New Zealand made it to a second successive Cricket World Cup final after successfully defending just 239 runs against India at Old Trafford.
Seen as the underdogs in the crucial clash, Kiwi seamers ran through the Indian top order, reducing them to 5-3 which the laid the foundation of an 18-run victory over India.
Seamer Matt Henry spearheaded the fiery bowling attack, dismissing in-form openers Rohit Sharma and Kl Rahul for one to finish with 3-37 and put the match in New Zealand’s bag. We take a closer look at his performance.
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Henry ran the show in a low-scoring affair at Old Trafford as he scripted a memorable win for the Kiwis. The 27-year-old rattled India’s top order to power New Zealand to yet another World Cup final. Henry had Rohit and Rahul caught behind with perfect away swingers to hand the Black Caps a massive advantage.
When it looked like the Men in Blue recovered enough to hand themselves a fighting chance, Henry returned for his final spell conceded just five runs in the 46th over with Ravindr Jadeja and MS Dhoni still batting. A truly world-class effort.
Line and length
The dismissals of India’s openers were almost identical and were results of Henry getting the line and length on point. The pacer pitched the ball just outside the off-stump, forcing both openers to nick the ball to a waiting Tom Latham behind the stumps. Getting both openers for single digits set the game up for the Blackcaps.
Henry’s pace-variation in his final over played a crucial role in taking the game away from the Indians. Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni were getting into the groove and took India close to an improbable win with 42 needed from 24 balls.
Three of the six deliveries were slower ones and the batsmen found it incredibly hard to deal with those. Just five runs from that over ensured that the pressure kept mounting on Jadeja and the southpaw departed in the next over, trying to play a big shot.
Right from Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor’s batting heroics to Trent Boult’s fiery spells to Martin Guptill’s sensational effort on the field, it was a team effort that took the Kiwis to the final.
But Henry’s highly-productive day at the office deserves a separate mention as possibly the game-changer in the high-voltage tie.
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