There has never been a more composed stroke in New Zealand's one-day international cricket history.

Dale Steyn gave Grant Elliott width with a short-of-a-length delivery, well outside off stump in the World Cup semifinal at Eden Park.

Elliott, like a baseball batter, was poised to strike with five runs required off two balls.

His right foot anchored deep in the crease, directed at point, his left pointed straight. His bat swung in an arc which connected over long on.


The ecstatic crowd mosh began and in the media box, local cricketing sages rose from their desks to offer Tarzan-like bellows of euphoria.

Elliott delivered New Zealand into their first World Cup final in 11 attempts over 40 years. "Four-wicket win" was quite the euphemism.

Further poetry followed. The South African-born all-rounder had dispatched the world's premier pace bowler from his former homeland, then reached to lift him off the turf as he lay in anguish.

Elliott made 84 off 73 balls, but the six earned immortality.

New Zealand have had other ODI batting strokes of note: Kane Williamson's six to beat Australia with a wicket to spare at the same tournament; Lance Cairns' one-hander off Dennis Lillee over the longest boundary at the MCG in 1983; and Brian McKechnie's care to block Trevor Chappell's underarm in 1981 before tossing his bat.

None matched Elliott's. In two swift movements with Steyn, he encapsulated what sport is all about.

Tomorrow: Michael Burgess reveals his favourite sporting moment of 2015.

Kiwi sports fans can vote for their choice by text message (once per day) or online at

How to vote:

Voting is now open for the Radio Sport Sporting Moment award. You can vote once a day from now until 9.00pm on Thursday 18 February 2016.

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