New Zealand knocked out India from the ICC 2019 World Cup by a 18-run semi-final win as the high riding Indians firepower batting reputation that had dominated the championship wilted under a bout of high-class pace bowling at Old Trafford yesterday. New Zealand, like in the past thus thrust from underdog into another final as India were cleaned up for 221 in 49.3 overs under the devastation of Matt Henry’s 3 for 37 and Trent Boult’s 2 for 42 in decimating the cream of the opposition.
After New Zealand had closed on 239 for 8 in 50 overs on what was a match winning centre piece knock of 73 by Ross Taylor after the rain bugged match had gone into the reserve day, India’s top-order was rocked in an unprecedented collapse to 5 for 3 with Rohit Sharma, K.L. Rahul and Virat Kohli back in the pavilion for 1 each as India never recovered from 24 for 4 – the lowest score in an opening power play of the world cup.
Veteran batsman M.S. Dhoni (50) and Ravindra Jadeja (77 in 59 balls lifted India’s hopes with a World Cup-record 116 for the seventh wicket, but New Zealand prevailed with three balls to spare after Dhoni had been run out to a bulls eye direct hit. India was dismissed for 221 with three balls remaining to give New Zealand an 18-run win.
Sharma, the top run-scorer at the World Cup with 648, lasted just four balls before edging Henry to wicketkeeper Tom Latham and skipper Kohli just six balls trapped lbw by an inswinger from Boult, a review showing the ball would have clipped the bails as Koli threw his bat in the air in disgust. Rahul followed three balls later, also edging Henry to a diving Latham. In the space of eleven deliveries and a solitary run India had been devastated.
While Boult was to describe it as ‘mayhem out there with the new ball’, Kohli acknowledged ‘it was an outstanding skill level on display.’
When Dinesh Karthik was removed by an amazing, one-handed catch by a diving Jimmy Neesham, India was 24-4 at the end of the opening powerplay — the lowest score after 10 overs this tournament — and reeling.
New Zealand: 239/8 (50 Overs)
(Ross Taylor 73, Kane Williamson 67; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3/43, Jasprit Bumrah 1/39)
India: 221 all out (49.3 Overs)
(Ravindra Jadeja 77, Mahendra Singh Dhoni 50; Matt Henry 3/37, Mitchell Santner 2/34, Trent Boult 2/42)
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-