ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 India vs New Zealand 1st Semifinal: Ravindra Jadeja’s heroics blistering knock of 77 went in vain as India crashed out the tournament after suffering an 18-run defeat to New Zealand in the first semifinal of the ICC World Cup 2019. MS Dhoni also contributed with a crucial half-century also failed to make a difference in the nail-biting semifinal at the iconic Old Trafford cricket ground in Manchester. Chasing a tricky target of 240 in overcast conditions, the Men in Blue lost Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul cheaply. Credit also goes to Matt Henry and Trent Boult for bowling a dream spell of pace bowling. (MATCH HIGHLIGHTS)
Courtesy this thrilling win, the Black Caps have stormed to their second successive world cup final. The Kiwis had lost to Australia in a one-sided final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 2015. New Zealand will meet the winner of the second semifinal at Lord’s on July 14. The second knockout clash will be played between Australia and England at Edgbaston, Birmingham on July 11. (SCORECARD)
It was once again a sad ending of a fantastic campaign for Team India, almost a recap of the 2015 World Cup. There as well, the Men in Blue faltered in last four clash against a dominant Australian team at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). In 2019, India finished on top of the group stage only to lose to New Zealand in the semi-final.
India’s over-dependence on the top-order (or top three batsmen) was exposed big time in the knockout match vs New Zealand when they were tested by a quality pace bowling attack. In the past, the Indian team management had constantly tried to play down all the queries around it.
On a wicket tailor-made for the bowlers, Jadeja did play a blinder (77 off 59 balls). But it was too late in the day as the top-order collapse came to haunt India at the end. Needing 52 off the last five overs, Jadeja looked to be guiding India home under the tutelage of former skipper Dhoni but Trent Boult had the last laugh as he dismissed Jadeja in the 48th over to bring New Zealand right back into the game. Jadeja’s 77-run knock was the highest in the history of World Cup for a batsman batting at number eight in the second innings, but it was just not enough to take India home.
The untimely run-out of Dhoni (50 off 72 balls) in the 49th over was the final nail in the coffin. It was ironic that the man who is known as one of the best judges of run was run-out while going for a double. Martin Guptill’s direct hit was too good even for Dhoni. Chasing 240, India were 92/6 and looking down the barrel before Jadeja joined Dhoni and raised hopes of a counter. In the end, their partnership of 116 runs was the highest in the history of World Cup for the seventh wicket.
Earlier, Henry sent Rohit back with a beauty, Boult was slightly lucky to get Kohli leg-before to a ball which looked to be high to the naked eye. Kohli did call for a review, but it was umpire’s call and a dejected skipper had to walk back withe scoreboard reading 5/2.
Rahul refused to learn from the mistakes of the senior batsmen as he kept the bat hanging outside as a Henry delivery took the edge and landed in the hands of wicketkeeper Tom Latham. Karthik too looked like a cat on a hot tin roof in his short stay in the middle, which came to an end when Jimmy Neesham picked a beauty at point to hand Henry his third wicket.
The top-order collapse saw India stranded at 24/4 when Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya joined hands to weave a 47-run partnership for the fifth wicket before a slog sweep off Mitchell Santner saw Pant (32 off 56 balls) walk back to the pavilion, much to the dismay of skipper Virat Kohli in the dressing room. The score read 71/5 when Dhoni walked in to join Pandya.
The scoring rate was slow, but the fact that Dhoni was guiding Pandya meant that India were in the game. The Kiwi bowlers kept bowling a tight line and that finally saw Pandya lose his cool and try a hoick over mid-wicket. But the ball went straight up and Kane Williamson took a brilliant catch.