Auckland: Grant Elliott's nerveless fifty and Corey Anderson's thrill-a-minute knock helped New Zealand win a hard fought match.New Zealand will be full of confidence when they will take on the winner of Australia/India at Melbourne in the grand final of World Cup 2015.
McCullum: 'It's pretty amazing. They gave us a tough fight. Really proud of the boys. That obviously set it up nicely for us, two set batsmen were at the crease. What a great innings from Elliott. He's played a match-winning innings in the semi-final and the partnership he had with Corey was amazing.
AB de Villiers: 'Amazing game of cricket, this is probably the most electric crowd I've ever heard in my life. I couldn't anything more from my boys. It's hurting that we are going out. That's probably the worst thing of all.
Elliott: Yeah, it's great. I mean I don't think this win is for myself, not for the team, but it's for everyone here. The support has been amazing. We (him and Anderson) wanted to take it as deep as possible, Corey (Anderson) batted really well. Probably not, but when you have 40,000 fans screaming at you every ball, it has been absolute pleasure playing in front of this crowd.
6 runs from Eliott.New Zealand have qualified for a World Cup final for the first time
5 runs neede from 2 deliveries
4 runs ....boundary from Eliot. Great shot under pressure.
10 runs from 4 balls.Steyn is streching his left hamstring. Physio in the field.
12 runs needed in the final over. Steyn to bowl the final over.
Eliott hits a boundary. 14 runs from 7 deliveries. Drop chance by the South African fielders
M Morkel to bowl the penultimate over. New Zealand need 23 runs from 12 deliveries.Excellent fielding by South African fielders.
29 off 17 deliveries needed now
Daniel Vettori comes in at no. 8
New Zealand 269/6
Luke Ronchi c Rossouw b Steyn 8 (7)
OUT! A nothing shot and it's a simple catch at deep square leg. He just threw his wicket away.
Luke Ronchi comes in at no. 7
New Zealand 252/5
Corey Anderson c du Plessis b Morkel 58 (57)
OUT! This is the just the breakthrough South Africa wanted at this stage. Slower delivery shortish and outside off stump, Anderson goes for the pull but gets a top edge, it goes high in the air, square leg settles under it and holds on to the skier. That was a very good catch from Faf.
Corey Anderson gets his 4th ODI fifty with a single while Grant Elliott smashed Imran Tahir over extra-covers for four to bring up his fifty in style. A total of 35 runs in 4 overs of batting powerplay.
New Zealand 231/4 after 35 overs
Grant Elliott 47 (51), Corey Anderson 45 (45)
New Zealand scored 23 runs in the 3 of the four overs of the batting powerplay and it really turned out to be fruitful for them. South Africa bowlers need to break this 82 runs stand to have any chances of winning the match. There was a bit of drama in the field when AB missed a run out in a dramatic way. He was so excited to effect the run-out, broke the stumps with his hand without the ball. He fell over, but tried to run Anderson out on the second attempt, still couldn't uproot the stumps.
New Zealand 199/4 after 30 overs
Grant Elliott 32 (37), Corey Anderson 30 (29)
Corey Anderson is on fire and seems to be in a hurry to take the Kiwis through to the finals. However the required run rate is still hovering above 7. The game is still evenly poised from here. A couple of wickets more and South Africa will bounce back with a bang.
New Zealand 173/4 after 25 overs
Grant Elliott 19 (19), Corey Anderson 18 (17)
The target looks well in reach now as they need just 125 from remaining 18 overs and 6 wickets remaining. Despite good bowling Anderson and Ellioot are playing them very safely and need to start developing a solid stand from here. Taylor was looking set he couldn't outplay Duminy's spin and gives an edge to the keeper.
Corey Anderson comes in at no. 6
New Zealand 149/4
Ross Taylor c de Kock b Duminy 30 (39)
OUT! Duminy has done it again! Fires this offbreak into the pads, Taylor looks to shuffle across and work this to leg, but he has moved too far across, and has edged it to de Kock, who takes a superb catch
New Zealand 143/3 after 20 overs
Ross Taylor 30 (36), Grant Elliott 8 (9)
The New Zealand camp would be pleased with Taylor slowly but steadily finding his form back. However they have lost wickets just as when a partnership seems to have been developing. After McCullum and Williamson, last match hero Martin Guptill threw his wicket away after he was run out while going for a single and a mix up with Taylor. New Zealand need to play a T20 knock from here but they also need to save wickets.
Grant Elliott comes in at no. 5
New Zealand 128/3
Martin Guptill run out (Amla/de Kock) 34 (38)
OUT! A wicket gifted away by New Zealand. The double centurion from the previous game has been sent back. He taps the googly towards point and wanted single but hesitates. Guptill was late to take off, Amla moves forward, picks up the ball and under-arms it to the keeper, who does the rest.
New Zealand 88/2 after 10 overs
Martin Guptill 12 (18), Ross Taylor 5 (5)
New Zealand were 71/0 in first five overs. In the next 5 overs they lost McCullum and Williamson and added just 17 runs. It was Morkel, who extracted bounce to take the vital wickets of McCullum and Williamson and lift South Africa's sagging spirits.
Ross Taylor comes in at no. 4
New Zealand 81/2
Kane Williamson b Morkel 6 (11)
OUT! Bowled him! Short of a length around off, Williamson went for the pull, it was too close to his body, the inside edge finds its way back onto the stumps.
Kane Williamson comes in at no. 3
New Zealand 71/1
Brendon McCullum c Steyn b Morkel 59 (26)
OUT! It was a short of length delivery, McCullum comes down the track, goes leg-side and flat-bats, he was trying to go over mid-on, can't get the elevation and offers a simple catch to Steyn.
New Zealand 71/0 after 5 overs
Martin Guptill 6 (5), Brendon McCullum 59 (25)
New Zealand skipper has blasted his way to his 31st ODI half century in style with a six in just 22 balls and the kiwis are crusing along. Dale Steyn has been carted all around the field and the bowlers are under immense pressure right fromt he start. McCullum smashed 25 runs off one from Steyn including three fours and couple of sixes. NZ have started scoring at the rate of 14.
Guptill on strike and Dale Steyn to start the proceedings for South Africa
Kiwi openers Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill are marching in while the proteas are in a huddle.
The players are making their way back to the middle for the chase.
For a while rain stopped play and New Zealand now will chase down a D/L adjusted score. Once play resumed after a rain break, David Miller cracked power-packed shots to put them in a position of strength.
du Plessis played with steady perfection and looked unfazed by the loss of early wickets. He mainly targeted straight boundaries.
Trent Boult produced a fine exhibition of swing bowling to give New Zealand a slight edge. Hashim Amla and de Kock couldn't make their mark as Boult snared their wickets. However, du Plessis and Rilee Rossouw soothed the tangle of nerves in the dressing room with a fine stand.
So the revised target for New Zealand would be 298 and they need to chase this down in 43 overs at the required rate of 6.93 runs per over.
South Africa 281/5 after 43 overs
AB de Villiers 65 (45), JP Duminy 8 (4)
Terrific effort by the batsmen. 65 runs scored in last overs after 38th over and South Africa have posted a good total of 281 on the board. Thanks to the blistering innings of David Miller who missed out to equal the record fastest half century in World Cups. The total will be revised as per the rules of D/L method.
JP Duminy comes in at no. 7
David Miller c Ronchi b Anderson 49 (18)
OUT! A magnificent innings comes to an end. Outside off, Miller tries to drive it through covers but gets a thick outside edge to the keeper and Anderson gets his third. He just missed out equalling the fastest World Cup fifty.
South Africa 217/4
Faf du Plessis c Ronchi b Anderson 82 (107)
OUT! bouncer down the leg side, called a wide despite the half shout for a catch at the wicket. New Zealand have reviewed it. The snicko shows some movement and he's out. Good review by McCullum and Anderson.
de Villiers has the strike and Corey Anderson is set to bowl
Kiwis are waming up a bit and there is no powerplay now.
Both the batsmen AB and Faf are walking back to the middle to make sure that they score maximum as much as possible in the remaining 5 overs.
The lights are on and it is nice and clear. The stumps are back in place.
The play is set to resume in about 15 minutes of time and is reduced to 43-overs per side.
The groundsmen are working on drying the outfield. The big rope is being used to clear the water. There is a lot of water gathered on the cover as well. So, it will take a few minutes before play resumes.
The rain has stopped and the sun is out. Covers are coming off slowly and umpires are out for the inspection.
It's been an hour since play was stopped. We'll start losing overs from now.
And it started to drizzle again and the covers are back on. These are now little heavy
Good news! The rain has stopped and the covers are coming off!
There is a reserve day tomorrow for this semifinal, but the rain is not all that heavy.
The way Faf And AB are going right now, New Zealand will be under immense pressure to curtail the scoring rate. If they continue to bat like this, 350 is on the cards. But for that, the rain needs to go away first.
Match delayed by rain
South Africa 216/3 after 38 overs
Faf du Plessis 82 (106), AB de Villiers 60 (38)
The rain has arrived and the umpires have called for the covers. That's not what the South Africans would have wanted at this point of time.
32 runs in 3 overs of the batting powerplay with de Villiers and du Plessis both firing at the moment. Botht he batsmen are towing the kiwi bowlers for boundaries and took their partnership past 100 off just 71 balls. De Villiers carted Corey Anderson for two boundaries and a six in an over to bring up is 46th ODI half century.
TIME FOR BATTING POWERPLAY
South Africa 184/3 after 35 overs
Faf du Plessis 72 (98), AB de Villiers 38 (28)
Rilee Rossouw is not known to be a good player of spin but he looked in fine touch when facing Vettori. Brendon McCullum has now used all his bowling options including the part timers like Kane Williamson and Grant Elliott. Faf could be back in the pavilion now if New Zealand had reviewed the decision when he was given not out by the umpire off Williamson. But soon after Anderson took the wicket of Rossouw and the kiwi crowd became alive.
Since AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis have built on a solid 70 runs stand in 8.5 overs and looking to score far more than that. The run rate is also soared upto 5 rpo. The batsmen are taking risks in calling up for dangerous singles. The Protea skipper survives a run out chance after making a long dive in what looks like a shocking single. Williamson misses the stumps at the striker's end but dirt comes into the batsman eyes. A bit of delay and the game resumes.
AB de Villiers walks in at no. 5
South Africa 114/3
Rilee Rossouw c Guptill b Anderson 39 (53)
OUT! Anderson strikes. Short of a length outside off, Rossouw opens the face of the bat and punches it to point but Martin Guptill was present their with a very safe pair of hands. He caught that one-handed and the crowd starts roaring.
South Africa 108/2 after 25 overs
Faf du Plessis 40 (71), Rilee Rossouw 36 (48)
The protea batsmen after losing their openers early have driven the team safely to the halfway stage with a half century partnership. du Plessis has played some good looking strokes and while Rilee Rossouw too is handling the kiwi attack well. All South Africa need to do from here is to press the accelerator and boost up the run rate.
South Africa 77/2 after 20 overs
Faf du Plessis 26 (54), Rilee Rossouw 20 (35)
South Africa should focus on conserving wickets. They have enough batting power to push the run-rate later in the innings. Great start by the Kiwis though. Pressure is building on Rossouw after couple of mistimed shots but these two have now put on 46 together and somehow managed to revive the innings after early stirkes.
South Africa 58/2 after 15 overs
Faf du Plessis 20 (42), Rilee Rossouw 13 (17)
World Cup debutant Matt Henry has bowled an excellent spell so far while Trent Boult has been outstanding and once again bowled 7 overs on the trot. Boult looks for wickets by pitching the ball up with the new ball and Brendon McCullum backs him up with aggressive fields. The scoring rate is not great as of now and they need some special knocks from the Rossouw and du Plessis with de Villiers yet to arrive.
South Africa 39/2 after 10 overs
Faf du Plessis 13 (24), Rilee Rossouw 1 (5)
Trent Boult is on fire again. He is now the leading wicket taker for New Zealand in World Cups with 21 wickets so far in the tournament. Both the openers struggled early on and Boult dismissed them cheaply. Not a desired start by the Proteas as none of them are looking comfortable on the crease right now. Meanwhile McCullum's captaincy have also been attacking as he have been using five slips for Boult.
Rilee Rossouw comes in at no. 4
South Africa 31/2
Quinton de Kock c Southee b Boult 14 (17)
OUT! de Kock's struggle ends and Boult strikes again. Slightly short outside off. He wanted to go over cover, but the late swing took the outside edge and landed safely in third man's hands.
South Africa 26/1 after 5 overs
Quinton de Kock 12 (10), Faf du Plessis 4 (6)
Openers Amla and de Kock were living dangerously out there. Both survived couple of dropped chances and never looked comfortable. Trent Boult dropped de Kock earlier but with an unplayable full length delivery to Amla, knocked him out.
Faf du Plessis comes in at no. 3
South Africa 21/1
Hashim Amla b Boult 10 (14)
OUT! Bowled him! What a cracker of a delivery. It was full and wide outside off, Amla was there for the drive but his feet didn't move on the drive and the inside edge clattered back onto the stumps.
Amla on strike and Tim Southee takes the new ball....game on! three slips in place...
So the two openers Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock are making their way to the middle.
Teams are out on the field for their respective national anthems
"The sun is out. The ground looks an absolute picture. The teams should have a good understanding of the short boundaries. India chased down 280 against Zimbabwe here. There is a bit of grass covering, but there is no green tinge to it whatsoever. It's very hard," reckons Shaun Pollock.
Rain was expected in Auckland today but it has turned out to be a pleasant day.
New Zealand (Playing XI): Brendon McCullum(c), Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Grant Elliott, Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi(w), Daniel Vettori, Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Trent Boult
South Africa (Playing XI): Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock(w), Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers(c), Rilee Rossouw, David Miller, Jean-Paul Duminy, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir
Toss Time: AB de Villiers wins the toss and South Africa are batting first
In World Cups - both sides have played each other six times with New Zealand winning four, with the last encounter being the famous quarter-final win at Mirpur four years ago. In the last five meetings though, South Africa have won three in a row that included a 2-0 series win in New Zealand last October.
The winner of Tuesday's game will play in the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground against the victor of Thursday's semifinal between Australia and India.
South Africa still has a minor injury concern around seamer Vernon Philander who has had a hamstring injury. Philander seemed untroubled when he bowled in the nets on Sunday and he might play at the expense of Kyle Abbott.
For South Africa, it's a different story. The series of blown chances over the years has exhausted all reserves of patience among Proteas fans, and the label of `chokers' will be revived if they fall at the penultimate stage yet again.
South Africa's catalog of World Cup failures is well documented, and anything less than a semifinal victory will be regarded as further under-achievement for a team that is a perennial contender but never reached a final.
Co-host New Zealand is unbeaten in the tournament yet carries the knowledge that it has reached the semifinals six times before, and never gone further.