Twitter Reactions: New Zealand crawl to 211 on a sluggish pitch in Manchester

Twitter Reactions: New Zealand crawl to 211 on a sluggish pitch in Manchester

Taylor and Williamson slammed half-centuries but they were too slow as well.

Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The much-awaited first semi-final of the 2019 World Cup between India and New Zealand is currently in progress at the Old Trafford in Manchester. The Kiwis won the toss and opted to bat first under grey skies only to find it later that it is tough to bat. The surface which looked fresh and good for batting early on slowed down very early after the match started and some clever bowling from India restricted New Zealand.

India opted against picking Mohammed Shami which surprised many but Bhuvneshwar Kumar did bowl superbly starting with a maiden to Martin Guptill. Jasprit Bumrah backed it up with another brilliant over and the tone was set for the innings. The Kiwi batsmen played a lot of dot balls as India didn’t give an inch even in the field. Guptill succumbed to the pressure and though Henry Nicholls and Kane Williamson stitched a partnership, they were too slow.

Just when he looked set, Nicholls missed a turning delivery from Ravindra Jadeja and was castled. He scored only 28 runs after facing 51 runs with a couple of fours. Ross Taylor joined the skipper in the middle and the run-scoring got even slower. Taylor was out of form coming into this game and he was clearly trying to find his mojo. Williamson, on the other hand, was also still figuring out the pitch behaviour.

The duo as they usually rebuilt the innings but this time, they were extremely slow. The partnership of 65 runs took 17 overs and there was a growing unease in the middle. Meanwhile, Williamson got to a hard-working half-century, not for the first time in this World Cup. However, in trying to release the pressure, the Kiwi skipper got out on 67 off 95 deliveries to Yuzvendra Chahal.

Taylor takes the charge but Indian bowlers prove too good

Ross Taylor then took charge of the innings even as James Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme failed to get going from the word go. Both the all-rounders were sent back in an attempt to up the ante and the onus was now on the veteran Taylor to make the start count. He targetted Chahal rightfully and eked out 18 runs off the leggie’s last over of the spell which gave the innings some momentum.

However, just when it felt that New Zealand will get to 250, they lost De Grandhomme and the rain also made its presence felt. There was a rain interruption in the 47th over when the score was 211/5 and it got heavier as the time progressed only for the innings to not resume. While there is a two-hour cushion as this is a semi-final, there is still doubt if New Zealand will resume their innings. If New Zealand don’t bat again, India will have to chase 237 runs in 46 overs according to DLS method.

Here’s how Twitter reacted: