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.”
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.
Economy rate: 3.7
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.
It’s the showdown many have been waiting for – England v Australia 2019 World Cup semi-final.
Two of the best teams from the group stage will face off in Birmingham on Thursday for a spot in the Lord’s final against New Zealand. And going by what happened in the group stage between the two teams – where England lost to Australia by 64 runs – should have an epic pace.
Australia enter the semi-final on the back of a tense defeat to South Africa that saw them slip to second in the league stage and set up a semi-final clash with third-placed England instead of fourth-placed New Zealand.
Here we take a look at three key clashes that can have an impact on which team makes it to the final.
Jofra Archer v David Warner
The most explosive fast bowler of the tournament against a batsman in sizzling form with more than 600 runs under his belt in the tournament. If Archer has pace in abundance, then Warner has the form to get on top of not only the 24-year-old quick but also the English attack, as he did during a valiant knock of 122 against South Africa in a tense chase of 326.
If Archer can get Warner out, it will be a big chunk of the job done. But if the Aussie can somehow negotiate the initial spell, there will be runs to be had against the likes of Ben Stokes and Adil Rashid.
Joe Root v Mitchell Starc
England are a team filled with scintillating strokemakers. And the batsman holding it all together is Joe Root, who has quietly gone about his business to emerge as the top run-getter for England with 500 runs from nine matches. He has mastered the art of holding one end up and allowing the likes of Bairstow, Buttler and others to tee off from the other end.
It will be job of left-arm quick Mitchell Starc to find a way past Root. What will make the job tougher for Starc is the fact he had knee issues in the previous match. If he can fire on all cylinders on Thursday, England will have real battle on their hands. His yoker to Ben Stokes during Australia’s win in the group stage was arguably the ball of the tournament and he will want to produce more of those in Birmingham.
Jos Buttler v Alex Carey
Let's talk about Alex Carey's World Cup— Rohit Sankar (@imRohit_SN) July 10, 2019
🔸4th best avg in a WC by main WK.
🔸2nd best avg for Aus in WC 2019
🔸2nd most runs by main WK in this WC.
🔸Most dismissals in WC 2019 (19)
🔸2nd most dismissals ever in a WC by WK after Gilchrist's 21 in 2003.#CWC2019#cwc19#ENGvAUS
England gloveman Jos Buttler is a pioneer of the modern game. The strokes that he pulls off, no one else in the game can. While he has had a relatively quiet tournament with just a hundred and a fifty, he has the ability to bat the opposition out of the game in half an hour.
While Buttler’s audacious strokes make the headlines, Aussie keeper Carey is the one who has actually done a ‘Buttler’ this tournament, consistently keeping up the fight at number seven. His 85 against the Proteas in a losing cause was brilliant and the game won’t be over as long as Carey is at the crease. Without doubt, Australia’s find of the tournament.