India v New Zealand World Cup Semi

Neil Whitaker reports

NEW Zealand reached their second consecutive World Cup final as the beat favourites Indian by 18 runs with three balls to spare at Old Trafford.

All the matches at Old Trafford have been won by the side who batted first.  New Zealand added 14 runs to their overnight score in 10 balls before they lost their first wicket and then they lost two in two balls.  First Ross Taylor was run out going for a second. Then Tom Latham picked Kumar off his legs to pick out Ravi Jadeja a few yards in from the boundary. Matt Henry was the last man out when he went for a big hit and found Virat Kohli on the boundary edge.

Kiwi’s skipper Kane Williamson said: “We knew that if we scored 240 to 250 that we would be competitive because on that surface that we would get our chances.”   

All India had to do according to their fans was turn up at the crease but they were soon in trouble.  Rohit Sharma was squared up by Henry and Latham took a comfortable low catch.

In the next over Kohli was given out leg before but he reviewed it and Kohli was on his way because the replay showed it to umpires call. Kohli was not impressed with the decision shaking his head as he walked off the field. Kohli said: “I was dissapointed because I was out and I couldn’t contribute any more.”

The Kiwi’s were in dreamland when KL Raahul tried to take his bat away from Henry but he got a feather touch to Latham.   After 20 balls Dinesh Karthik got off the mark when he pushed at Trent Boult and edged him to the third man boundary. He made another two before Jimmy Neesham at point pulled off one of the catches of the tournament.  Karthik pushed at Henry, edged it and Neesham took a brilliant left handed catch inches off the ground.

Williamson added: “The start we had by our bowlers and our fielders was fantastic, it was a brilliant start.

Pant on 18 whipped Lockie Ferguson’s first ball to square leg but Neesham couldn’t hold it. With Hardik they added 47 in 13 overs but Pant couldn’t resist the temptation of having a slog at left arm spinner Mitchell Santner but he found Colin De Grandhomme on the square leg boundary, now India had lost half their side for only 71 but they had 27 overs to bat if only they could get a partnership.  They managed two.

First Hardik and MS Dhoni added 21 in eight overs but they needed much more than that from that pair.  Their partnership ended when Hardik had to reach to sweep Santner but top edged it to Williamson at mid wicket.

The Indian were turning on their team but suddenly they were backing their team when Jadeja went  down the pitch to Neesham and smashed him over long on for a big six into the crowd. He also hammered Neesham to take him two short of his fifty, two balls later he reached his fifty with a couple through square leg. He top edged a tennis shot off Neesham that fell just short off Taylor at short fine leg.  Two balls later he bottom edged a drive that fell inches short off Henry on the long on boundary. Now everything was going India’s way

With 32 needed from three overs Jadeja skied Boult and underneath it was Williamson would he make the catch or would it fall short off him.  He caught it. In the next over Dhoni was run out by a direct hit from Martin Guptill.

Williamson said: “It’s a one day game and anybody can beat anybody in this tournament. To get another opportunity to play in another World Cup final is special as they only come every four years is a special moment  but now I just want to reflect on what we did in this match.”

India’s captain Kohli said: “The game changed in 40 minutes.  They put on a great display on how to bowl with the new ball and forced us to make errors.  When you lose three wickets six runs its very hard to comeback, so our effort was commendable. We are not devastated to lose because the cricket we have played in this tournament has been very good.  Today we didn’t stand up to the challenge and we have to accept that

On the first day New Zealand made 211 for five with 3.5 overs left before rain stopped play.  Williamson played his usual kind of innings, a careful start, accelerating after the second drinks break and the lynch pin of the New Zealand innings.  He shared in two big partnerships, 68 with Henry Nicholls and 65 with Taylor.

His partnership with Nicholls was broken when he was bowled through the gate by left arm spinner Jadeja bowling around the wicket.  He had three close escapes. On 26 charged Chahal and straight drove but could only get his fingertips to. Without adding to his score he drove Chahal, who this time got both hands to it but couldn’t hold on to the ball.  In the previous over Nicholls turned for a second with Williamson having his back to him but luckily Nicholls recovered in time.

Williamson and Taylor played their usual patient style. Williamson was about to unleash his innings when India got him.  He got an outside edge to a drive off Chahal and Jadeja took the catch at backward point.

Taylor reached fifty when he swept Chahal for a six over square leg.  On 56 he was given out leg before when swept Kumar. Taylor reviewed it straight away and the replay showed it to have pitched outside off stump.

Both Neesham and De Grandhomme shared in partnerships of 30 in quick time and got the Kiwi’s past the 200 mark.  Neesham clipped Hardik off his legs and found Karthik at long on. De Grandhomme tried to uppercut Kumar but the ball ran off the face of his bat to Dhoni.

Kiwi skipper Williamson won the toss and decided to bat. He may have wished that he had changed his mind because both openers Guptill and Nicholls found it hard to Bumrah and Kumar.  It took them 17 balls to get their first run on the board.

Guptill had an heart stopping moment on the first ball of the match from Kumar when the Indians went up for a leg before appeal and was given out. Guptill reviewed it and just as well he did because the replay showed it had pitched outside off stump. 

His awful World Cup campaign continued when he was caught behind by Dhoni. He  nimble at Jasprit Bumrah to give Dhoni an easy catch.

Nicholls was joined by Williamson but the runs wouldn’t come. In their first powerplay

New Zealand only scored 27 one of the lowest of the competition, two runs less than the West Indies scored against India at Old Trafford when the West Indies were all out for 143 in just over 34 overs.


July 28, 2019 11:30 pm

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