Doubts and criticism loomed large over New Zealand’s team when they qualified as the fourth team ahead of Pakistan. However, all the talks have been put to bed after the Kiwis knocked India out in a thrilling match.
New Zealand batted first and looked vulnerable but the rain helped the Kiwis as the match was washed out towards the end of the day. The match resumed on the following day and managed a total of 239 runs from 50 overs.
India’s hopes of reaching the final were soon crumbled as they lost their top-three batsmen for just three runs. Matt Henry dismissed Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul whereas Trent Boult removed Virat Kohli.
India looked to have stabilized the innings but Henry again got the breakthrough and removed Dinesh Karthik to put them in pressure once again.
Pant and Pandya showed some resistance for India but both eventually threw their wickets away to a fantastic spell of Santner.
The match lied entirely on the shoulders of Jadeja and MS Dhoni, who did not disappoint heading into the death of the innings. Both batsmen showed their composure and willingness to see India through the finish line.
Jadeja scored a remarkable 77 runs from 59 deliveries but he eventually lost his wicket in the 48th over, trying to score runs and chase down the target.
India’s last hopes were tied to MS Dhoni, who scored a sixer off Ferguson to raise the roof. Requiring 20-odd runs, Dhoni wanted the strike back and ran for the second run but Martin Guptill’s throw was on-point and good enough to send him back to the pavilion.
After that, New Zealand bowlers proved too good for the Indian tailenders. The Kiwis dismissed Indians in the 50th over and registered an 18-run victory to seal a place in the World Cup final once again.
The final will be played against either England or Australia, depending on the result of tomorrow’s match.
Post Match Quotes
“It’s a different feeling from four years ago – the surfaces, and the way we’ve had to try and skin it, has been quite different to the last World Cup. The guys have shown a lot of heart throughout the campaign. It was a tough match and a great semi-final. Batting was really tough – we had to assess the conditions because at the start I think both sides thought it would be a much higher-scoring game. We spoke about trying to get 240-250. We thought if we did that we’d be right in the game.”
“It was really nice to get some early wickets. We wanted them to put the ball in good areas and move the ball in the air or off the team, and the guys were able to do that. It was a great start, and then as it slowed up we knew it would be a tough squeeze. For a while, they looked likely to win it, but the heart we showed – with the ball and in the field – was outstanding.
“We’ve seen conditions vary throughout the matches. While we didn’t play our best cricket in the games we lost, there were other factors to consider as well, so we didn’t get too disheartened. We knew if we played our best cricket we had a chance.”
“We were very, very good in the field – spot on. We thought we had restricted them to a total that was quite chaseable on any surface. But the way they bowled in that first half-hour was the difference in the game. We felt like we had the momentum and the right mindset. The credit has to go to the New Zealand bowlers because with the new ball they were outstanding. The skill level was clear to everyone and they made life very difficult for the batsman.
“[Jadeja] had an outstanding game. He went out with so much clarity and turned the game round in no time. MS had a good partnership. It’s a game of margins. We’ve played such good cricket, and 45 minutes of bad cricket puts you out of the tournament. It’s difficult to accept, it’s difficult to come to terms with, but, look, New Zealand deserves it. They were sharper and braver when it came to the crunch moments.”