New Delhi: He might not be a big name in world cricket, but New Zealand batsman Grant Eliott played a scintillating knock against South Africa in the first semi-final of the ICC World Cup 2015 and guided the Kiwis to a 4-wicket win at Eden Park in Auckland.
Elliott, who was questioned for his inclusion in the squad ahead of the showpiece event, silenced the critics with a match-winning innings where he slammed 84 runs off 73 balls.
The match went on till the last over where Dale Steyn had to defend 12 runs. The nail-biter went on to the last two balls where Black Caps needed two runs off the final two balls. Elliott was batting on 78 and he tonked Steyn over wide of long-on for a Six which resulted into a huge roar from the home crowd as jubilant Kiwi cricketers rushed to the field to embrace their new hero.
Batting first, South Africa were looking in a very strong position before rain interrupted play and the match was reduced to 43 overs. Once the play resumed, David Miller provided South Africa the much-needed momentum in the middle-order with a swashbuckling 49-run knock while AB de Villiers remained unbeaten on 65 off 45 balls.
In reply, Brendon McCullum once again got his team off to a flier as he clobbered Dale Steyn & Co all over the park and before being dismissed in the seventh over of the innings, he had already scored 59 runs off 32 balls.
Kiwis were struggling at 149/4 at one stage post which Corey Anderson (54) rescued the innings with Eliott and added 103 runs for the fifth-wicket partnership.
South Africa made plenty of blunders on the field where they missed out on easy catches and run-out chances which cost them the match.