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New Zealand beat South Africa to enter WC final

South Africa vs New Zealand

Auckland: New Zealand defeated South Africa by four wickets via Duckworth-Lewis method to enter the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup, here today.

Set a target of 299 after the match was reduced to 43 overs per side because of rain interruption at the Eden Park, New Zealand chased down the target with one ball to spare.

Opting to bat, South Africa scored 281 for five against New Zealand in the rain-curtailed first semi-final of the cricket World Cup.

David Miller blazed his way to a 18-ball 49 as South Africa set New Zealand a daunting target of 298 runs in 43 overs in the rain-curtailed first semifinal of the cricket World Cup here today.

Opting to bat, South Africa notched up 281 for five, but the target was revised under the Duckworth/Lewis method after seven overs each were deducted per side following a two-hour rain interruption at Eden Park.

Miller clobbered six fours and three sixes, narrowly missing out on equalling the record for fastest World Cup fifty.

Skipper AB de Villiers made an unbeaten 65 off 45 balls, while Faf du Plessis top-scored with a 107-ball 82, but it was Miller’s innings that gave Proteas the much-needed impetuous towards the end.

Thanks to his blitzkrieg, South Africa, who were 184 for three at the end of 35th over, scored 65 runs in the last five overs.

Earlier, South Africa looked edgy and found the going tough with Trent Boult sending back both the openers, Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock, with only 31 runs on the board in the eighth over.

Though both Amla and de Kock got a reprieve each, they failed to make them count, getting dismissed for 10 and 14 respectively.

However, New Zealand were made to suffer after Kane Williamson dropped de Villiers in the 36th over.

But before that, with the two early scalps, Boult became New Zealand’s leading bowler at a World Cup, overtaking Geoff Allott’s 21 victims in 1999. He now has 22, the highest in this edition of the tournament.

New Zealand kept things tight and it encouraged skipper Brendon McCullum to employ an attacking field with five slips and a gully in place at one stage of the innings, a rare sight in one-day cricket.

The South African ship was steadied by du Plessis and Rilee Rossouw (39) as the pair added 83 runs for the third wicket.

Scoring was not easy but the two fought it out in their quest to lay a base for the likes of de Villiers and Miller to hit out later. Rossouw hit two fours and a six in his 53-ball knock, which was brought to and end by Corey Anderson.

The dismissal brought to the crease de Villiers and as is the case normally, in his presence the momentum swung South Africa’s way in no time.

Brief scores:

South Africa: 281 for five in 43 overs (Faf du Plessis 82, AB de Villiers 65 not out, David Miller 49).

New Zealand: 299 for six in 42.5 overs (Grant Elliott 84 not out, Brendeon McCullum 59, Corey Anderson 58; Morne Morkel 3/59).

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