IND vs NZ: 2019 Cricket World Cup | Henry’s triple blow stuns the top order and shatters India’s dream

Indian cricketers dejected over their loss in the first semifinal of the 2019 Cricket World Cup against New Zealand in Manchester on July 10, 2019.   | Photo Credit: AP

The bugles were silenced, drums got discarded and disbelief reigned. For the Indian fans, a boisterous morning slipped into an afternoon of melancholy despite Ravindra Jadeja’s incredible knock, as New Zealand stunned Virat Kohli’s men in the World Cup semifinal at Old Trafford here on Wednesday.

Efficiency trumped flair and Kane Williamson’s men showed that they could win without a snarl. Pursuing New Zealand’s 239 for eight, India finished with 221 in 49.3 overs. Jadeja’s 77 (59b, 4x4, 4x6) was pulse-pounding but it was fated to end in tragedy while the Kiwis snatched an 18-run victory.

Modest targets can be tricky and India needed a solid start but, instead, a nightmare ensued. Rohit Sharma nibbled at a Matt Henry (three for 37) delivery, the edge was grazed, wicketkeeper Tom Latham caught with glee and boom, the World Cup’s most prolific batsman departed.

New Zealand cricket team celebrate the dismissal of M.S. Dhoni during the 2019 Cricket World Cup against India in Manchester on July 10, 2019.

New Zealand cricket team celebrate the dismissal of M.S. Dhoni during the 2019 Cricket World Cup against India in Manchester on July 10, 2019.   | Photo Credit: AP


Joy in waves

Joy for the Black Caps came in waves. For the addition of a single run, India lost two wickets. Kohli missed some from Trent Boult as the left-armer’s angle was tough to counter. The speedster then got one to straighten and Kohli, who tends to shuffle a bit more in his initial tenure, did that while trying to wrist one to the leg-side. The Indian captain missed, the pad got struck and Boult’s appeal bellowed from the pit of his stomach. Kohli was adjudged out, he promptly sought a review and though the replays hinted that the ball was going over the bails, it was an ‘umpire’s call’ decision and the agitated batsman left.

At five for two, the queasiness in the Indian dressing room, worsened as K.L. Rahul fell to Henry. The delivery hovering near the off-stump rose and Rahul, who was riding the bounce, failed to withdraw his bat and Latham found another welcome thud into his gloves. India five for three and the fires raged.

Magic on the turf

Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik tried to resist, the former driving, the latter stone-walling and going 20 balls without a run. Karthik then clipped a four off Boult and just as the initial nerves eased, James Neesham sprinkled magic on the turf. Karthik sliced Henry and as the ball raced beyond backward point, Neesham dived to his left, and his left hand reflexively darted out and plucked a catch for the ages. India 24 for four in 10 overs and in dire straits.

The game is a leveller though and when Pant flicked Lockie Ferguson, the uppish stroke popped out of Neesham’s hands at short mid-wicket! Pant and Hardik Pandya shared a 47-run fifth-wicket alliance but India was always behind the Duckworth-Lewis par score. And then Pant tried to deposit left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner over mid-wicket, except that he found Colin de Grandhomme. India 71 for five in the 23rd over and the crowd yearned for a miracle.

M.S. Dhoni (50) and Pandya nudged the scoreboard but as the required rate went past seven, the pressure was bound to tell. It did emphatically when Pandya miscued a slog-sweep off Santner and a patient Williamson tumbled and still held on. India 92 for six, down for the count and in walks Jadeja with rebellious ideas.

Stirring act

While Dhoni remained calm, Jadeja turned aggressor, lofting Neesham and Henry for sixes and the crowd was alive. A stirring act took shape and when Jadeja etched his 50, besides the usual Rajput twirl of the bat, he gesticulated towards the commentary box, perhaps an admonition to Sanjay Manjrekar, who recently made some critical remarks.

Jadeja rode his luck as a few shots teased the fielders but a massive six off Ferguson showed that the battle wasn’t over yet and a hope-gifting partnership enthused the audience. Jadeja and Dhoni added 116 off 112 deliveries for the seventh-wicket but New Zealand could not be denied. Jadeja’s attempt to clout Boult proved fatal and Martin Guptill’s sensational throw left Dhoni stranded. The rest wilted and David had indeed quelled Goliath.

Earlier, resuming at the overnight 211 for five in 46.1 overs, New Zealand added 28 runs while losing three wickets with Jadeja’s terrific fielding accounting for Ross Taylor (74) and Latham. Still, New Zealand set a challenging target that eventually became insurmountable.


NEW ZEALAND: Martin Guptill c Kohli b Bumrah 1 (14b), Henry Nicholls b Jadeja 28 (51b, 2x4), Kane Williamson c Jadeja b Chahal 67 (95b, 6x4), Ross Taylor run out 74 (90b, 3x4, 1x6), James Neesham c Karthik b Pandya 12 (18b, 1x4), Colin de Grandhomme c Dhoni b Bhuvneshwar 16 (10b, 2x4), Tom Latham c Jadeja b Bhuvneshwar 10 (11b), Mitchell Santner (not out) 9 (6b, 1x4), Matt Henry c Kohli b Bhuvneshwar 1 (2b), Trent Boult (not out) 3 (3b); Extras (lb-5, w-13): 18; Total (for eight wkts. in 50 overs): 239.

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-1 (Guptill, 3.3 overs), 2-69 (Nicholls, 18.2), 3-134 (Williamson, 35.2), 4-162 (Neesham, 40.6), 5-200 (Grandhomme, 44.4), 6-225 (Taylor, 47.6), 7-225 (Latham, 48.1), 8-232 (Henry, 48.6).

INDIA BOWLING: Bhuvneshwar 10-1-43-3, Bumrah 10-1-39-1, Pandya 10-0-55-1, Jadeja 10-0-34-1, Chahal 10-0-63-1.

INDIA: K.L. Rahul c Latham b Henry 1 (7b), Rohit Sharma c Latham b Henry 1 (4b), Virat Kohli lbw b Boult 1 (6b), Rishabh Pant c de Grandhomme b Santner 32 (56b, 4x4), Dinesh Karthik c Neesham b Henry 6 (25b, 1x4), Hardik Pandya c Williamson b Santner 32 (62b, 2x4), M.S. Dhoni (run out) 50 (72b, 1x4, 1x6), Ravindra Jadeja c Williamson b Boult 77 (59b, 4x4, 4x6), Bhuvneshwar Kumar b Ferguson 0 (1b), Yuzvendra Chahal c Latham b Neesham 5 (5b, 1x4), Jasprit Bumrah (not out) 0 (0b); Extras (lb-3, w-13): 16; Total (in 49.3 overs): 221.

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-4 (Rohit, 1.3), 2-5 (Kohli, 2.4), 3-5 (Karthik, 3.1), 4-24 (Karthik, 9.6), 5-71 (Pant, 22.5), 6-92 (Pandya, 30.3), 7-208 (Jadeja, 47.5), 9-217 (Bhuvneshwar, 48.6).

NEW ZEALAND BOWLING: Boult 10-2-42-2, Henry 10-1-37-3, Ferguson 10-0-43-1, de Grandhomme 2-0-13-0, Neesham 7.3-0-49-1, Santner 10-2-34-2.

Toss: New Zealand.

Man-of-the-match: Matt Henry.

New Zealand won by 18 runs.

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