The Black Caps' unbeaten run at the Cricket World Cup was on the line.
In their toughest test of the Cup to date, the Black Caps had managed to restrict South Africa to 241-6 at Edgbaston, but were in trouble in their reply, as a desperate South African side fought to keep their Cup chances alive.
At 80-4, Black Caps captain Kane Williamson was joined at the crease by Jimmy Neesham, and what followed was superb cricketing theatre.
Here's the tale of one of New Zealand's most dramatic World Cup chases, as told by the people at the centre of it.
In the space of 20 balls, the Black Caps have slumped from 72-1 to 80-4. Martin Guptill stands on his stumps, Ross Taylor is caught down the leg side, and Tom Latham receives a ripping delivery from Chris Morris. The Black Caps, it's fair to say, are in a spot of bother.
Gary Stead (Black Caps coach):
When we were 80-4, we were under a lot of pressure, and something showed up on the [television] odds that the Black Caps were at 46 per cent [to win]. I said to [batting coach] Craig McMillan "Well at 80-4 and just losing three very quickly, I'll take that right now."
Matt Henry (Black Caps bowler):
Their bowlers realised that cutters into the wicket and taking the pace off was going to be really challenging, so they really squeezed in the field and were able to create a lot of pressure. South Africa have a very good bowling attack and they applied a lot of pressure in different situations – the game ebbed and flowed a lot. They took pace away – they identified that very early on – which made it a tough chase.
Rassie Van der Dussen (South Africa batsman): A few things did go our way – Guptill's hit wicket and Ross Taylor being caught down leg - but the bowlers executed their plans really well.
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Kane Williamson (Black Caps captain): We had to build partnerships, but we kept losing unfortunate wickets that made life difficult.
Williamson is still there, and sets about rebuilding the innings with the assistance of Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme. It's a struggle though, with Williamson copping blows on the arm, struggling to pierce the field, and not finding his usual effortless rhythm.
[I knew I'd] face dot balls out there because it was basically standing up in the surface. Neesham and de Grandhomme scored a bit quicker at the other end so I could just sit in at my end. And just try to build those sorts of partnerships because naturally when you're chasing, there's a total there that sort of dictates your play.
Van der Dussen: The wicket stayed the same throughout the game – Kane Williamson doesn't usually struggle to score and we kept him quiet for a good amount of time.
Stead: He looked frustrated. I just thought we needed to suck up that pressure for a while, we had lost three wickets in five overs a little bit earlier – the run rate was never out of control, it was never likely to be, so it was just a matter of us managing our emotions out there, being calm, and accepting that it wasn't an easy wicket.
Craig McMillan (Black Caps batting coach): The surface wasn't as good or as easy as people might have thought and the South African attack certainly made it hard for us but we've always said if we've got someone in at the end, and we bat through our overs, then we'll win.
Neesham comes and goes with 23 from 34 balls, having added 57 with Williamson in 14 overs of toil. That brings Colin de Grandhomme to the crease – a man who has only once faced more than 40 balls in an ODI. Faf du Plessis brings back his strike bowling weapons to try and find the killer blow.
Faf du Plessis (South Africa captain):
We tried to attack the whole time when Colin came in. Immy [Tahir] was straight back on, and that's as much intent as you can show to try to get a wicket. Then I brought Chris [Morris] and Kagi[so Rabada] and Lungi [Ngidi] back at different times.
Williamson: You have a quiet chat [with de Grandhomme and say] 'Hey, play your natural game' and he's done it a number of times. He's our X-factor player.
Stead: Craig McMillan or myself will have quiet words to the batsmen before they go out there, but I don't need to send messages – what if it's the wrong message? It might confuse them.
De Grandhomme isn't mucking around. Eight runs comes from his first four deliveries, before walloping a six as he tries to keep the required run rate in check.
Colin de Grandhomme (Black Caps all-rounder):
That's just my game and that's how I play. I just tried to watch it as hard as I can. I tend to see the ball and hit the ball. I just try to do my job as best I can.
Williamson: It was very nice to watch. Obviously the partnership and the knock from Colin was outstanding in terms of swinging that momentum, and he hit the ball beautifully. Perhaps coming in fresh rather than trying to negotiate the surface prior might have been a positive thing. It was certainly enjoyable batting with him.
Stead: I think the most pleasing thing was he took a lot of pressure off Kane. Kane went through some difficult times out there, it wasn't a pure, fluent, flowing innings but it didn't need to be – he just needed to be there at the end. Colin allowed him to just keep batting.
McMillan: Different individuals stepped up – we're not relying on one or two guys – today it was de Grandhomme, and Kane did what Kane does and what we've come to expect from him.
Williamson's innings is nearly ended on multiple occasions. On 76, Imran Tahir snares a bottom edge, but is the only one interested in an appeal, or a review. A run out chance goes begging after the throw takes a poor bounce, while David Miller's efforts in the field come up empty as balls fall short or just slip out of his grasp.
We weren't aware of [the edge off Tahir]. I think I was at long on at the time, and [wicketkeeper] Quinny [de Kock] is the closest to the action. He's always my go-to man. I just thought it was a plain miss. I just heard about it at the post-match that he had a nick on it. Even Kane said he didn't know he had a faint nick on it. He would have referred it.
Van der Dussen: A few things didn't go our way. The moments we didn't capitalise on, it's not the fault of our own – the ball just landing short of David, and a few balls later, an unbelievable catch it would have been from him. The run out throw hitting the foothole and bouncing over David's hands – it's difficult to control. When things like that don't go your way, it's difficult to say why.
Henry: They've got a lot of talent in their bowling lineup and there were always going to be some spells that were really challenging, and they were. The way the batsmen managed to get through those tough periods, soak up a bit of pressure – which isn't always easy – and then be able to come out of the other side of it and put the foot down when needed, it was a very good batting performance.
Having survived the scares, Williamson and De Grandhomme reassess, trying to take the game as deep as possible, and letting the required rate sit at just above a run a ball.
We knew it was going to be hard against their slower balls because the wicket was just holding a touch. We had to take it to the last 10 overs so we knew we had to build for 10 overs and then see where we were at. Luckily the run rate didn't get above seven, so we were always still in the game. It wasn't too bad, it was just the wicket column that would have destroyed us.
Henry: It was a pretty calm dressing room – we knew what we had to do, we just had to take it deep, keep it ticking over, keep the run rate under control.
Williamson: I was just trying to focus on the team situation. Sometimes you knew that you were going to have tough periods out there. So going into the innings, it was important that you tried to give yourself a little bit of a break. If a guy at the other end hits a boundary and you're looking at 4.5 an over, then a large part of that over is achieved. In the back of your mind, you're just weighing out where you want to be a little bit later on. So taking focus away from yourself and much more around the situation of where we're going to be as a team.
The 42nd over arrives, and South Africa's fifth bowler, Andile Phehlukwayo, still has three overs to bowl. Williamson and de Grandhomme look to attack him.
We knew he still had a few overs in the tank, but he's done the job for them before, so we knew he was still going to be tough. Obviously each bowler is under pressure. Even the good ones still miss.
Du Plessis: Unfortunately it wasn't Andile's day. They scored freely off him, especially when he came back from the top end. There were a few more loose deliveries from him that you don't normally see. But having just five bowlers, he had to bowl ten, and that meant that at times he would have to come back. Unfortunately, it was probably his first performance of the tournament where he hasn't been unbelievable for us, which is normal - he's only human as well.
Williamson: It was just important for us to take the game to a stage where we're keeping track of the overs and who was bowling what and trying to assess some of the bigger threats on that surface.
Du Plessis: Individual batters will look at having an opportunity at facing a bowler that they fancy. Kane showed that. He also found it difficult to score but he waited for the guy he could hit. He showed how to put innings together on a pitch that you need to decide when to push and when to hold back, and he picked his battles. He targeted a few overs in the game, and the rest he just ticked it off. A really good choice from him.
The equation is reduced to 14 from 12 balls, but de Grandhomme – after compiling 60 from 47 balls - holes out in the deep. Mitchell Santner joins Williamson at the crease, but Williamson offers up another half-chance, nearly spooning a catch back to Ngidi.
A couple of the guys bowled pretty good overs and made it tough for us at the end. But Santner's [won games] before, and Kane's seen us home a few times, so they didn't seem to be under too much pressure, luckily.
Van der Dussen: Lungi's caught and bowled chance …. that's a matter of 10 centimetres, landing short there.
Mitchell Santner (Black Caps all-rounder): It got a little bit close, but obviously when you've got Kane at the other end, on 90-odd, it could be worse.
Needing 12 runs from eight balls, Williamson produces one of the shots of the game, expertly guiding a slower ball from Ngidi down past short third man for four.
Yeah, I was just looking for a single, to be honest, and then at the last minute I - no, no, I didn't. No, I was just looking for a single and to try to get down the other end, obviously, the shorter side. South Africa were having to bowl their fifth bowler, so it was nice it rolled away for four, definitely.
Henry: Towards the end, for Kane to be able to hold out until the last over - it was a very impressive knock.
Santner: It was a little tight, but eight off six? You're probably backing the lads.
Phehlukwayo is left with the ball for the final over. A single from Santner puts Williamson on strike, who does the rest in sublime fashion, blasting a six over mid-wicket before finishing South Africa off with a four behind third man. Williamson brings up his maiden World Cup century in the process, with New Zealand remaining unbeaten and knocking South Africa out of the World Cup for a third straight tournament.
Most people were standing, and then after he hit that six, everyone was going mad – it was a great feeling in the room.
Henry: You're sitting there with an opportunity to win a World Cup game, so it's pretty exciting. I was all lined up to go in next. I was good to go (laughs).
Santner: I gave Kane the strike, and there was one shorter side of the ground. We knew on that surface that cutters were quite effective, so that was probably the ball that Phehlukwayo was going to bowl – fortunately it was in the slot for Kane and he popped it over the rope. A pretty good moment.
Williamson: It doesn't always come off, but it was nice we were able to take the game to a stage where we were able to get across the line. One of those surfaces that provides a close game and a spectacle.
Van der Dussen:
We were right in it. It's so close. Such small margins.
Du Plessis: Five or 10 runs in the field here and there and then 15 with the bat, I thought it would have been a winning total. Kane batted through for the hundred and that was the game changer. We threw ourselves around. The energy was unbelievable. We did everything we could.
Stead: I said to Kane, it doesn't really matter what it looks like or what it feels like, you got the job done, and that's what in my view stands him apart from other batsmen. He knew how to do it.