RSA reponse to criticism of their flag campaign

The RSA are confident they have ” the NZ public behind us” in their campaign to retain the current New Zealand flag – but not confident enough to risk the people actually deciding via a sound democratic process. After posting RSA opposes flag change, opposes democratic process I tweeted:

Sad to see @RSA_National actively campaigning against democratic process.

The RSA responded:

We’re all for democratic discussion. We think Govt should hold 1 referendum to ask NZ if they want a change.

They want one referendum because they think that will get them the result they want. Fair enough. But why do they not want to explore possible alternatives to the flag and give people a choice between the best of the rest and the current flag? Presumably because they don’t want change. They want to minimise choice to improve the chances of retaining what they want. I also tweeted:

And unless it can be substantiated claiming just “one or two” in the @RSA_National support flag change insults members.

@RSA_National responded:

Sorry – not our intent. But we are confident we have the support of our membership and the NZ public behind us.

Being ‘confident’ is not any sort of measure. They haven’t offered any substantiation. I replied:

I don’t know how you can claim the support of the public. By what measure?

They haven’t responded. But someone else did. @SarahRoseNZ:

Poll ’14 72%!= No @Yahoo 10,000 voted last month 77% = No! Any ?’s Pete #NZFlag

When I asked how current the Colmar Brunton poll was she said:

Jan last year= no. Don’t shoot messenger. MOST NZ’rs say NO FLAG CHANGE! #NZFlag

That’s over a year ago. I’m sure there will be more polls. And there should be a couple of referendums. I also asked if the Yahoo poll was scientific. No response to that. Some questions for those who don’t want a flag change and who claim that there is strong public support to retain the current flag.

  • What do you fear from exploring possible flag alternatives?
  • What do you fear from having a referendum to let people choose between the current flag and the best of the rest?

If you support the democratic process and you’re confident your choice has overwhelming public support you should be happy with the two referendum process. If you are right that will prove public support is on your side and it is likely to lock in the current flag for the foreseeable future. That would be a win-win for you.

What’s the problem?

Deciding whether to change the flag without knowing what the alternative is would be like deciding to get married without knowing who to.

RSA opposes flag change, opposes democratic process

The chief executive of the RSA, David Moger, appears to be leading a campaign against changing the New Zealand flag, and also against the referendum process being used to see if the New Zealand people want a flag change or not.

And he has made some very dubious claims. 3 News reports Flag change opposed by RSA.

The Royal New Zealand RSA says it will fervently oppose changing the New Zealand flag when it appears before a parliamentary committee considering the issue.

RSA chief executive David Moger says the debate is insensitive as it coincides with commemorations of the centenary of the nation’s involvement in World War I.

The timing was dumb.

The RSA would prefer the centenary of Anzac Day be commemorated this month without the distraction of the flag issue.

But Moger is choosing to promte the distraction now.

“For many who’ve served, our current flag is symbolic of the sacred oath they made to protect the peace and security of New Zealand.

“Our men and women made terrible personal sacrifices and we honour their courage and commitment every time our current flag is flown.”

That’s laying on thick with emphasis on the importance of the flag, with no substantiation, and he has excluded any mention of the silver fern. And it’s the fern that is on my Grandfather’s grave, and on my uncle’s grace in Italy – see Silver fern is NZ history.

The RSA has previously expressed its concern about changing the New Zealand flag.

It’s now calling on others to join it in expressing support for the current flag in representation to the committee and local MPs.

In a hard fought for democracy they are free to campaign however they like.

Mr Moger says two referendums are unnecessary and it’s the RSA’s responsibility to lead the charge on behalf of its members and the hundreds of Kiwis who’ve contacted RSAs around the country saying they don’t want the flag to be changed and don’t understand why it’s become such a priority.

Yesterday on TV3 Moger was interviewed by Paul Henry who also strongly opposes a flag change. So Henry didn’t challenge some very dubious claims and exaggerations.

Henry: When we talked about your members, do you have consensus among your members with regard to the flag?

Moger: Oh a very very strong one. Of course with an organisation like ours with over a hundred thousand members there will be one or two who want to see a change and that’s fine, but the vast vast majority, not only of our members but also people who have written to us and contacted us over the recent weeks and months have said “what’s the point of this, why are we doing it, keep the flag” and encouraging us to get into the fight and make sure that we retain the current flag.

I suggested via Twitter that unless it can be substantiated claiming just “one or two” in the @RSA_National support flag change insults members.

Sorry – not our intent. But we are confident we have the support of our membership and the NZ public behind us.

They sound confident. But they don’t provide numbers for their support levels and they are opposing the best way of determining what the public want, a referendum process.

They sound like they oppose democratic process when they don’t want a possible outcome.

Henry: What is it you’re calling for in your submission?

Moger: So we’re asking for people to write to their MPs, and to say please don’t vote for this bill. We have a chance to change it, we have chance to get some common sense into the process, let’s make that change now so we’re asking New Zealanders to write their MP and go to our website and there’s al the process there and some sample letters people can use.

So the RSA is campaigning for MPs to vote against the most democratic process New Zealand people have available, two referendums.

Henry supported this – because he opposes a flag change. And the online item included a link to “the RSA website for more information” – promoting an anti-democratic campaign. This is headlined Fight For Our Flag and states:

We see it as our responsibility, on behalf of all like-minded New Zealanders, to champion our current flag and challenge the costly referendum process established to select an alternative.

They seem to oppose the democratic process. But further down the page they have a bit of a different angle.

Our position on the referendum is clear. If we are to have a referendum at all it should be a simple yes or no to our existing flag.

That still suggests they prefer no referendum (no democratic vote) but if there is to be any vote the process should favour an outcome they want.

Also via Twitter is a dubious claim of support.

Various polls show overwhelming support for flag, incl @CampbellLiveNZ poll where 84% say we don’t need new flag

A self selecting media driven poll is just about the worst sort of support to be promoting. And they oppose the most definitive sort of poll, two referendums.

It’s understandable that a majority in the RSA would oppose a flag change.

It’s concerning that the RSA is actively campaigning against democracy in action.

An awkward aspect of the RSA anti-change campaign – David Moger sounds like he wasn’t born in New Zealand. I wouldn’t normally question this, and (presumably) as a New Zealander he has as much right voice his opinion as anyone on the flag, but on something as fundamental as the flag his non-New Zealand heritage could be flavouring his staunch opposition.

Disappointing Dunne interview on cannabis

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne was interviewed on The Nation about synthetic cannabis. Unfortunately there was only a quick question about natural cannabis at the end of the interview and most disappointingly nothing mentioned about medicinal use there’s been some suggestion that Dunne may be prepared to consider use of medicinal by-products.

On natural cannabis:

Given that you’ve said that the big stick and a law and order approach hasn’t worked before, what about cannabis, what about natural cannabis? Is there a move, will you move to try and do something on that, to decriminalise?

Dunn: No, no that’s a completely separate debate. We are currently reviewing our national drug policy and within that some of the provisions of the Misuse of Drugs Act, but ah you cannot use, and I’m not going to get involved in using the synthetic cannabis debate as a lever towards the legal, legalisation of the real product.

I don’t know if it’s significant that while he was asked about decriminalisation Dunne referred to legalisation, a different and more extreme move.

Ah that’s a completely separate issue, and we remain bound by the international drug conventions, and the current law remains in place and I’ve got no intention of changing it.

That’s a more definite statement, no intention of changing the current law.

I’m very dubious that “we remain bound by the international drug conventions”. Surely we can make our own laws on drugs like cannabis – as do other countries and a growing number of US states.

Regardless, Dunne sounds adamant he won’t change the law regarding decriminalisation or legalisation of cannabis. And it’s very likely National would oppose any change as well. So things look to remain unchanged.

But what if the review of the Misuse of Drugs Act finds otherwise? Perhaps the review won’t be allowed to find otherwise, depending on how they review things and what any subsequent decisions are based on.

Things remain unclear on medicinal marijuana. There’s some reports that Dunne may be prepared to talk about the use of cannabis by-products.

Last month Dunne Speaks on Medicinal Cannabis.

Lest there be any doubt, the debate centred around some of the properties of the cannabis plant and their potential efficacy. No-one was suggesting that just smoking the cannabis leaf was some sort of medicinal panacea!

That highlights an important distinction in this debate – there are genuine situations to be considered, and there are those who just want to smoke cannabis whenever they choose to. That latter group is not our concern.

However, the argument for medicinal cannabis is by no means a simple one. The evidence –worldwide – is not as clear as it could be, nor is there any sense of commonality when it comes to the issues of dosage, methods of administration, product standards and so on.

In New Zealand’s case, estimates of the numbers of patients likely to benefit from medicinal cannabis are very low, which is why pharmaceutical companies have no interest in trialling products here. At the same time, for some reason, doctors are loathe to use the existing legal provisions to recommend patients to be prescribed medicinal cannabis products like Sativex.

I recently asked the Ministry of Health to review the issues relating to medicinal cannabis. The evidence provided was, as I said in Vienna, quite underwhelming. So I took the opportunity there to discuss with both the United States Federal Director of Drug Policy and Australia’s Assistant Health Minister work being done in both countries in the area of clinical trials. In both cases, the response was similar: it is simply too early to draw definitive conclusions.

When it comes to approving new medicines, New Zealand has always adopted a rigorous, clinical trials, evidence based approach, and it will be no different with the medicinal cannabis issue. We will gather the reputable evidence, consult widely with other countries, and then take a decision based on the highest professional and clinical standards. That is exactly the way we would deal with any other new medicine becoming available, and there is no credible reason or justification for treating medicinal cannabis products in any way differently. Indeed, we would be failing the public if we did otherwise, and exposed people to unnecessary or even unknown risks as a consequence.

This is not to suggest in any way a change in New Zealand’s current stance on leaf cannabis and its possession. But the issue of medicinal cannabis is a highly specific and particular one we need to address in the light of new and emerging evidence, as we receive it. We will do so against the three pillars of compassion, proportion and innovation I outlined in Vienna, pillars which I hope will more broadly inform debate about the future direction of drug policy.

Of course, that will not satisfy those whose sole interest, dressed up in the false guise of concern for those who might benefit from medicinal cannabis, is using cannabis recreationally. But it will ensure over time that, consistent with the principles of our national medicines strategy I introduced in 2007, New Zealanders get access to new medicines that are safe, affordable and effective.

That reinforces Dunne’s apparently strong position against allowing recreational use.

While giving some hope that medicinal marijuana products may be possible he suggests it’s unlikely to happen soon because “estimates of the numbers of patients likely to benefit from medicinal cannabis are very low, which is why pharmaceutical companies have no interest in trialling products here”.

That’s an interesting statement, suggesting that the problem is simply a commercial reality.

But why is it thought that estimates of the number likely to benefit are ‘very low’?

With no change to the law on recreational and self-medication use there will be too much competition from reasonably easily obtained illegal products?

And there’s no mention of another factor – drug companies may have difficulty in getting patents on cannabis, so the market would be open and competitive, therefore not profitable enough.

So while there’s some hope medicinal products could be allowed the chances of that happening look slim.

And the chances of any relaxation of law on recreational use look to be zero under the current Government.

It’s a shame The Nation didn’t explore this more.

Poll on ‘Problems facing New Zealand’

Roy Morgan has a poll on what New Zealanders think are the major problems facing us.

When asked about the most important problem facing New Zealand:

  • Economic issues 40% (down 1)
  • Government/ Public policy/ Human rights issues 26% (up 5)
  • Social issues 15% (down 5)
  • Environmental issues 7% (up 1)

With National being seen as the strongest party on dealing with the economy this isn’t a surprising result. And it suggests why the Greens struggle to get traction with the environment a relatively low concern.

A breakdown of the most important Economic Issues facing New Zealand:

  • Poverty / The gap between the rich and the poor 18%  (down 2)
  • Unemployment/ Job security 8% (up 2)
  • Cost of living/ Increasing prices/ Financial hardship/ Household debt 5% (unchanged)
  • Economy/ Financial crisis/ Recession/ Inflation/ Exchange rate/ High dollar 5% (down 1%)
  • Low Wages 3% (up 1)
  • Christchurch Recovery & Rebuilding 1% (up 1)
  • Foreign Ownership/ Selling our Assets 1% (unchanged)
  • Need to Increase Exports 1% (down 1)

A breakdown of the most important Government/Public Policy/Human Rights Issues facing New Zealand:

  • Housing shortage/ Housing affordability 10% (up 4)
  • Government/ Politicians/ Leadership/ Government Spending 9% (up 1)
  • Education 2 (up 1)
  • Health Issues/ Disease/ Obesity/ Poor Health 2% (up 1)
  • Benefits Given to the Maori/ Inequality Between Maori and Other Ethnic Groups 1 (unchanged)
  • Health System/ Shortage of Doctors/ Health Services 1% (up 1)
  • Immigration/ Refugees 1% (down 1)

A breakdown of the most important Social issues facing New Zealand:

  • Child Abuse/ Lack of Care of Children/ Bringing up Children Wrongly 3% (up 1)
  • Social Apathy/ Lack of Values/ Lack of Empathy Toward Others/ Intolerance 3% (down 1)
  • Breakdown of Family Unit/ Family Violence 2 (unchanged)
  • Crime/ Law & Order 2% (unchanged)
  • Drugs/ Alcohol Issues/ Drink Driving 1% (unchanged)
  • Greed/ Materialism 1% (unchanged)
  • Racism/ Racial Tension 1% (unchanged)
  • Social Welfare System 1% (unchanged)
  • Violence/ Gangs 1% (unchanged)

The problem with this is people may have varying levels of concern about different issues but can only choose one.

These findings come from a special New Zealand Roy Morgan survey conducted with New Zealanders aged 14+ asked what are the most important issues facing New Zealand and the World today.

In New Zealand, a cross-section of 1,002 men and women aged 14 or over were interviewed by telephone in March 2015. Respondents were asked: “Firstly, what do you think is the most important problem facing the World today?” and“What do you think is the most important problem facing New Zealand today?” The research conducted was bothqualitative (in that people were asked to use their own words) and quantitative (in that the ‘open-ended’ responses were analysed and ‘coded’ so that the results could be counted and reported as percentages).

From beginnings to nearly great

Jarrod Kimber at Cricinfo writes about the course of Black Caps’s efforts at the just completed world cup interspersed with a history of New Zealand international cricket. Well worth a read for anyone interested in cricket.

Led by their fearless captain, New Zealand threw themselves at this World Cup and came as close as they ever have done to greatness

New Zealand’s greatest almost

Well done Australia

New Zealand played very well through the cricket world cup and were admired world wide.

Good effort overall Black Caps, this will be looked back on as a success overall.

But they were  beaten by clearly the better team on the day today in the final.

Well done Australia.

New Zealand versus Australia – cricket world cup

Today New Zealand’s Black Caps get to see if they can lift themselves enough to beat the top ranked Australians in the final of the cricket world cup.

I hope they can but am realistic – it’s a huge challenge against a very experienced opponent playing on their home ground where they have not been prepared to play us for several years.

It will be a huge crowd in Melbourne but the Black Caps will have huge support from this side of the Tasman.

Let the best team win – and let that be us!

New Zealand versus Australia final!

Australia easily beat India in the second cricket world cup semi-final last night in Sydney. I stopped watching after 20 overs of the Indian chase, they were 3 wickets down and beaten looked etched in their faces.

So this means New Zealand have another chance to overcome Australia’s confidence, this time with home ground advantage to the Aussies.

It will be harder than the cliffhanger Black Caps victory in Auckland in their pool match.

Australia will be determined to turn the tables, and the resolved of the Black Caps will be tested at another level. New Zealand can’t afford to make mistakes that were scattered through the semi-final versus South Africa.

Here’s hoping it will be an epic match and the Black Caps haven’t peaked too soon.

We have nothing to lose (apart from the game, the tournament and the cup) – New Zealand have already achieved better than ever before and have outlasted more favoured countries.

They have won huge credit already for their results and the way they have played.

One game from glory.

Finally Black Caps

Finally, after six failed attempts, the Black Caps team that dared to dream big, dug deep and won their first world cup semi-final.

Both New Zealand and South Africa made mistakes along the way, interrupted by some Auckland rain, but both teams rose to the occasion. Fortunes ebbed and flowed through both innings.

In the end the Black Caps stood tall, Grant Elliot standing the tallest with a great innings and a magnificent wallop off the second last ball to clinch a win, while the South Africans slumped in despondency – they can be proud of their effort but there’s no avoiding the bitterness of defeat on an occasion like this.

Peter Meecham/Fairfax NZ

This is New Zealand’s greatest win backed by huge crowd support – described as electric – and a country familiar with late fades but now feasting on a fantasy come true.

Well, nearly. This was a semi-final. Can the Black Caps lift themselves to greater heights? The final is in Melbourne on Sunday.

McCullum summed up the night afterwards: “We’ve given ourselves a shot at World cup glory,” he said.

“It’s the greatest time of our lives as players. We are enjoying the experience. It’s been an incredible ride all the way through the crowds we’ve had turn up all the way through New Zealand for this team and the brand of cricket we have played has been phenomenal.

“We hope they are all dreaming as much as we are. we have a huge occasion in a few days time and jeez it would be nice to win it.”

– Stuff

The last six overs from Cricinfo:

Target is under 50. Six overs in hand

37.1 Morkel to Elliott, 1 run, short of a length, outside off, steers it down to third man for one

Morkel has two left, including this. A slip in place

37.2 Morkel to Anderson, no run, this is a really mean delivery, rising towards his nose from just short of a length. Hits his glove as he fends. Could have gone anywhere
37.3 Morkel to Anderson, no run, cut into the pitch, off the leg-stump line, bounces straight to point. Two dots. Pressure building?
37.4 Morkel to Anderson, no run, lovely delivery. Morkel building pressure. This one is a heavy ball. Just short of a length. Middle and leg. Holds its line, cuts him into two, but sails over the stumps
37.5 Morkel to Anderson, no run, appeal for a catch down the leg side as Anderson is beaten on the hook. SA appeal. NZ hope for a wide. Crowd boos as the wide is not called. This is a wide down leg really
37.6 Morkel to Anderson, OUT, Morkel has brought them back. Faf du Plesiss was never dropping this. South Africa roar. New Zealand slipping at the last hurdle? This has been a superb over by Morkel. Short of a length, around off, the ball gets big on him as he pulls. The top edge is massive. Kisses the moon before it comes back down. Du Plessis takes a lovely safe catch at square leg. Lets out a roar. But hold on. They are checking if this has kissed the spider cam wire on the way down. If it touches, we have a dead ball folks. The replays are inconclusive. In the dark sky with black cables it is hard to tell, and he is asked to walk on. What a farce it is that we have the spidercam. Encroaching upon the playing area. Has a farce been avoided narrowly? Conversation with the third umpire not relayed this time. How transparent

CJ Anderson c du Plessis b Morkel 58 (80m 57b 6×4 2×6) SR: 101.75

End of over 38 (1 run) New Zealand 252/5 (46 runs required from 30 balls, RR: 6.63, RRR: 9.20)

Eden Park has gone quiet. Elliott and Ronchi have the sixth-wicket partnership world record. Surely they will rate this higher if they can get 45 or 46 here.

38.1 de Villiers to Elliott, 1 run, full, really full, dug out into the pitch, bounces over AB’s head for one
38.2 de Villiers to Ronchi, no run, on a length, pretty straight. Pushed back to hi. De Villiers has bowled gun overs here
38.3 de Villiers to Ronchi, 1 run, Ronchi is a straight hitter, and they have got long-on pretty straight for him. Driven straight to him for one
38.4 de Villiers to Elliott, SIX, bouncer outside off, Elliott is waiting for it, and hooks this over midwicket for a six. Massive relief for New Zealand for the time being
38.5 de Villiers to Elliott, 1 run, back of a length, outside off, slogged away to deep midwicket for one
38.6 de Villiers to Ronchi, 1 run, full and straight, driven straight again, and Behardien is pretty straight at long-on to keep them down to one

End of over 39 (10 runs) New Zealand 262/5 (36 runs required from 24 balls, RR: 6.71, RRR: 9.00)

Nine an over now. It has come down to this. What a beauty this game is turning out to be. Tahir to bowl out now

39.1 Imran Tahir to Ronchi, 1 run, worng’un, he hasn’t picked it, but he recovers well as it turns back in. Dabs it out for a single
39.2 Imran Tahir to Elliott, no run, moves across to flick this, but finds du Plessis at short midwicket
39.3 Imran Tahir to Elliott, no run, Elliott moves across the line, he bowls full and fast and yorks him up. Valuable dot
39.4 Imran Tahir to Elliott, 1 run, flatter delivery, pulled away to the left of Amla at deep midwicket. They don’t take his arm on
39.5 Imran Tahir to Ronchi, FOUR, lovely batting. Ronchi is a touch player. Flat length ball, into the pads, he has just chipped it. Just a caress. No back-lift, no follow-through. Just lifts it over midwicket for four
39.6 Imran Tahir to Ronchi, 1 run, low full toss, driven hard and down the ground, Rossouw rushes to his right at long-off, and fields. Keeps them down to one. Sensational effort

End of over 40 (7 runs) New Zealand 269/5 (29 runs required from 18 balls, RR: 6.72, RRR: 9.66)

It is getting tighter every ball. This is a cracker. Twenty-nine off 18; 28 will do it for New Zealand. Steyn is here

40.1 Steyn to Ronchi, OUT, he has picked out deep midwicket. This is just a length ball, and he has just played an instinctive aerial flick across the line. A nothing shot really, and he has found deep midwicket to perfection. A forgettable night for Ronchi. Dropped de Kock, wasn’t great with his collections. Steyn meanwhile is pumped up. South Africa might have their noses ahead here

L Ronchi c Rossouw b Steyn 8 (13m 7b 1×4 0x6) SR: 114.28

40.2

Steyn to Elliott, 2 runs, short of a length, makes room by arching back and cuts this to the right of third man for a couple

40.3

Steyn to Elliott, 2 runs, slower ball, short of a length, soft hands into the leg side, he rushes back for a risky second, and de Kock has missed him. De Kock is up to the stumps, Rossouw’s throw is accurate, but a little too full. De Kock’s gloves close early, he doesn’t collect the ball, removes the bails with Elliott miles outside the crease

40.4 Steyn to Elliott, 1 run, slower ball, clipped away off the pads for a single to fine leg

What a time for Dan Vettori to come in. Every dot is pressure here. Can Vettori do it one more time for New Zealand?

40.5 Steyn to Vettori, 1 run, walks down the wicket, makes room, exposes the stumps, Steyn fires in a yorker, the bat comes down just in time. The NZ fans skipped a beat here. They take the single to point
40.6 Steyn to Elliott, no run, pressure on New Zealand here. Low full toss, nearly a yorker, dug out to short straight midwicket where AB is in to save the single. Vettori is backing up too far. De Viliiers misses with the throw. They don’t get the overthrow because mid-off is in the circle

End of over 41 (6 runs) New Zealand 275/6 (23 runs required from 12 balls, RR: 6.70, RRR: 11.50)

Morkel has kept South Africa alive here. Can he bowl six good balls to give Steyn a big total to defend

41.1 Morkel to Vettori, 1 run, low full toss from round the wicket, Vettori makes room and drives, Amla makes a diving save at short cover. Saves three runs. What a contest. Everybody is giving it his all

Gyanesh Prakash: “I am sitting in my office and everyone seems to be reporting to Sidharth Monga now. Including my boss :)”

41.2 Morkel to Elliott, 2 runs, what luck for New Zealand. Elliott plays the pressure shot. He goes back into the crease, premeditating a short ball. Morkel bowls length. He swings. The ball gets big. It lobs up into the night sky. Midwicket goes back. Two fielders from the deep on the leg side rush in. But it falls smack in between
41.3 Morkel to Elliott, 1 run, bouncer, Elliott thinks this is his opportunity, but it is a slower bouncer, he gets a bottom edge for one
41.4 Morkel to Vettori, 1 run, Steyn saves three there. Vettori moves inside the line to pull this to long leg. Steyn – dodgy hamstring – rushes to the right from fine leg and dives full length to save three
41.5 Morkel to Elliott, FOUR, Elliott pulls one back for New Zealand. He stays deep in the crease, moves across too to set himself up. Morkel thinks he wants to leg side, and he bowls full and wide. Elliott instead goes over extra cover. Nails it. Four crucial runs
41.6 Morkel to Elliott, 2 runs, Collision. Collision. Elliott pulls from outside off, gets a massive top edge between deep backward and fine leg. Behardien gets under it. Duminy rushes in from fine leg. No calling. They have dropped it. In the meanwhile Elliott and Vettori have missed out on the opportunity to take the third because they are standing in the middle of the pitch, waiting to see what happens

End of over 42 (11 runs) New Zealand 286/6 (12 runs required from 6 balls, RR: 6.80, RRR: 12.00)

Steyn to bowl the final over

42.1 Steyn to Vettori, 1 bye, Vettori backs away and swings, is beaten by a slower ball, but Elliott charges through to claim the strike

Eleven to win. Ten to tie. Anything will do. Dot. Wicket. Pressure from South Africa. This is a great match. Mid-off up, fine leg up

42.2 Steyn to Elliott, 1 run, full toss, drilled hard, in the air, on the bounce to cover. They get just the single

Steyn stretches as he walks back to his mark. Dodgy hamstring. “Daniel Vettori,” chants the crowd. The batsmen come up for a conversation. Play is held up as the physio comes in for Steyn. There is no way he will not bowl this over. It is the calf this time. A loud hush around the ground. The loudest hush you can imagine. Ten off four to win. Nine to tie. Steyn gets up after what looks like a couple of minutes

42.3 Steyn to Vettori, FOUR, Steyn bowls the yorker. The grand old man of NZ cricket Vettori makes room, opens the face with the horizontal bat. Squeezes this out perfectly to the left of third man for four. What a moment
42.4 Steyn to Vettori, 1 bye, bouncer, Vettori misses the pull, Elliott rushes through for the bye, de Kock Misses at the striker’s end, Steyn misses at the non-striker’s as Vettori dives

Down to five off two. A boundary takes them home. Does Elliott think he has two balls to hit one boundary and turn down the single if it arises?

42.5 Steyn to Elliott, SIX, no he doesn’t. He hits this over long-on for six. Lets out an almighty roar. All 45000 roar with him. Steyn has bowled length. Why length at this time? Surely you would expect a yorker or a bouncer. Elliott – South African by birth – goes deep into the crease, and lofts this over wide long-in for surely the most important hit he has ever hit in his life. Why would you bowl length, Dale?

11.25pm Oh what a night. We will never forget it. Boult’s swing at the top of the innings, du Plessis’ absorption of all New Zealand could throw at him, Williamson dropping de Villiers, de Villiers and Miller exploding in the end, the rain, the readjusted target, McCullum making mockery of some of the best and most fearsome fast bowlers of the world, Morkel bringing South Africa back bowling with heart and menace, New Zealand losing wickets to nerves, Anderson and Elliott bringing them back, de Viliiers missing a run-out, spidercam nearly costing South Africa a wicket, de Kock missing a run-out, Steyn diving with a dodgy leg to save three runs in the penultimate over, Vettori squeezing out a yorker for four in the final, Elliott ending it with a six, the tears of Morkel, the roar of Elliott, what would this World Cup be without this match?

Cold-blooded analyses will question the selection of Philander; it will question New Zealand’s running, their fielding; we will look back ruefully at missed run-out. Equally we must cherish the execution of skills under such immense pressure. In the end the better team won, they shook hands, they hugged each other, nobody abused the other, and we can be thankful for that. Let’s just keep in mind that Elliott was the first man to go up to the vanquished Steyn and lift him off the pitch. It has been an absolute pleasure to bring this game to you. This is Sidharth Monga saying goodbye

11.20pm What rousing speeches from both captains. Yes, AB, your country can still be proud of you. Yes, Brendon, your country – and fans of your cricket all over the world – are dreaming as much as you are

Pawan: “This is what cricket is all about. No sledging, mind games or silly altercations. Just skill, passion and humility in defeat. Hold your heads high de Villiers and Mccullum. Your boys have given us a true spectacle of the game.”

Russell: “Very emotional for South Africa, they gave their best and lost in the last moment. In a game like this, both teams are winners – painful words from AB to end it, and congratulations to NZ.”

11.10pm “Pretty amazing,” says Brendon McCullum. “South Africa gave as good as they got all day. Great advertisement for cricket. Everybody involved will remember this for the rest of their lives. Keep raining is what I thought when AB was going. Two very destructive batsmen. The way we kept giving it in the field, the way we bowled, we did good. Even with the bat. We wanted to hang in till the end. What a great innings from Grant. Came out of wilderness not long ago. We had to generate some sort of run-rate early, that is what we tried to go. Credit to South Africa the way they played tonight and throughout the tournament. The greatest time of our lives. We have enjoyed the experience. The crowds that have turned, the brand of cricket we have tried to play. Hope the crowds are all dreaming the way we are. gee it would be nice to win it. We don’t mind whom we face in the final. They are both quality sides, but we know if we play the way we want to we are a good chance. Really proud to represent New Zealand.”

“Amazing game of cricket,” says AB de Villiers. “Probably the most electric crowd I have ever heard in my life. I guess the best team has come out on top. We gave it our best. No regrets. We left it all out there. It is hurting. It is going to take a while to recover. Worst of all is we don’t play for ourselves. The bigger picture is for the people back home. We play for them. I hope they can still be proud of us. There have been great performances. I felt we had a wonderful thing going. Had a great feeling. Don’t want to single out any performance. To the teams in the final, all the best.”

11pm Finally a beauty at the World Cup. Such raw emption after such a great show of skill, audacity, humanly mistakes. Joy, sadness. Smiles, tears. Roars of ecstasy, roars of anguish. We have seen it all tonight. After six agonising semi-finals, New Zealand have finally made it to a World Cup final. Martin Crowe will rest easy now. Dion Nash will rest easy. His is the lesser stories exit after his side had looked exceptional in 1999. I remember talking to him about it in 2009. He sat there for hours inside the dressing room, in an absolutely filthy mood. They can all rejoice today

And for South Africa, the wait continues. It is a cruel sport

“It’s great,” says Grant Elliott, the Man of the Match. “I don’t think this win is for myself or the team, but everyone here. The supporters have been amazing. We wanted to take it as deep as we could [The crowd is not letting him talk]. I think we timed the pace of the innings to perfection. Not as calm as I looked. When you have 45000 fans screaming at you every ball… It has been an absolute pleasure playing in front of this crowd. We have had a good run. It is the first final we have been in as New Zealand. We are a very level team, we will approach it as any other game. Nothing going in my mind when I hit the six. I don’t even know where the ball went.”

**

What a finish. Elliott has shown nerves of steel. South Africans are on the ground. Morkel, who gave it his all with the ball. Du Plessis, who weathered the storm with the bat, and ran every ball down in the field. They are weeping. Even Steyn. What emotion. Jubilation for New Zealand. Fireworks in the air. Tears at the ground. Sport at its best. Two immensely likeable teams. They have left it all on the field of play. Elliott you beauty. Came into the side at the last moment. Has held his nerve to win it for them. The ghost of 1992 lays exorcised in front of 45000 people. Fireworks in the rest of Auckland too

ICC Cricket World Cup – 1st semi final
New Zealand won by 4 wickets (with 1 ball remaining) (D/L method)
24 March 2015 – day/night match (50-over match)
South Africa innings (43 overs maximum) R M B 4s 6s SR
View dismissal HM Amla b Boult 10 15 14 2 0 71.42
View dismissal Q de Kock c Southee b Boult 14 36 17 2 0 82.35
View dismissal F du Plessis c †Ronchi b Anderson 82 155 107 7 1 76.63
View dismissal RR Rossouw c Guptill b Anderson 39 77 53 2 1 73.58
AB de Villiers* not out 65 84 45 8 1 144.44
View dismissal DA Miller c †Ronchi b Anderson 49 23 18 6 3 272.22
JP Duminy not out 8 4 4 1 0 200.00
Extras (b 1, w 13) 14
Total (5 wickets; 43 overs; 196 mins) 281 (6.53 runs per over)
Bowling O M R W Econ 0s 4s 6s
TG Southee 9 1 55 0 6.11 31 10 0 (1w)
View wickets TA Boult 9 0 53 2 5.88 29 7 0
MJ Henry 8 2 40 0 5.00 27 3 1 (1w)
DL Vettori 9 0 46 0 5.11 21 2 0 (2w)
KS Williamson 1 0 5 0 5.00 1 0 0
GD Elliott 1 0 9 0 9.00 2 0 1
View wickets CJ Anderson 6 0 72 3 12.00 12 6 4 (5w)
New Zealand innings (target: 298 runs from 43 overs) R M B 4s 6s SR
View dismissal MJ Guptill run out (Amla/†de Kock) 34 80 38 3 1 89.47
View dismissal BB McCullum* c Steyn b Morkel 59 32 26 8 4 226.92
View dismissal KS Williamson b Morkel 6 12 11 1 0 54.54
View dismissal LRPL Taylor c †de Kock b Duminy 30 57 39 4 0 76.92
GD Elliott not out 84 132 73 7 3 115.06
View dismissal CJ Anderson c du Plessis b Morkel 58 80 57 6 2 101.75
View dismissal L Ronchi c Rossouw b Steyn 8 13 7 1 0 114.28
DL Vettori not out 7 19 6 1 0 116.66
Extras (b 6, lb 2, w 5) 13
Total (6 wickets; 42.5 overs; 212 mins) 299 (6.98 runs per over)
Bowling O M R W Econ 0s 4s 6s
View wicket DW Steyn 8.5 0 76 1 8.60 25 7 4 (1w)
VD Philander 8 0 52 0 6.50 28 7 2
View wickets M Morkel 9 0 59 3 6.55 30 9 1 (1w)
Imran Tahir 9 1 40 0 4.44 28 4 0 (1w)
View wicket JP Duminy 5 0 43 1 8.60 9 3 2 (2w)
AB de Villiers 3 0 21 0 7.00 6 1 1

MATCH DETAILS


Toss – South Africa, who chose to bat
Series – New Zealand advanced
Player of the match – GD Elliott (New Zealand)
Umpires – IJ Gould (England) and RJ Tucker (Australia)
TV umpire – NJ Llong (England)
Match referee – DC Boon (Australia)
Reserve umpire – BNJ Oxenford (Australia)

New Zealand versus West Indies

It’s crunch time for the Black Caps today as they take on the unpredictable West Indies in the last of the World Cup quarter finals.

The other quarters have gone according to predictions with South Africa, India and Australia having easy wins.

The Black Caps are favourites but anything can happen in cricket which depends on skill and commitment but mental application is also very important.

I won’t get much chance to watch the game but am just downloading a Cricinfo app for my mobile.

Here’s hoping for a good result.

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