In sending the finest fast bowler on the planet into the stands with the game’s penultimate ball, Grant Elliott brought a nation to its feet.
High, handsome and over wide long-on, the BlackCaps capped off a pulsating semi-final to secure their place in the ICC Cricket World Cup Final, leaving 4.5 million Kiwis still catching their breath following their Eden Park heroics.
But now the real test starts, as New Zealand crosses the Tasman Sea to take on great rivals Australia in Melbourne on Sunday.
It’ll be the first time the BlackCaps have left their country during the tournament, leading to messages of support from the ICT industry back home, as Brendon McCullum and his men try to write themselves into history.
Over at Cisco New Zealand, Country Manager Geoff Lawrie kickstarted the Good Luck notes by drawing on the inspiration of US basketball Olympian Debbie Miller-Palmore, who noted: “Even when you've played the game of your life, it's the feeling of teamwork that you'll remember. You'll forget the plays, the shots, and the scores, but you'll never forget your teammates.”
”The way the Blackcaps approach their sporting challenges as a team is an inspiration to everyone at Cisco New Zealand,” Lawrie says.
“We’ll be backing you all the way on Sunday. Good Luck!”
Samsung New Zealand also offered “huge congratulations” to the boys, following a “truly exciting and inspiring match against South Africa.”
“Thanks for raising New Zealand’s national pride to an all-time high,” the tech giant says.
“The Samsung New Zealand team are fully behind you and wish you all the best for Sunday’s final – we’ll be clutching our TV screens in anticipation! Go get em!”
Keen on history, Dimension Data New Zealand notes that after 40 years and 11 tournaments, the Black Caps have finally reached a ICC Cricket World Cup Final.
“Well done lads,” the team says. “Thanks for keeping us on the edge of our seats and entertained for a thoroughly exciting game.
“Dimension Data New Zealand is behind you all the way and looking forward to the final!”
Over at Microsoft New Zealand, Frazer Scott, Chief Marketing and Operations Officer, admits he’s only watched two live games of cricket in 20 years.
“The Black-Caps v Australia game a month ago, and then the game on Tuesday night,” he recalls. “Lost my voice both times….once more please boys!”
Over in the telco space, the key industry players also united in their support of the BlackCaps, preparing the networks to cope with, hopefully, a national digital celebration of joy come Sunday evening.
“I thoroughly enjoyed watching you guys live at the semi’s and have every belief in your success in the final,” says Tim Miles, CEO, Spark Digital.
“The Blackcaps have proven themselves time after time in this tournament, and I’m so proud to be a kiwi and share in your success. Can’t wait until Sunday!”
Echoing Miles’ sentiment is Vodafone New Zealand, who urged the team to bring the trophy to Kiwi shores for the first time in the country’s history.
“Congratulations BlackCaps on a fantastic semi-final win,” the team says. “What a result. You’ve got the entire team at Vodafone behind you for the final. Best of luck on Sunday - bring it home!”
Over at 2degrees, CEO Stewart Sheriff commended the team on a “fantastic job and awesome effort” to reach the final, adding “the whole country is behind you. We know you will do us proud. Go get em!”
For Chorus, the tournament has been a “truly outstanding” World Cup, with every in the company “backing the boys the finish the job in Melbourne on Sunday.”
“The Black Caps have absolutely captivated the nation with their attacking brand of cricket and we’re looking forward to another thrilling game on Sunday, although our nerves probably wouldn’t handle it coming down to the penultimate ball again,” Chorus says.
“But no matter what happens in the final, we are very proud of the Black Caps.”