New Zealand reached the final of the 2019 ICC World Cup with a stunning 18-run win over India at Old Trafford in a rain-affected semi-final on Wednesday. The Black Caps survived a late flourish from Ravinder Jadeja (77 off 59) to reach their second straight final.
Chasing a 240, India suffered a dramatic top-order collapse to be dismissed for 221. Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul all managed just a single apiece as India were reduced to 5/3 by New Zealand pacemen Trent Boult and Matt Henry.
Jimmy Neesham then held a superb one-handed catch at backward point to dismiss Dinesh Karthik (six) off Henry to leave India’s bid to reach the final in turmoil after 10 overs.
Pandya and Pant provided much-needed resistance for India with a 47-run stand but the growing asking rate prompted the young wicketkeeper-batsman to go for a big shot. Attempting to smash Mitchell Santner for a six, Pant was caught in deep leaving India 71/5. Pandya fell in a similar fashion as Williamson completed the catch to give Santner his second wicket.
The Black Caps will play hosts England or holders Australia in Sunday’s title match at Lord’s after pulling off a remarkable triumph against two-time champions India.
New Zealand, beaten in the 2015 final by Australia, were restricted to just 239/8 after completing their 50 overs a day later than expected following the suspension of play due to rain on Tuesday.
However, India lost the game at the start of the innings when Sharma began the procession of top-order dismissals when he edged a fine Henry delivery that curved away to wicketkeeper Tom Latham.
Kohli fell next, lbw to a superb inswinger from left-armer Boult.
Kohli reviewed but replays upheld English official Richard Illingworth’s original out decision on umpire’s call and, to the despair of the massed ranks of India fans in the ground, the star batsman had to go.
India were then five for three when Rahul was brilliantly caught by a diving Latham following an edge off Henry.
At that stage, India, two-time world champions, had lost three wickets for one run in 10 balls against 2015 runners-up New Zealand.
Henry took three wickets for 23 runs in his opening seven-over spell and Boult one for 15 in his first six.
Earlier, New Zealand added 28 runs in the remaining 23 balls of their innings to finish on 239-8 after rain had stopped play on Tuesday.
Ross Taylor, who resumed on 67 not out, top-scored with 74 after New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, who won the toss, had made 67 in awkward conditions for batting.
The winners of this match will face either hosts England or reigning champions Australia, who play at Edgbaston on Thursday, in Sunday’s final at Lord’s.
(With inputs from AFP)
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