Cricket Article

Cricket World Cup 2019: New Zealand Shock India to Make Back to Back World Cup Finals

Cricket World Cup 2019: New Zealand Shock India to Make Back to Back World Cup Finals Photo: TT
New Zealand beat India to make the World Cup final

New Zealand beat India by 18 runs in a thrilling contest to clinch their place in the World Cup Final, causing a major shock in the process.

New Zealand won the toss at Old Trafford and decided to bat first. The Indian bowlers were on top from the start, as New Zealand struggled to score, and claimed early success when Martin Guptill edged Jasprit Bumrah to Virat Kohli fielding at second slip. Henry Nicholls and Kane Williamson battled hard against disciplined bowling but, having added 68, Nicholls defensive stroke was beaten by a ball from Ravindra Jadeja and he was bowled for 28.

Williamson and Ross Taylor then steadily built a partnership of 75 but, just as they were looking to accelerate the scoring rate, Williamson, who had made 67, was caught by Jadega off the bowling of Chahal. Jimmy Neesham was promoted up the order to try and boost the run rate, but New Zealand continued to struggle, until Neesham fell for 12, caught by Dinesh Karthik off Handya Pandya.

Colin de Grandhomme was next man at the crease, and he did manage to inject some urgency into the innings with a brisk 12 before he was caught behind off Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Then with the score at 211-5 and just under 4 overs to be bowled, the rain started to fall. Unfortunately for the large crowd it did not abate, and the players had to come back on Wednesday to complete the match.

When play resumed the next day, Taylor and Tom Latham added 14 to the overnight core, but then Taylor, who had reached 74, including one six, was run out by Jadeja going for a second run. The very next ball, Latham was caught by the same man with Kumar the bowler, as India tightened their grip. He then struck again with the last ball of his over, having Matt Henry caught by Virat Kohli. Mitchell Santner and Trent Boult scrambled seven off the last over, but the final New Zealand score of 239 – 8 looked to be short of what was required.

However, India suffered an early blow when Rohit Sharma, the top run scorer in the World Cup this year was caught behind off Henry in the second over. Then Boult struck to get the man they really wanted, Virat Kohli out lbw. With India totally struggling against the swing ball, KL Rahul was the next man to fall, caught behind off Henry as India slumped to 5 – 3. Risbabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik then added 19, before Neesham produced a brilliant catch at point to dismiss Karthik, Henry again the bowler. Risbabh Pant and Hardik Pandya then shared a stand of 47, before Pant tried a big shot off Santner and was caught for 322. whilst Pandya misjudged a sweep shot off Santner and was caught by Williamson, also for 32.

At that stage all seemed lost for India, but then MS Dhoni and Jadeja produced a major partnership that looked as if it might yet swing the match their way. Jadega was very much the aggressor of the pair, with Dhoni content to play the anchor role, and together the pair put on 116 for the seventh wicket until Jadega, who had struck 4 sixes in his 77 scored off just 59 balls, skied a delivery from Boult and was caught by Williamson.

India’s hopes of winning were virtually ended in the next over when Dhoni was run out by a direct throw from Guptill for 50. Three balls later Kumar was bowled by Lockie Ferguson and Neesham wrapped-up the innings when he had Ravindra Chahal caught behind, as India were bowled out for 221, with three balls to spare.

Rajeev mcallister
Sports Pundit staff writer

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