Before the start of the game, not many people gave them a chance, however, New Zealand have defied all the odds to register a fantastic 18-run victory over India in the first semi-final clash at the Emirates Old Trafford. The Kiwis reached a competitive first innings total on the back of Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson’s fighting half-century knocks. In the second innings, the Kiwi bowlers dented India by removing the key top-order early. Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni batted amazingly well to take the game as deep as possible, but eventually they fell short by a small margin. With this victory, New Zealand have qualified for the final for the second time in a row.
Taylor and Williamson’s fighting knocks takes New Zealand to 239
After winning the toss and opting to bat first, New Zealand didn’t get off to the best of starts as their senior opening batsman Martin Guptill’s poor form with the bat continued as he got out very early. The pair of Henry Nicholls and skipper Kane Williamson then joined hands to bail their team out of the troublesome situation and stitched a fine partnership of 68 runs. Kiwi skipper Williamson continued his fabulous run in the tournament by scoring yet another important half-century innings and also compiled a vital 65-run stand along with Ross Taylor for the third wicket.
After Williamson’s dismissal scoring 67 runs off 95 balls, Taylor took the onus on himself to take New Zealand’s progress further. The experienced Kiwi batsman, Taylor, compiled a significant knock of 74 runs off 90 balls on a pretty tough batting surface and with this, he also guided New Zealand towards a competitive first innings total of 239 runs. For India, Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up three vital scalps, while the rest of the bowlers finished with a wicket each.
Henry’s three-fer eclipses Jadeja’s hard-fought battle
Chasing a stiff target of 240 runs, India got off to a horrendous start losing three key wickets in the form of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul quite early just in the fourth over of the innings. The poor start then got the worst with Dinesh Karthik also throwing his wicket away and in turn leaving India in a huge trouble at 24 for 4. The duo of Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya got together to lead India to some sort of respite with a brief stand of 47 runs.
Just when things looked to settle down for India, Kiwi left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner removed both Pandya and Pant to help his team stage a comeback in the game. The pair of MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja came together to resurrect the Indian innings towards a safe position. Both the batters played amazingly well to take the game as deep as possible.
Jadeja played a brilliant innings of 77 runs off just 59 balls and stitched an important partnership of 116 runs along with Dhoni. However, after their dismissals, things became really tough as India eventually got bowled out for 221 runs. For the Kiwis, Matt Henry picked up three crucial wickets.
New Zealand: 239/8 in 50 overs (Ross Taylor-74, Kane Williamson-67; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3/43, Ravindra Jadeja 1/34)
India: 221/10 in 49.3 overs (Ravindra Jadeja-77, MS Dhoni-50; Matt Henry 3/37, Trent Boult 2/42)
Result: New Zealand won the match by 18 runs.