With 65 runs hit off their final five overs after the delay the Proteas posted 281-5, setting New Zealand a challenging 298 (D/L) to win.

Brendan McCullum flicks the ball away as he got New Zealand off to a blistering start in their chase

Brendan McCullum flicks the ball away as he got New Zealand off to a blistering start in their chase

McCullum's combination of clever shotmaking and explosive power set New Zealand up for a win

McCullum’s combination of clever shotmaking and explosive power set New Zealand up for a win

Morne Morkel hit back for South Africa, dismissing McCullum and Kane Williamson in quick succession

Morne Morkel hit back for South Africa, dismissing McCullum and Kane Williamson in quick succession

McCullum, who has become known for thriving on leading from the front, signaled his intent in the first over of his sides innings as he sent a short Dale Steyn delivery over extra cover for a maximum.

Although Guptill – fresh from hitting a record 237 against the West Indies in fourth quarter-final – was looking uncomfortable, his captain was in full flow at the other end and reached his half-century off just 22 balls.

South Africa’s pace bowlers were bleeding runs so De Villiers turned to his energetic spinner Imran Tahir and a tight first over applied a bit of pressure on the batsmen.

And, McCullum (59) succumbed attempting to resume clearing the ropes in the next over as he came dancing down the wicket to Morne Morkel and having failed to connect properly could only pick out Steyn at mid-on.

Williamson then lasted just 11 balls before he bottom-edged a short Morkel delivery and shattered his stumps on six.

New Zealand were faltering and Ross Taylor was guilty for calling for a single and selling Guptill short as he found himself run-out for a scratchy 34.

Quinton de Kock runs out Martin Guptill after a mix-up with Ross Taylor as the hosts faltered in Auckland

Quinton de Kock runs out Martin Guptill after a mix-up with Ross Taylor as the hosts faltered in Auckland

JP Duminy (left) celebrates with Du Plessis as South Africa appeared to take control of the contest

JP Duminy (left) celebrates with Du Plessis as South Africa appeared to take control of the contest

Ross Taylor was caught behind for 30, as New Zealand struggled to keep up with the rate

Ross Taylor was caught behind for 30, as New Zealand struggled to keep up with the rate

It was fifth bowler JP Duminy who then provided the next crucial breakthrough for South Africa as Taylor was brilliantly caught behind by De Kock for a run-a-ball 30.

The match continued to ebb and flow with neither side taking full control of the game before the game changing moment occurred in the 32nd over.

As Elliott pushed the ball to point, Anderson called for a run and as he was sent back De Villiers missed a golden opportunity to run-out the stranded batsmen, hitting the stumps with his hand instead of the ball.

A superb 103-run fifth-wicket partnership between Elliott and Anderson looked to have taken New Zealand to the brink of victory.

However, Anderson skied a Morkel delivery to Du Plessis at square-leg for 58 and Ronchi holed-out in the deep for eight as the tension out in the middle and in the stands stepped up another notch.

Corey Anderson (above) and Grant Elliot settled the hosts' nerves with a brilliant partnership of 103

Corey Anderson (above) and Grant Elliot settled the hosts’ nerves with a brilliant partnership of 103

Anderson punished De Villiers for his missed run out as the game hurtled towards a tense climax

Anderson punished De Villiers for his missed run out as the game hurtled towards a tense climax

With New Zealand 273-6 and requiring another 26 runs off 16 balls, South Africa missed another crucial run-out opportunity, Elliott this time the lucky survivor.

The 36-year-old right-handed batsmen sent a length Morkel delivery high into the evening Auckland sky but the ball fell agonizingly between two Proteas players.

Morkel’s final delivery was again pulled high into the air by Elliott but just as Farhaan Behardien looked set to catch it Duminy ran across him as the ball dropped to the ground.

Steyn, battling injury, was brought on for the final over with New Zealand requiring 12.

And Eden Park erupted in euphoria as Elliott (84 not out) hit the penultimate ball for a maximum as the South African players collapsed to the ground in despair.

There is an undeniably belief within the crowd that their side has one more victory in them that will bring New Zealand their elusive first World Cup title.

Faf du Plessis keeps his cool to take a vital catch and dismiss Anderson, setting up a thrilling finish

Faf du Plessis keeps his cool to take a vital catch and dismiss Anderson, setting up a thrilling finish

Du Plessis cannot hide his jubilation as the semi-final came right down to the wire in Auckland

Du Plessis cannot hide his jubilation as the semi-final came right down to the wire in Auckland

JP Duminy collides with Farhaan Berhadien to offer Elliott another reprieve in the penultimate over

JP Duminy collides with Farhaan Berhadien to offer Elliott another reprieve in the penultimate over

Daniel Vettori (left) punches the air after Elliott had smashed Steyn for six to win the match

Daniel Vettori (left) punches the air after Elliott had smashed Steyn for six to win the match

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