The World Cup dream of India ended in the semifinals when New Zealand beat them by 18 runs at Old Trafford on Wednesday (July 10).

India’s top three Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli have been in good form throughout the tournament. But on this day, they were done in by brilliant spell of fast bowling by Matt Henry and Trent Boult.

Henry started the procession when he had Rohit caught behind with a delivery that moved away that bit to take his outside edge. Boult soon dealt another blow when he trapped Kohli leg before with a delivery that came in. KL Rahul, who had a hundred in the last match against Sri Lanka, Henry managed to find his outside edge en route to Tom Latham behind the wicket. India were 5/3 and the match was pushed away from India.

Ravindra Jadeja, who was playing his second match of the tournament, and Dhoni came with a superb partnership that belied the sluggish nature of the pitch. Dhoni played his own game of taking singles and twos and allowed Jadeja to have most of the strike.

When India were at 5/3, one would have expected to see Dhoni walking in at No 4 or No 5 but he came at 7 when India had lost five wickets. On the hindsight, had Dhoni came much earlier, he could have hold his end intact while others like Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant would have batted around him. He came too late to make a real impact. The hundred alliance between him and Jadeja only helped to delay the inevitable. It also showed that the India’s young middle-order will need some more game experience to close out the game.

The script was eerily similar to the 2015 World Cup semi-final and just like that evening in Sydney, skipper Virat Kohli was once again out cheaply and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (50) was stuck in the middle overs. Mitchell Santner (2/34) bottled Dhoni up and there was too much left for Jadeja to do even as he smacked four sixes and four boundaries to raise hopes of a turnaround. Call it irony, Dhoni, in what could be his last international innings, was run-out by a direct throw from Martin Guptill.

PM Modi tweeted and said, “A disappointing result, but good to see #TeamIndia fighting spirit till the very end. India batted, bowled, fielded well throughout the tournament, of which we are very proud. Wins and losses are a part of life. Best wishes to the team for their future endeavours. #INDvsNZ.”

After the match Indian Captain Virat said in Press Conference, “To go out on the basis of 45 minutes of bad cricket is saddening” #ViratKohli bemoans #CWC19 exit, but says India played “outstanding” cricket in the tournament.”

Fans Come Out In Support Of Team India After Heartbreaking Loss To New Zealand In Semi-Final


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