Weather played spoilsport in Manchester with the first 2019 ICC World Cup semi-final between India and New Zealand ultimately deferred to a reserve day.
The Kiwis were batting at 211-5 in 46.1 overs after skipper Kane Williamson elected to bat first before rain halted proceedings at Old Trafford. They will now resume from the same score on Wednesday although the weather forecast for Wednesday isn’t too promising either.
New Zealand’s start with the bat was a poor and circumspect one with Martin Guptill’s woeful run of form continuing. The Kiwis were able to muster just the 27 runs in the first 10 overs with Jasprit Bumrah accounting for Guptill’s wicket.
Skipper Kane Williamson (67) battled hard once again through partnerships with Henry Nicholls and then Ross Taylor as he brought up his fourth 50-plus score of the tournament.
However, Williamson and the Kiwi batsmen were kept at bay for the most part by a disciplined and probing bowling display by India. Williamson’s gritty stay was ended by Yuzvendra Chahal just when the New Zealand skipper was threatening to up the ante.
Taylor brought up his third half-century of the World Cup campaign as New Zealand tried to regain a foothold in the game but they were pegged back once again with Colin de Grandhomme’s dismissal before rain brought a frustrating end to the play.
India show their bowling might again
It was yet another highly disciplined bowling effort from India with all five bowlers playing their part.
Right from the get go, India’s new-ball duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were on the money with New Zealand’s openers stifled for room with some excellent lines and lengths.
That early intensity was kept up by Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja and Yuzvendra Chahal when they came on to bowl with the Kiwi batsmen finding run-scoring hard to come by.
New Zealand’s struggles against India’s bowling was exemplified by the fact that they played as many as 153 dot deliveries which make up more than 25 overs of their innings.
It was relentless stuff from India’s bowlers and a performance that will please skipper Kohli no end.
The all-rounder was rewarded for his excellent showing in the Sri Lanka clash with a semi-final appearance and he vindicated that decision with a superb bowling display.
His left-arm orthodox spin worked a treat on a slowing pitch and the grip he extracted from the surface had the batsmen in two minds. His delivery to castle Henry Nicholls’ stumps was a peach and the Kiwi opener was completely deceived by the flight and dip on the ball.
He finished with overall figures of 1-34 from his 10 overs in the course of which he bowled a staggering 38 dot balls.
India to go through if no more play
With the weather forecast for Wednesday in Manchester not looking too bright, there is a possibility that no result will be able to be determined even after a reserve day.
In that case, India will advance to the July 14 final at Lord’s due to the fact that they finished higher than New Zealand in the round-robin phase of the tournament. India had topped the table while the Black Caps had finished in fourth spot.
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