Derbyshire’s Martin Guptill leads New Zealand to World Cup final
Derbyshire’s Martin Guptill followed his record-breaking 237 not out with another 34 to help New Zealand reach the final of the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
Guptill became the first man to score a double hundred in a world cup knockout match to inspire the Black Caps’ quarter-final win over West Indies on Saturday (March 21).
And just days later he led the batting order against South Africa as the joint host nation chased a revised 298 from 43 overs in accordance with the Duckworth/Lewis system.
A rain-affected first innings saw South Africa finish on 281-5 from 43 overs with Faf du Plessis top scoring with 82 and Captain AB De Villiers hitting an unbeaten 65.
Guptill and international team-mate Brendan McCullum (59) began well before the Derbyshire opener was dismissed on 34 chasing a quick single that just wasn’t there.
Korey Anderson and Grant Elliott put on a 103-run fifth-wicket partnership before the former was caught on 58 and the hosts’ hopes were firmly placed on the latter’s shoulders.
At 269-5, New Zealand needed 29 runs from the final three overs and some subsequent boundary-saving fielding from South Africa meant 23 were required from the last two.
A thrilling finish saw the Eden Park faithful hold their breath when Elliott skied one but a collision in the field ensured the ball dropped safely and two runs were picked up.
It meant 12 were required from the final over and after Daniel Vettori found the ropes Elliott launched Dale Steyn’s penultimate delivery for six to send New Zealand in to their first World Cup final.
The final takes place on Sunday, March 29 where New Zealand will face either Australia or India in Melbourne for the title of World Champions.