New Zealand’s World Cup semi-final heartbreak


Auckland : New Zealand will hope it’s a case of seventh time lucky when they face South Africa at Auckland’s Eden Park on Tuesday, as all six of their previous World Cup semi-finals have ended in defeat.

Below AFP Sport looks back at the Black Caps’ litany of last-four woes:


1975, The Oval: New Zealand 158 (G Howarth 51; B Julien 4-27) lost to the West Indies 159-5 (A Kallicharran 72, G Greenidge 55) by 5 wkts

One-day internationals were still in their infancy when a crack West Indies side with plenty of limited overs experience in English county cricket proved too strong in the last four of the inaugural World Cup

Left-arm paceman Bernard Julien’s haul was mainly responsible for New Zealand batting fewer than 53 of their then scheduled 60 overs, with Geoff Howarth — who played at The Oval for Surrey — top-scoring with 51.

A second-wicket stand of 125 between Gordon Greenidge and Alvin Kallicharran then took the West Indies, the eventual champions, to the brink of victory.


1979, Old Trafford: New Zealand 212-9 (J Wright 69) lost to England 221-8 (G Gooch 71, M Brearley 53) by 9 runs

The closest New Zealand have yet come to a World Cup final saw them just edged out in a match that went the distance.

New Zealand great Richard Hadlee took a miserly one for 32 in 12 overs but fifties from Graham Gooch and England captain Mike Brearley saw the hosts to a decent total.

Opener John Wright anchored New Zealand’s chase until he was run out by Derek Randall and, as wickets kept falling, a target of 14 off the last over, bowled by Ian Botham, proved just beyond New Zealand.


1992, Auckland: New Zealand 262-7 (M Crowe 91, K Rutherford 50) lost to Pakistan 264-6 (Inzamam-ul-Haq 60, Javed Miandad 57 no) by 4 wkts

New Zealand captain Martin Crowe led from the front but suffered a pulled hamstring and a mix-up with his runner saw him run out nine runs shy of a hundred. But with Ken Rutherford making 50, New Zealand set Pakistan a stiff chase by the standards of the time.

However, Crowe — in a bid to be fit for the final — wasn’t on the field when Pakistan batted and, as a result, a series of elaborate bowling changes he had planned were not carried out by acting skipper Wright.

Pakistan were 140 for four after 35 overs, needing 123 from the last 15. But Inzamam-ul-Haq announced himself to the world with a brilliant innings and, with veteran batsman Javed Miandad, he shared a match-changing stand of 87.


1999, Old Trafford: New Zealand 241-7 lost to Pakistan 242-1 (Saeed Anwar 113 no, Wajahatullah Wasti 84) by 9 wkts

New Zealand, despite fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar taking three wickets, still managed what seemed a decent total.

But they were undone by a superb opening stand of 194 between Saeed Anwar and Wajahatullah Wasti.

The match ended in chaos when, with Pakistan needing two runs for victory, Roger Twose abandoned an attempt to catch Anwar as spectators charged on to the field, with the runs awarded later by the umpires.


2007, Kingston: New Zealand 208 (M Muralitharan 4-31) lost to Sri Lanka 289-5 (M Jayawardene 115 no, U Tharanga 73) by 81 runs

New Zealand were rarely in this contest at Jamaica’s Sabina Park.

Sri Lanka piled up an imposing total on the back of a brilliant hundred by Mahela Jayawardene and a fifty by opener Upul Tharanga.

In reply, no New Zealand batsman made more than opener Peter Fulton’s 46, with off-spin great Muttiah Muralitharan taking four wickets after Sri Lanka’s new-ball bowlers had made early inroads.


2011, RPS Colombo: New Zealand 217 (S Styris 57) lost to Sri Lanka 220-5 (T Dilshan 73, K Sangakkara 54) by 5 wkts

New Zealand struggled for runs, with Scott Styris playing largely a lone hand in an innings where the next best score was 39, while paceman Lasith Malinga and spinner Ajantha Mendis took three wickets each.

Fine fifties from Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara meant that, although Sri Lanka lost three wickets in the 160s, they inflicted another semi-final defeat upon New Zealand. AFP