India captain Virat Kohli said a poor 10 overs against New Zealand undid all the hard work put in by his team in the 2019 World Cup as the Kiwis edged home by 18 runs to seal their spot in the final on Wednesday.
India were reduced to 5-3 and then 24-4 as they chased 240 before a brilliant fightback from Ravindra Jadeja (77) and MS Dhoni (50) took them close to an improbable win before the Kiwis held on to victory.
Kohli said the horror start ensured India was always behind the game.
“It always feels disappointing when you’ve played such good cricket and then 45 minutes of bad cricket puts you out of the tournament,” Kohli said after the match.
“It is difficult to accept, it’s difficult to come to terms with. New Zealand deserve it because they put enough pressure on us and they were far sharper when it came to crunch moments.”
The match was played across two days and New Zealand posted 239-8 after a fine 74 from Ross Taylor and 67 from skipper Kane Williamson.
The Kiwis were lucky to make it to the semis despite losing their last three matches in the league stage heavily. But in overcast conditions on the second day of the semi-final, their pacers knocked the wind out of India’s top order to secure their entry into the second straight final.
Kohli said his team competed well in the match but the opening spell by the Kiwis is what changed the game.
“I think the first half, we were very, very good with the ball. In the field we were spot on,” Kohli said. “We thought we had restricted New Zealand to a total which was quite chaseable on any surface. But, the way they came out and bowled in that first half an hour really was the difference in the game.
“We knew that we had a good day yesterday and we were very proud of that effort. And then a very professional effort again with the ball this morning. But the credit has to go to the New Zealand bowlers because with the new ball they were outstanding with the areas that they hit, and the kind of swing that they got on the surface.”
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