World Cup 2019: India vs New Zealand semi-final to be continued today
India v New Zealand semi-final resume today as rain plays spoilsport after Kohli & Co restrict Kiwis to 211-5 in 46.1 overs
Manchester: It was a frustrating day of cricket for the Indian team as well as their supporters as rain played spoilsport in the World Cup semifinal match at Old Trafford. The Indian bowlers had done an excellent job in restricting New Zealand to 211 for five, when in the 47th over it started to rain and never ceased till late in the evening.
Reserve day to the rescue
Luckily the ICC has penciled a reserve day in the knockouts, thus the game will resume at the same score today, weather permitting, of course. The good news for India is that if there is no further play and the match ends in no-result, then India would go through to the final for having finished higher than New Zealand in the points table.
The moment the players came off just before lunch, with India yet to send down the last 3.5 overs, there was speculation on the fate of the match. Will the rain abate in time for India to play a minimum of 20 overs, with a DLS revised score of 148, a tough ask given the conditions. Under the circumstances, it is good that India have got a fair chance to overhaul whatever score New Zealand manage in their remaining 23 deliveries when they bat today, to complete their full complement of 50 overs.
There is no doubt that the shorter the match the better it is for New Zealand, as they have scored at barely 4.5 per over till now and what India would have got in 20 overs was well above 7 an over, and that too in damp and overcast conditions. One can only hope for a better weather today, so that both the teams get an even chance to win the match.
Covers adorn the Old Trafford pitch after rain stops play during the first semi-final between India and New Zealand in Manchester yesterday. Pic /Bipin Patel
No place for Shami
As for the match itself, India opted to play bowlers who have a better economy rate than strike rate. Thus, Bhuvneshwar Kumar was preferred over Mohammed Shami despite the latter being the leading wicket-taker for India, while Yuzvendra Chahal was brought in for Kuldeep Yadav, who has been providing regular breakthroughs. The move proved quite effective as the Indians kept a tight leash on the New Zealand batting, after their captain Kane Williamson had opted to bat first in overcast conditions.
With Jasprit Bumrah providing an early breakthrough, getting rid of Martin Guptill, New Zealand were on the defensive right from the start and their run-rate never touched the 5-run mark. As a result their score was below par, which the Indian batsmen would overhaul nine out of 10 times. Still, given the conditions and the pressure of the knockout game, it will be a great challenge for them to take the team to their fourth World Cup final and the second at Lord's after the 1983 triumph.
The star of the day, undoubtedly was Ravindra Jadeja, who was a livewire on the field and inspired the team to give off their best. He also bowled his 10 overs parsimoniously and so did Hardik Pandya, the supposed weak link of Indian bowling attack.
The role of the Indian bowlers is almost over and the focus of over a billion viewers today will be on the Indian batsmen, hoping and praying that they take their team across the line.
No. of runs scored by skipper Kane Williamson in the ongoing World Cup — the most by any New Zealand player in a single WC edition — surpassing Martin Guptill (547 in 2015)
No. of runs scored by New Zealand in the first powerplay (overs 1-10) is lowest by any team in the ongoing World Cup
Wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the second Indian after Sachin Tendulkar (463) to play 350 one-day internationals
New Zealand 211-5 in 46.1 overs (R Taylor 67*, K Williamson 67; J Bumrah 1-25, B Kumar 1-30) v India
Live on tv
India v New Zealand: Star Sports 1, SS 1 Hindi and DD Sports, 15:00
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