The Men In Blue faltered when it mattered as New Zealand advanced to their second consecutive World Cup final. The Kiwis successfully defended the target after play was stopped as a result of recurring rainfall.
Old Trafford witnessed a classic unfold before them over the course of two days. Electing to bat first, Kane Williamson named a solitary change with Lockie Ferguson coming in the place of Tim Southee.
New Zealand’s opening woes continued as Martin Guptill failed to get going with the Indian new ball bowlers in full flow. Henry Nicholls was joined by the skipper to negotiate the threat in the first powerplay.
Jadeja was quick to strike after getting into the attack while the experienced duo of Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson were left stranded to build a respectable first innings total. With Taylor struggling at one end, Williamson soon departed after his fifty, trying to up the ante.
Heavy rains came into the picture during the 47th over which forced the officials to use the reserve day with New Zealand poised at 211-5. Resuming play the very next day, Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar gave nothing away to restrict the Kiwis to 240.
Chasing 241, Team India suffered a nightmare on a surface which had a bit of moisture in. The top order collectively could only make 3 runs courtesy of brilliant bowling by the new ball opening pair if Trent Boult and Matt Henry.
With the in-form trio of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Virat Kohli back in the hut with just 5 runs on the board, the onus was on the middle order to get the runs. Prior to this game, the top order was responsible for 70% of India’s total runs.
Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya struck valuable contributions before gifting their wicket away while Dinesh Karthik was dismissed courtesy of a blinder by James Neesham at point.
Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni were the only batsmen left with India reeling at 92-6. The duo stitched a brilliant 116-run stand before the asking rate got better of Jadeja who departed for a well made 77 under pressure.
With 25 required off 11 deliveries, Dhoni was set to unleash before a sensational direct hit from Martin Guptill ended the hopes of an entire contingent of 1.3 billion along with the Indian team.
New Zealand will now face the winner of the second semi-final which is scheduled to take place at Birmingham tomorrow.