Shattered dreams, moist eyes, a shocker for every Indian fan as India lost to New Zealand in the semis of the World Cup.
Not for the first time in the last four years, India choked in the knock out rounds of an ICC tournament. They lost the semis of World Cup 2015, the semis of World T-20 in 2016, Champions Trophy final in 2017 and now this.
India dominated the first half of the game on day one of the match. Yes, a rare match in ODIs which got completed in two days, thanks to the rain. After winning the toss, New Zealand decided to bat first on a wicket which would go slow down as per pitch report. Bumrah and Bhuvi started well and bowled three maidens in a row. Guptill’s poor form continued in the semis as Kohli brilliantly caught him in the slips.
Henry Nicholas and Kane Williamson added 68 runs in the next 15 overs. The most experienced Ross Taylor and the man in super-rich form Kane Williamson put all their experience to tackle Indian bowling so that the team could reach a respectable total. Both Williamson and Taylor batted 31 overs of team’s innings and scored 67 and 74 respectively.
The match was halted due to rain with New Zealand 211 for 6 in 46 overs. They came out to bat on day 2 and added some vital runs in the team’s total. A score of 239 on a slow pitch and overcast condition was a fighting total.
India has the disastrous start of the tournament, and unfortunately for them, it came in the knockout game. India lost three wickets for five runs on board, and the batsman with best of form, Rohit, Rahul, and Kohli added one run each in the team’s total. The chief destroyer was Matt Henry who picked two out of three wickets.
Soon India lost Dinesh Karthik, and in bizarre tactics, India sent Hardik ahead of Dhoni to attack the Kiwi bowlers. With Pant, Hardik added 46 runs in 13 overs, and when it looked all settled, Pant played the worst shot of his career. He tried to hit a six against the spinner at deep mid-wicket where the fielder was placed. A few overs later, India lost another set batsman Hardik Pandya while trying to hit boundaries.
At 92 for 6, India was in deep trouble. But the bits and pieces player Ravindra Jadeja batted like a champion, he smashed 77 off 59 balls and added 116 runs with MS Dhoni for the seventh wicket. That brought the hope back in the Indian team and fans, but Jadeja wasn’t getting enough support from the other end in terms of boundaries and in the process of hitting boundaries as the required run rate was reaching beyond 10 in over, lost his wicket.
India’s last hope Dhoni kept taking singles and doubles which only added pressure on him. With 32 required off 12, Dhoni smashed six off the first ball of the penultimate over but was run out next ball off a brilliant throw by Martin Guptill. It was all over for Dhoni and India. India lost the game by 18 runs.
- Kane Williamson scored 548 runs so far in the tournament, the most by any kiwi batsman in a world cup edition, previous best was 547 by Martin Guptill in World Cup 2015.
- One hundred sixteen runs added by MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja, the most by any pair for the 7th wicket in World Cup history.