10.55 pm: Hopefully we get to do more than just a weather blog for hours. Thanks for joining us, do come back tomorrow.

10.52 pm: PLAY STOPPED FOR THE DAY. Will resume where we stopped at 3 pm IST on Wednesday.

10.43 pm: You can’t make this up... it’s raining again.

10.41 pm: Well, the rain stopped and the inspection is underway. Let’s see what we got....

10.38 pm: Just getting silly now.

10.27 pm: Are you looking for something to read while trying to decide whether to give up and go to sleep?

Here’s the explainer for reserve days.

10.25 pm: Yeah... guess what. It’s raining again.

10.20 pm: All covers are off, inspection at 10.40 pm IST. (20 mins from now)

10.17 pm: Some contrasting emotions on Twitter about a possible restart.

10.09: Assuming there is no rain from hereon, assuming we get a 20-over game... it’s not good news for India. Target will be 148 in 20 overs, remember.

10:02 pm: Well, well....the covers are coming off, we hear. Let’s see if play resumes. If so, we will calculate the number of overs we have lost.

10:00 pm: Yippee! Good news coming in from Manchester. The rain has stopped and a couple of Indian players are seen walking on the field. The groundsmen are spotted assessing the outfield as well. However, it is extremely dark out there.

9:50 pm: While the wait continues for play to resume, some of good folks on Twitter couldn’t wrap their head around some of the DLS rules doing the rounds. Here’s our pick of the lot.

9.36 pm: More people at the ground saying it’s unlikely we will have play today.

9.32 pm: Oh dear, bad news.

9.30 pm: Many people scoff at the idea of a roof for cricket... but a World Cup surely deserves that contingency for knockout matches?

9.28 pm: A few more minutes without any real updates and we will have to talk about Michael Vaughan blocking Sanjay Manjrekar on Twitter.

9.24 pm: Well, well. Look who’s having a good time in England.

9.18 pm: Exhibit 123: There’s always a Jofra Archer tweet for every occasion.

9.17 pm: Played, Jio.

9.10 pm: Let’s get ahead of ourselves and look at the AUSvENG semi-final, shall we?

Liam Plunkett has warned Australia that England are a “different sort of animal” from their predecessors as they prepare for their blockbuster game.

The Ashes rivals meet in Birmingham on Thursday with defending champions Australia hoping to stay on track for a sixth title while England aim to stay in the hunt for their first. Australia have the edge in terms of tournament experience and have won the past four World Cup meetings between the teams – including a group match earlier in this tournament – but Plunkett insists times have changed.

“They’ve been there and done it before but not against this bunch of players,” he said. “We’re a different sort of animal compared to our last teams. We’ve played well for the past four years, we’re ranked number one and we feel in a good place. We feel on our day we can beat anyone in the world.”

Read more here.

9.02 pm: It’s past the cut off time for losing overs... still drizzling.

8.56 pm: Annoyingly, we can have a match continue if its drizzling but cannot restart unless it fully stops raining. One of cricket’s most... cricket things.

8.45 pm: Here’s an interesting off-the-field story from Manchester.

8.40 pm: October 31, 1987, Nagpur – India defeated NZ by 9 wickets

A memorable match for India, for more than one reason.

The two teams met again in the league stage of the ’87 World Cup and it was India who once again came out on top. New Zealand skipper Crowe won the toss and opted to bat first. The visitors posted 221/9 in 50 overs, with Patel getting a 51-ball 40 in the middle order. Chetan Sharma had a good day with the ball for India as he bagged three wickets for 51 runs from his 10 overs. He created history by becoming the first ever Indian to take an ODI hat-trick. It was also the first time a hat-trick was achieved in a World Cup match.

The hosts coasted to victory thanks to a belligerent century from Gavaskar, in what was his penultimate ODI innings. The opener slammed an unbeaten 103 off 88 balls as India finished with 224/1 in 32.1 overs. Krishnamachari Srikkanth scored a 58-ball 75 and Mohammad Azharuddin was not out on 41 off 51. And that, as it turned out, was Gavaskar’s only ODI century.

8.22 pm: A look back at the ICC Knock Out trophy final in 2000... 90s kids will remember this defeat against New Zealand!


8.17 pm: Over at Wimbledon... Serena Williams has been doing Serena Williams things. Semi-finals beckons!

Report here.

8.13 pm: This rain break has given us the best in-studio session in the World Cup so far on Star. From Sachin’s analysis to Sourav Ganguly and Laxman looking back at the India-Aus rivalry. Great fun.

8.00 pm: Updates from BCCI (nothing we haven’t mentioned already so far... but, hey. It’s information!)

In the event of poor weather for example, steps will be taken to be able to finish the match that day e.g. reducing the number of overs down to the minimum of 20 overs per team needed to achieve a result, or by extending the match by up to 120 min. If there is still no result on the scheduled match day, play will continue on the Reserve Day, using the same start time and hours of play as the scheduled match day. The reserve day will be a continuation not a restart, assuming play commenced on the original match day, meaning the score from the original match day will be carried through to the reserve day. 

— BCCI on Twitter

7.56 pm: For all the doubts about Jadeja breaking the Kuldeep-Chahal combination, he has outbowled the wrist-spinner in both the matches he has played at the World Cup.

7.51 pm: Statistician Bharat Seervi echoing the sentiments of this blog from a little while earlier.

7.44 pm: Looking back at the NZ innings... yes, the pitch was tough. But did NZ go into a shell? Credit to Indian bowlers but one gets the feeling, NZ played too conservatively. (We’ll know more when India bat as well)

7.37 pm: If like me, you had this particular question about resumption of play on reserve day...

7.36 pm: Some not so great news coming, if you are an Indian football fan. Report will be up shortly.

7.31 pm: The rain is getting harder, reports Chetan Narula.

7.23 pm: To confirm: If the rain is bad enough that we don’t have any more play today, match will RESUME from where the rain interrupted proceedings.

7.10 pm: The weather forecast does not look too good, folks. (Courtesy: Weather.com)

7.06 pm: Confirmation of the DLS targets. If you are an India fan, it almost makes sense to pray for the match to go into reserve day if 40-plus overs are not possible.

7.03 pm: Bad news from Manchester...

7.00 pm: ESPNCricinfo reporting that India’s DLS target in 20 overs would be 148... that is inexplicable when NZ’s run-rate did not cross 4 till the 42nd over.

6.54 pm: Hardik Pandya managed to bowl 10 overs despite seemingly suffering a niggle early on. Another super shift from him. Here’s Chetan Narula’s piece on his role as a bowler in this side.

6.38 pm: Play stopped with NZ at 211/5 after 46.1 overs. The blog will take a short break now. In the meantime, here’s something to spend your time on.

The journeys of Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson: A study in contrasts, by Subhash Jayaraman — read here.

6.36 pm: We are a long away from worrying about this... but yes, there is a reserve day for knockouts at the World Cup. And the match will RESUME, not RESTART.

6.34 pm: The fancy looking umbrellas are out at Old Trafford as the rain gets heavier... this was expected to happen as per the forecast. One can only hope we don’t have to use the reserve day to finish this match.

After 46.1 overs, NZ 211/5 - RAIN STOPS PLAY (Taylor 67, Latham 3)

Chahal with another misfield that results in another extra run for NZ... and then the umpires decide to take the players off. Stay away from Kohli, Mr. Chahal! The Indian captain did not look pleased with the fielding efforts in the last couple of overs. But the players all get a chance to cool down, perhaps.

After 46 overs, NZ 209/5 - Taylor 65, Latham 3

Bumrah bowls a bouncer to Latham, who absolutely nails a pull shot. But the ball goes dead-straight to the fielder at deep square leg. And then comedy of errors by India... TAylor gets a leading edge to third man and Chahal’s throw is missed by Dhoni. The NZ batsmen steal a second run. And then Kohli, backing up in the deep, fires a throw in anger... NZ steal a third! Needless from India. Spoils a good over by Bumrah.

After 45 overs, NZ 202/5 - CdG gone!

BHUVI STRIKES! Slower ball from the Indian pacer and CdG tries to upper cut one, barely gets a touch on it and ends up guiding it to Dhoni... who has his first dismissal in his 350th ODI. Bhuvi’s deserved that wicket today.

Latham joins Taylor... groundsmen still ready to bring the covers on. /

NZ 197/4 after 44.1: TAYLOR’S OUT.... Or NOT! He was given out LBW as he tried to sweep Bhuvi. He reluctantly reviewed. He knew he didn’t hit that. He starts walking back as he saw the replays on the screen.... and DRS Says impact is outside off! Well, well. He is happily walking back to the crease again.

After 44 overs, NZ 197/4 - Taylor 56, CdG 16

FIFTY FOR ROSS TAYLOR! And gets to the landmark in the most ironic way possible, given how he’s batted so far. A flat six over midwicket off Chahal! There’s the timing that has deserted him all day. It’s his 50th ODI 50... he celebrates with a brutal hit past long on for another four. Nice of you to join us, Mr. Taylor’s timing! CdG finishes with a four past point too and Chahal has finished with a 19-run over (/163 off 10)! BIG, BIG OVER FOR NZ!

After 43 overs, NZ 179/4 - Taylor 44, CdG 12

CdG showing off his timing in that over as he gently cuts a short ball past point for four. Raced to the boundary! Nine of that last over by Pandya as he finishes with 1/55 in his 10 overs. Given his earlier injury scare, that’s a lovely return from Pandya. Kohli will be delighted with that.

After 42 overs, NZ 170/4 - Taylor 42, CdG 5

De Grandhomme is the new man in and gets lucky a couple of times. A lofted off-drive falls short of long off and then gets an inside edge to fine leg off Chahal. The leg-spinner teasing CdG in that over.

And the groundstaff are getting ready... signs of rain.

This stat sums up NZ’s batting so far... quite bizarre. How much of it is down to the pitch? We can take a guess when India bat later.

After 41 overs, NZ 162/4 - NEESHAM GONE!

PANDYA strikes! No cutters or bouncers, just an old-fashioned seam up delivery on Neesham’s pads, the leading edge goes mighty high and DK takes a good high catch at long on. Pandya early seemed disappointed with the field as Neesham pulled a short ball between fine leg and square leg for four. But is soon rewarded for his efforts today with a wicket.

After 40 overs, NZ 155/3 - Taylor 38, Neesham 7

Taylor and Neesham look to negotiate the Bumrah over without risks... manage to do that with four singles. But is this really the strategy that is going to help NZ? Bumrah has 3 more overs and the Kiwis surely can’t afford to see him off anymore. 10 overs remaining and 200 is still 45 runs away!

Bumrah back for another short burst... interesting.

After 39 overs, NZ 151/3 - Taylor 36, Neesham 5

Taylor can’t accelerate... or get out at the moment. Walks down the pitch and plays a big shot, but misses the leg-cutter from Bhuvi completely and the ball misses the stump by inches. This has been a painful innings so far. Six from that Bhuvi over.

After 38 overs, NZ 145/3 - Taylor 31, Neesham 4

Oh, chance for India! Pandya rolls his fingers across a bouncer and the ball stops on Neesham. The all-rounder just leaves his bat hanging and the ball loops to the midwicket region where Rohit seemed slow to react. He puts a hand out but the ball eludes him. “As if his feet was stuck in cement,” says Nicholas on air. Good over from Pandya, unlucky not to have a wicket.

After 37 overs, NZ 140/3 - Taylor 29, Neesham 2

Bhuvi comes back for another brief spell... and more frustration for Taylor. Two more dot balls and he looks frustrated. Finishes the over with a heave, that flies over point off a leading edge. Not in control by any means but the ball lands safely.

After 36 overs, NZ 136/3 - KANE WILLIAMSON GONE!

And the sustained pressure works. Williamson perishes while going for another big shot. Caught by Jadeja, wicket for Chahal. Big moment in the game. The ball gripped and bounced, a bit slow on KW too as he tamely lobbed it to Sir.

Kane Williamson, wicket to Yuzi Chahal and assist to Ross Taylor. He really should have taken the onus to attack.

Ravindra Jadeja update:

First 2 overs: 0/13
Next 8 overs: 1/21

He’s done a solid job (helped by Ross Taylor’s mystery innings).

After 35 overs, NZ 133/2 - Williamson 67, Taylor 24

Kane Williamson decides it’s on him... he’s not waiting around for Taylor to find his timing. A lovely lofted inside-out drive is kept to three by a diving Rishabh Pant. And then he hits a slog sweep for four. Jadeja finishes the over (and his spell with two lovely arm balls at KW). Finishes with 1/34 off his 10 overs. Good outing for the spinner.

After 34 overs, NZ 125/2 - Williamson 60, Taylor 23

Williamson doing his bit by at least taking singles... Taylor unable to stop the barrage of dot balls. Almost mishits a pull to the keeper as Bumrah delivers a couple of quick bouncers.

After 33 overs, NZ 122/2 - Williamson 58, Taylor 22

Jadeja returns to the attack and concedes just a single... to Williamson. Taylor plays out rest of the over even when you thought he would finally go after Jadeja to put some pressure back on him. Nope, not happening. Taylor is batting on 22 off 46 at the moment. Jadeja has just one over left.

Time for DRINKS at Old Trafford

Here’s a look at Dhoni chance. So close! So good from Bumrah...

After 32 overs, NZ 121/2 - Williamson 57, Taylor 22

And Bumrah almost delivers!! A lovely leg-cutter from the pacer and Taylor gets an outside edge that just about drops short of Dhoni! It landed an inch ahead of his gloves, he might have had to dive forward to take that.Manjrekar reckons it carried just, and Dhoni should have taken it. Either way... FINE MARGINS! A stunning comeback over from Bumrah, just one run off it.

Fifty partnership you say? Kohli brings in Bumrah...

After 31 overs, NZ 120/2 - Williamson 56, Taylor 22

Interesting over from Pandya. Williamson mistimes an attempted slog off Pandya, the top edge goes very fine behind the stumps for four. Then Taylor too mistimes a pull shot that falls short off the fielder at fine leg. Definite change of gears happening, but India would not mind this. This could bring about a wicket on a two-paced pitch. 50-run partnership comes up in 76 balls in that over.

After 30 overs, NZ 113/2 - Williamson 50, Taylor 21

FIFTY FOR KANE WILLIAMSON! 38th in ODIs and he continues his run-scoring form... this one has been a patient effort, gets there off 79 balls. NZ need to more than double their score from the 30th over mark, and would love their captain to do the same too. They are taking the attack to Chahal, with Taylor hitting a sweep for over. Good last few overs for NZ.

After 29 overs, NZ 105/2 - Williamson 48, Taylor 16

100 comes up in the 29th over as Pandya concedes 6 runs, including another bouncer for a wide.

Steve Waugh takes a leave from the commentary box. It was a delightful little stint in the commentary box from him. Some nuggets: the 1999 SF was a case of both sides choking, just that SA choked at the wrong time, that he was under serious pressure as a captain in those final moments. Great insights.

After 28 overs, NZ 99/2 - Williamson 44, Taylor 15

INTENT FROM NZ, A 10-RUN OVER! There had been no boundaries since the 14th over and suddenly, like London buses, two come along. A slog sweep from KW goes for four and then Ross Taylor finishes with an uppish cut shot that beats the slip fielder for another boundary.

After 27 overs, NZ 89/2 - Williamson 39, Taylor 10

Pandya is back in the attack... and he looks OK in the run-up. The cutters are being unveiled now! And finishes the over with a bouncer at KW at 85 mph. That’s a good sign! The NZ skipper almost chopped one onto the stumps too. Kohli can heave a sigh of relief.

After 26 overs, NZ 85/2 - Williamson 37, Taylor 8

Googly from Chahal and a massive LBW appeal against Taylor...India don’t have a review left but would not have mattered, its umpire’s call. Chahal looked like he was about to shed a tear there! Meanwhile, Ganguly is flabbergasted at Taylor’s “defend, defend, defend” strategy.

After 25 overs, NZ 83/2 - Williamson 36, Taylor 7

Wow, there is no intent at all from Taylor and Williamson at the moment. Just a single off Jadeja’s over. India will be delighted with where the game is at the half-way stage but... will Pandya finish his 10?

After 24 overs, NZ 82/2 - Williamson 36, Taylor 6

Steve Waugh reckons one of these two batsmen need to take the initiative now.... India would be happy to sit back and let this continue for a while and force NZ to make an error. Three singles off Chahal’s over and Jadeja continues from the other end.

After 23 overs, NZ 79/2 - Williamson 35, Taylor 4

Ross Taylor looking a bit restless in the middle as the run-rate dips below 3.5. Tried using the feet once, but missed the ball completely. Lucky to get his leg in the way. Just two runs from that over.

Jadeja’s figures: 1/24 after 7 overs. His first 2 overs went for 13. Just 11 off the next five.

After 22 overs, NZ 77/2 - Williamson 34, Taylor 3

Taylor’s outside edge beaten by a leg-spinner. Williamson’s inside beaten by a googly. Chahal is looking threatening at the moment. Half a LBW appeal against KW off the last ball. Two singles and leg bye in that over.

After 21 overs, NZ 74/2 - Williamson 33, Taylor 2

Jadeja starts the over..... ..... ..... Jadeja finishes the over. Just a single for Williamson.

Hardik Pandya is back on the field but not moving too well observe the commentators...

After 20 overs, NZ 73/2 - Williamson 32, Taylor 2

Steve Waugh and Sourav Ganguly in the commentary box and Harsha Bhogle makes a ‘making Waugh wait’ joke! Hah. Good stuff. And good stuff from Chahal on the field too... gets one rip off the surface and turn square at speed... beating KW all ends up.

After 19 overs, NZ 70/2 - Williamson 31, Taylor 1

More turn and bounce on offer for Jadeja in that over... Should encourage Chahal at the other end with two right-handers.

Meanwhile... the Indian captain.

After 18.2 overs, NZ 69/2 - Nicholls gone!

SIR STRIKES! Just when you were wondering if India would regret not having wicket-taking options... Jadeja produces a peach to remove Nicholls! From around the wicket, the ball lands just outside offstump and turns back in! Right through the defence of the NZ opener. Timber! What a delivery.

After 18 overs, NZ 69/1 - Williamson 31, Nicholls 28

Chahal starts off with a loose ball down the leg (or did he bowl a deliberate wide seeing Nicholls down the track?) Either way. Dhoni misses it and it goes for five wides. Better line and length from him after that, conceding three singles.

If Pandya can’t come back to bowl, India’s bowling options: Rohit, Dhoni, or Kohli (who dismissed Williamson in the 2008 U-19 W’Cup semis)

After 17 overs, NZ 61/1 - Williamson 30, Nicholls 26

A delightful extra cover drive by KW results in a three. Jadeja does well to concede just another one run in the over. Tighter from the left-arm spinner after two loose overs to start with.

Time for Chahal now with Pandya still off the field... testing times for Kohli.

After 16 overs, NZ 57/1 - Williamson 27, Nicholls 25

An interesting challenge for Pandya this... on a fresh pitch with more carry, the bouncers are sailing over the batsmen’s head. Starts off the over with two wides at Nicholls. Then three dot balls, as Pandya goes for short of length. Superb fielding by Jadeja at point has Nicholls scrambling. Direct hit missed but the batsman had made it back.

OH DEAR: Pandya looks like he is struggling! Stops in the run-up once and then just about manages to complete the over. He is in pain. Looks like the right groin. Going in for treatment. India do not have an additional bowling option!

The fifty partnership comes up between Nicholls and Williamson.

After 15 overs, NZ 55/1 - Williamson 27, Nicholls 25

Better from Jadeja... bowling around the wicket to keep things tight for Nicholls. (Not a wicket-taking line of attack though). Just three singles from that over.

4.10 pm: It was a slightly early drinks break than scheduled, because Nicholls needed some treatment... massaging of the hamstring, by the looks of it. We resume with Jadeja continuing.

DRINKS break at OT, with NZ recovering decently.

After 14 overs, NZ 52/1 - Williamson 26, Nicholls 23

The two batsmen continue to stay busy... 1-0-2-1 off the first four balls. Pandya produces the bouncer for the first time today and Nicholls does well to roll his wrists over it and keep it down. They are not yet looking to go after Pandya, though... and just as we type that, Chahal misfields at the third man fence to give KW a boundary. What a shot though, piercing the gap between backward point and wide slip (even if Chahal should have stopped it).

After 13 overs, NZ 44/1 - Williamson 21, Nicholls 20

Good recovery from NZ and they have done well to not go unnecessarily after the bowling despite the early pressure. Both Nicholls and KW looking to keep things simple... another good over against Jadeja. Six runs coming off it, the last of it a needless overthrow from KL Rahul. Hint of momentum for Black Caps.

After 12 overs, NZ 38/1 - Williamson 20, Nicholls 15

Short of length from Pandya and Williamson rocks back and pulls one through the massive gap in the midwicket region. That’s a poor ball to bowl with the field he has been given. Williamson did not even need to time it well. The NZ skipper goes past 500 runs for the tournament. A decent over from Pandya otherwise. Five dot balls.

After 11 overs, NZ 34/1 - Williamson 16, Nicholls 15

Ravindra Jadeja comes on... a loud LBW appeal from India against Nicholls. India don’t have a review and replays later show it was clipping leg. Umpire’s call. Having played that on the back foot, Nicholls plays two sweeps shots later: the first one almost takes Rohit Sharma’s head off at leg slip and goes for four.

After 10 overs, NZ 27/1 - Williamson 14, Nicholls 10

Pandya comes into the attack, replaces Bumrah and this should be interesting. He has used the short ball and his cutters well in this tournament. This first over is about pace and length balls... Williamson starts with a double (almost one-short). Nicholls plays out the latter part pf the over. A brilliant first powerplay for India after losing the toss.

After 9 overs, NZ 23/1 - Williamson 12, Nicholls 10

And now it’s Williamson’s turn to play the shot of the morning. Good length ball from Bhuvi, just punched down the ground past mid-on. Races away on a lightning-quick outfield for four. Williamson is looking quite comfortable at the crease at the moment... an exhibition of good defensive play.

Time for Hardik Pandya

After 8 overs, NZ 18/1 - Williamson 7, Nicholls 10

Bumrah starts off with a surprise bouncer at Nicholls and the left-hander just about manages to avoid the fielder at square leg with an awkward pull. More conventional field in place for Bumrah against the NZ skipper, who dabs one to third man. Interesting, call to not cut that out for Bumrah, perhaps because Kohli trusts his ace to get an outside edge more. Bumrah changes angle to Nicholls off the fifth ball and produces a peach! Nips away after angling in... unplayable. Too good to get an edge. And then off the last ball, Nicholls steps forward and plays the shot of the morning: a drive paste mid-off. The first boundary!

After 7 overs, NZ 10/1 - Williamson 6, Nicholls 3

Well, that’s a rarity. Jadeja misfields after getting to the ball so quickly from point. One becomes two for Williamson. And then shows why he is such a good fielder by stopping a possible boundary at point. Kohli has stationed himself a wide second slip position... not allowing that favourite back-foot dab for Kane. And then moves himself to short point. This is a proper test for Williamson! What a top over, what a top start for India.

After 6 overs, NZ 8/1 - Williamson 4, Nicholls 3

Respect from Williamson to Bumrah for two length deliveries, dabs one past midwicket to get off strike off the third ball. Nicholls produces two top-notch defensive strokes and cannot find the gap off the last ball. Bumrah continues to keep things so tight. Not an inch being given by him at the moment. Two runs and a wicket off his first three overs.

After 5 overs, NZ 7/1 - Williamson 3, Nicholls 3

Much better from the Kiwis... rotating the strike and making use of the left-right combination. Three singles and a double off the last ball. Nicholls needs to give his captain company for a while. Five from that Bhuvi over.

It was a top catch by Kohli too at second slip... mirror image of the QdK dismissal from INDvSA earlier in the tournament.

After 4 overs, NZ 2/1 - Williamson 1, Nicholls 0

The NZ captain is back in the middle way earlier than he would have wanted. Guptill was livid with himself as he entered the pavilion... his woeful form continues. Bumrah concedes his first run off the last ball as Williamson takes a single with a dab to point. It ever was thus.

After 3.3 overs, NZ 1/1 - GUPTILL GONE!

BUMRAH ON FIYAHHH! Guptill confidently leaf a super in-dipper from Bumrah and then defended the next ball. But Bumrah keeps plugging away and a good length ball that bounces extra is edged by Guptill to Kohli at second slip. The World No 1 bowler strikes again before conceding a run!

Jasprit Bumrah against SL: 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 W

Jasprit Bumrah against NZ: 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 W

After 3 overs, NZ 1/0 - Guptill 1, Nicholls 0

Four more dot balls from Bhuvi to start the 3rd over... and off the 17th ball of the innings, Guptill helps NZ get off the mark with a single past square leg. Just the one run from that over but both openers middling the ball now, even if they are finding the fielders.

After 2 overs, NZ 0/0 - Guptill 0, Nicholls 0

BACK-TO-BACK MAIDEN OVERS! Bumrah’s been fantastic in the first powerplay... and he starts off with two balls angled across Nicholls. The opener lets one go and then is beaten by the second. Good fielding prevents a single off the third ball. Pressure early on NZ openers. Nicholls gets behind the ball nicely off the next three deliveries.

After 1 over, NZ 0/0 - Guptill 0, Nicholls 0

Very good start from Bhuvi... moves the ball both ways in the first over. Beats Guptill once with an absolute peach of an outswinger. Brings the ball back of the last ball and Guptill just about gets bat on it. Superb start but the lost review could come back to haunt India?

Here’s a look at that moment:

After 0.1 over, NZ 0/0 - INDIA’S REVIEW LOST! It looked like a good review, to be honest and the ball did not straighten as much as India hoped. Umpire’s call on impact, and missing the stumps. Is that the turn of good luck Guptill needed?

3.00 pm: Bhuvi starts off with a beauty... a big LBW appeal and India have gone for the review!

2.59 pm: New Zealand’s opening partnerships have been rather shambolic in this World Cup after the 10-wicket win in the first match against Sri Lanka. Can Guptill and Nicholls give a good start? Here we go!

2.58 pm: All eyes on Bhuvi here, to start with.

2.57 pm: Time for the national anthems... New Zealand’s followed by India’s. A roar goes up at Old Trafford after ‘Jaya, jaya, jaya he!’. Goosebumps!

2.50 pm: Both captains wanted to bat first... and in this World Cup so far, only two scores of 250-plus have been chased successfully. Early advantage, New Zealand. Over to the Indian seamers now.

2.48 pm: So let’s talk about the India XI.

First, Bhuvi over Shami: Surprising, for sure. But Kohli did say at the start of the tournament that Bhuvi-Bumrah is his first choice and Shami would play only when the conditions demand it.

Second, no Kul-Cha: Again, a combination that has worked wonders for India but Kuldeep’s form has made his selection untenable, honestly. In that case, Jadeja offers more.

Third, DK over Jadhav: This is a call that could have gone either way... Kohli has opted for a real finisher over a bowling option. Must have his fingers crossed that none of his bowlers get injured or pick up a niggle in that match.

2.44 pm: Some more head-to-head numbers...

Overall, India have won six of the last seven ODIs the two sides have played but a closer inspection of their World Cup meetings makes for prettier reading for New Zealand.

In seven World Cup meetings between these two sides, it is the Black Caps who have the better record. They have won four clashes to India’s three in matches dominated by the chasing side.

Six of the seven encounters have been won by the team batting second, but as we have seen in England this summer, that has not always been the best option.

And despite their seven previous encounters, 2019 will be the first time the two sides will meet in the semi-finals.

2.40 pm: Playing XIs

New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Kane Williamson(c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham(w), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Trent Boult

India: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli(c), Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni(w), Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah.

2.35 pm: Team news

Just one change for India. Chahal-Jadeja, the spin combination for India. DK, Bhuvi stay. No Shami, Kedar Jadhav. Interesting calls!
Expectedly, Lockie Ferguson back for NZ in place of Tim Southee.

2.33 pm: New Zealand have won the toss and Kane Williamson opts to bat first!

2.31 pm: Head-to-head

Matches played India won New Zealand won
Overall 106 (N/R: 5, Tied: 1) 55 45
World Cup 7 3 4
ICC events (World Cup and Champions Trophy) 8 3 5

2.26 pm: Kuldeep-Chahal? Jadeja-Chahal? Kuldeep Jadeja? What will be India’s spin combination against New Zealand today? Read Chetan Narula’s take on the spin combination here.

2.21 pm: From 2008, U19 World Cup semis 2019 to the 2019, Men’s World Cup semis. So much has changed for Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson but some things remain the same! Subash Jayaraman writes about the two captains’ journeys.

2.15 pm: India have won three out of their six semi-finals at the World Cup. NZ have been to the semis a whopping seven times! But have won only once... in 2015.

2.13 pm: Statsman to Weatherman! Mr. Mohandas Menon with the update that you have been waiting for...

2.05 pm: It’s been SIXTEEEN long years since India and New Zealand last faced at the World Cup. The group stage match was washed out this time around. And now it’s time to end that long wait... who are you backing in this match?

From 1975 to 2003: A look at India’s games against New Zealand at ICC events — read here.

1.56 pm: There have been just a handful of successful run chases in the World Cup group stage, a trend that suggests winning the toss and batting first will be potentially decisive in the semi-finals.

India and New Zealand will try to put that theory to the test. All eyes will be on the coin flip after a group stage notable for teams failing to successfully chase targets in excess of 260 on all but two occasions. But overcast conditions: does that change equations? Will the Kiwis want to unleash Trent Boult early or India, Jasprit Bumrah? Little more than 30 minutes to go for the toss.

1.51 pm: A first look at the pitch. It’s a fresh pitch. And the conditions are overcast. Will the teams look to buck the trend and bowl first?

1.50 pm: Hello all and welcome to the live coverage of the first semi-final at the 2019 World Cup! 45 matches done... three to go, to determine the World Champions. Will it Virat Kohli’s table-topping India or Kane Williamson’s stuttering Black Caps who will book their berth in the final? We cannot wait to find out how this one unfolds at Old Trafford, Manchester.

India, whose group match against 2015 runners-up New Zealand was washed out, have suffered just one defeat at this World Cup so far, against England, and topped the 10-team group table.

Opener Rohit Sharma became the first batsman to score five centuries in a single World Cup when he made 103 in a seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka on Saturday, while fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah has been the spearhead of a well-balanced bowling attack.

India captain Virat Kohli said Monday the pressure of being overwhelming favourites was nothing new for a squad who have long shouldered the hopes of a nation of more than a billion.

And he suggested that might give them an edge over the Black Caps at Old Trafford.

“The Indian team always carries a lot of expectation and pressure whenever we play,” Kohli told reporters.

“We are quite used to that over the years. We are better equipped to react in these situations because we know what these kind of games and our fan base and the expectations bring.”

But if New Zealand, who could recall spinner Ish Sodhi to an attack featuring left-arm quick Trent Boult and fit-again fast bowler Lockie Ferguson – can find a way through India’s top three, they could expose a long tail.

The Black Caps, who only qualified for the semi-finals in fourth place on the basis of net run-rate, have lost their last three games – against Pakistan, holders Australia and England.

They now have the additional incentive of proving to Tendulkar that his prediction of an India appearance in the final was premature.

(All screenshots in the blog courtesy Hotstar)