New Zealand upset favourites India to reach Cricket World Cup final

Sports Wednesday 10/July/2019 18:01 PM
By: Times News Service
New Zealand upset favourites India to reach Cricket World Cup final

Manchester: New Zealand shocked India in the semi-final of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup to book their place in the final of the tournament.

Batting first, New Zealand successfully defended the relatively low score of 239/8 against an Indian side that never really recovered from losing their first three batsmen very early. Although they did fight back at the end, the New Zealand bowlers did a fantastic job of defending that low total, defeating India by 18 runs as they were dismissed for 221 with three balls to spare.

Batting first, India would’ve assumed that New Zealand’s total of 239/8 from their 50 overs would have been easy to chase. It was a score that took the Kiwis two days to achieve: heavy rain in Manchester meant the match had to be halted on Tuesday evening, with the Black Caps at 211/5.

The game was initially scheduled for Tuesday, but with the rain playing spoilsport, the match officials decided to call a temporary halt to the game, with the game resuming on Wednesday morning. After Martin Guptill was dismissed cheaply, it fell to captain Kane Williamson (67) and veteran batsman Ross Taylor (74) steadied the New Zealand innings.

James Neesham (12), Colin de Grandhomme (16) and Tom Latham (9) all contributed, but the Indian bowlers took wickets at regular intervals to ensure these scores didn’t materialise into something more. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the pick of the bowlers, as he took three wickets, and Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal and Hardik Pandya all took one apiece.

But with a low score to defend, New Zealand knew their bowlers had to rise to the occasion, and rise they did. Matt Henry shocked team India and the largely Indian support at Old Trafford, when he dismissed both KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma for just one run apiece.

Trent Boult inflicted further damage when he took the wicket of Indian captain Virat Kohli, and India were tottering at five for three. It fell to Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya to slowly rebuild India’s innings. Both batsmen contributed 32 apiece after Dinesh Karthik was dismissed for six.

MS Dhoni has had a relatively disappointing tournament so far, but he was met by loud cheers when he came out to bat alongside Ravindra Jadeja, and the two of them got the billions of India supporters around the world hoping that maybe, just maybe, victory was possible.

Jadeja stayed nearly until the end, but his whirlwind 77 from 59 deliveries featuring four sixes and fours apiece did take India a long way. Dhoni was made to walk back soon afterwards, after a superb throw by Martin Guptill meant he was out run out with India so close yet so far.

India’s tailenders looked to be way out of their depth, and the New Zealand bowlers made quick work of the remaining Indian wickets to book their place in their second final in as many World Cups: New Zealand were co-hosts when they faced Australia four years ago, and they will be looking to win their first ever World Cup next Sunday.

New Zealand’s bowlers fared excellently against India. Trent Boult and Mitchell Santner both took two wickets apiece, while Matt Henry scalped three players. James Neesham and Lockie Ferguson picked up a wicket each.

The next semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup will take place between hosts England and defending champions Australia on Thursday evening, with the final being played on Sunday, 14 July.