Five years ago, March 24 witnessed one of the most rip-roaring contests in One-Day Internationals (ODIs). It was the 2015 ICC World Cup semi-final, where New Zealand registered an astounding victory over South Africa and qualified for the finals of the showpiece event.
Many fans still remember the emotional sights after the completion of the match, where a lot of South African players broke down as their World Cup dreams were shattered yet again at the knockouts stage.
For the Kiwis, Grant Elliott became an overnight sensation after he hit a six off Dale Steyn’s delivery and earned his side an unbelievable victory.
It was a rain-affected contest with each side to play 43 overs. South Africa won the toss and elected to bat first. With the help of Faf du Plessis (82 off 107), AB de Villiers (65 off 45) and David Miller (49 off 18 balls), the Proteas posted a competitive total of 281-5. However, the target for Black Caps was 298 due to the DLS method.
In reply, New Zealand were off to a flyer as skipper Brendon McCullum smashed a quickfire 59 off 26 deliveries. Middle-order batsman Corey Anderson shined in the match and played a handy knock of 58 runs. Also, Elliot was on a different song that day as he contributed 84 and took his side over the line.
The final over was a rollercoaster of emotions. Kiwis needed 12 from 6 with Elliot and Daniel Vittori on the crease. Dale Steyn was given the responsibility by South Africa skipper ABD to deliver the last over.
Steyn ran in and bowled the first ball to Vettori, who tried to smack it through mid-wicket but missed even to touch it with the bat; the ball went to the keeper, but in the meantime, the Kiwi pair grabbed a single and Elliot was back on strike.
With 11 needed off five, Steyn bowled a full toss, but he was lucky as Elliot couldn’t cash in the opportunity and was only able to take one run.
Now, 10 runs were required from 4 balls, and guess what, Vettori guided outside off-stump full delivery to backward point region for four runs. Then Vettori missed to hit the next ball, but he and Elliot yet again ran a single, and now the equation was down to five runs from two deliveries.
Steyn ran in to bowl the fifth ball, and Elliot managed to hit it for a six to take New Zealand in the World Cup finals. The South Africans were lost and went emotional, with Steyn, and Morne Morkel had teary eyes. But Kiwis tried to console the grieving Proteas players, and those historic images went viral.
Here is the video of the final over as shared by ICC:
Runs needed ▶ 12
Bowler ▶ Dale Steyn
Then, Grant Elliot did THIS 💥 pic.twitter.com/rTCAFCEhF9
— ICC (@ICC) March 24, 2020