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India’s dream over as Kiwis stun Kohli & Co in sensational semis

India’s dream over as Kiwis stun Kohli & Co in sensational semis

Ajay Naidu
Manchester
A billion dreams died in
a trice!
On a murky Wednesday afternoon, New Zealand’s passionate bowlers found enough purchase from the weary Old Trafford pitch to leave India’s star-studded batting dumb struck.
A 25,000 crowd, with overwhelming support for India, had started the celebrations early in the day as New Zealand batted out the last few overs. However, it did not take long for Kane Williamson committed bunch of cricketers to reduce an entire stadium into a deafening silence.
And just when it seemed India were dead and buried, the heroics of Ravindra Jadeja (77 off 59 balls) and veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni (50) revived hopes that a Great Escape was still possible. But on this day, Kane Williamson’s team were not to be denied of their place under the sun.
Jadeja holed out against Trent Boult while Dhoni, who might well have played his farewell innings for India, failed to beat a direct hit going for a run.
As the afternoon wore on, it was gloom all over as New Zealand not only shocked India by 18 runs they also left thousands of their supporters shell-shocked.
India now take an early flight back home while New Zealand, much like the guest who came home for breakfast and stayed on till dinner, will have a date with destiny at Lord’s against either England or Australia.
This will be New Zealand’s second straight World Cup final.
“It’s tough – 45 minutes of bad cricket put you out of the tournament. It’s hard to come to terms with but New Zealand deserve it; they put us under pressure and came through in the key moments,” said Indian captain Virat Kohli in his
moment of despair.
“Our shot selection could’ve been better but otherwise we played a good brand of cricket and I’m proud of the way we played. Come the knockouts it is anyone’s game and New Zealand showed more composure and were braver and they deserve to go through to the semi-finals.”
Not many had given a chance to New Zealand to upset India’s applecart. In fact, Kane Williamson’s batting unit came in for some sharp criticism for their dead slow batting.
A total of less than 250, everyone thought, was well below par. However, when it mattered, their bowlers bowled their hearts out and their fielders threw themselves at everything. Eventually it was their will to win that prevailed.
India’s shot selection was horrendous to say the least. It was a slow pitch no doubt and conditions heavy but the only devil that was there was in the minds of the batsmen. Most batsmen seemed to be hampered by fear of failure.
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Dinesh Karthik were out fishing around their off-stump to Henry while Boult struck the most decisive blow trapping Virat Kohli leg before. A review call by the Indian skipper was more in desperation than in hope.
Mitchaell Santner teased and tormented big hitters Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant. Not known for their patience or skill against the spinners, it was that one moment of madness that brought about their downfall. Both went for big shots and presented easy catch in the deep.
At 92 for 6, it was Jadeja who led the rebellion in company of his former captain as he used the long handle to deadly effect. But then with Dhoni failing to come up with the big hits, that are now just a beautiful memory, Jadeja was India’s One-Man Army.
Having excelled as a fieldsman with a brilliant catch and with an astounding run-out throw during the Kiwi innings, he now kept battling till the end and was finally dismissed in the 48th over.
In the following over, Dhoni went for a sharp single and failed to beat a direct hit from Mark Guptill at mid-off. As Dhoni trudged back, looking dejected, lost and forlorn, the spectators realised that this may well be the end of his career. They gave him a loud cheer even as he made a hasty exit.
Perhaps he knew it was New Zealand’s day to bag all the applause.ScoreboardNew Zealand (overnight 211-5)
M. Guptill c Kohli b Bumrah 1
H. Nicholls b Jadeja 28
K. Williamson c Jadeja b Chahal 67
R. Taylor run out (Jadeja) 74
J. Neesham c Karthik b Pandya 12
C. De Grandhomme c Dhoni b Kumar 16
T. Latham c Jadeja b Kumar 10
M. Santner not out 9
M. Henry c Kohli b Kumar 1
T. Boult not out 3
ExtrascTypeface:> (lb5, w13) 18
TotalcTypeface:> (For 8 wickets, 50 overs) 239
Did not bat: Lockie Ferguson.
Fall of wkts: 1-1 (Guptill), 2-69 (Nicholls), 3-134 (Williamson), 4-162 (Neesham), 5-200 (De Grandhomme), 6-225 (Taylor), 7-225 (Latham), 8-232 (Henry).
Bowling: Kumar 10-1-43-3, Bumrah 10-1-39-1, Pandya 10-0-55-1 (w5), Jadeja 10-0-34-1, Chahal 10-0-63-1 (w4).
India (target 240)
KL Rahul c Latham b Henry 1
R. Sharma c Latham b Henry 1
V. Kohli lbw b Boult 1
R. Pant c De Grandhomme b Santner 32
D. Karthik c Neesham b Henry 6
H. Pandya c Williamson b Santner 32
MS Dhoni run out (Guptill) 50
R. Jadeja c Williamson b Boult 77
B. Kumar b Ferguson 0
Y. Chahal c Latham b Neesham 5
J. Bumrah not out 0
ExtrascTypeface:> (lb3, w13) 16
Total: (All out, 49.3 overs) 221
Fall of wkts: 1-4 (Sharma), 2-5 (Kohli), 3-5 (Rahul), 4-24 (Karthik), 5-71 (Pant), 6-92 (Pandya), 7-208 (Jadeja), 8-216 (Dhoni), 9-217 (Kumar), 10-221 (Chahal).
Bowling: Boult 10-2-42-2 (w3), Henry 10-1-37-3 (w3), Ferguson 10-0-43-1 (w2), De Grandhomme 2-0-13-0 (w1), Neesham 7.3-0-49-1 (w3), Santner 10-2-34-2 (w1).
Result: New Zealand won by 18 runs.
Toss: New Zealand.

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