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Twitter Reactions: New Zealand end India’s World Cup dream in Manchester thriller

New Zealand stunningly defended 239 runs and were the deserved winners in the end.

New Zealand team
New Zealand team. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Wow! New Zealand always punch above their weight in the World Cups. They kept their nerves until the end with so much pressure. Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult were exceptional in the death overs but the fielding from Martin Guptill to break millions of hearts turned to be game-changing in the end. A dejected MS Dhoni walking back to the hut just showed how a game of emotions it is. Even a spare of thought for Ravindra Jadeja who played the knock of his life to get back India in the game.

However, it all eventually came down to how well Matt Henry bowled with the new ball to rock India’s top order and that made the difference really.

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It was supposed to be a canter for India. But the New Zealand pacers had other ideas. Matt Henry and Trent Boult ripped apart India’s top order. Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli went back to the hut with only five runs on the board. Things went worse with Dinesh Karthik getting out thanks to a fantastic catch from James Neesham. India were 24/4 after 10 overs and needed a herculean effort from someone.

Rishabh Pant batted with extreme patience and so did Hardik Pandya. They rotated the strike and took their time to ensure that there was no collapse. But for some strange reason, they didn’t go after Mitchell Santner and the pressure got to them. Both the batsmen got out on 32 trying to hit him for a six and India situation went from bad to worse.

At 92/6 in the 31st over after Pandya got out there were literally no hopes for the Indian fans. But there was still a little bit of twist in the tale. Ravindra Jadeja came out to bat and turned the game on its head. He took a few deliveries to get a feel of the pitch and then just belted the leather brutally. The first nail in New Zealand’s confidence was the down the ground six off James Neesham and that just reignited India’s hopes.

MS Dhoni and Jadeja were left a little too much to do in the end. But the duo kept fighting it out in the middle. Jadeja brought loads of luck with him on the day and literally smacked the ball out of the park at will. The left-hander was in the mood and looked determined to win the game for his team. Dhoni, on the other hand, was calculating the chase in his mind and for most parts of the partnership gave the strike to Jadeja.

Meanwhile, Jaddu got to his half-century and was playing the knock of his life. The equation, from nowhere, came down to 37 runs in the last three overs and it eventually increased the pressure on him. An inspiring 116-run partnership was broken in the 48th over by Trent Boult. Jadeja tried to hit it out of the park but only found Kane Williamson who was cool as ice under the ball.

It all came down to MS Dhoni to finish the game and India still needed 31 runs off the last two overs. The veteran, however, slammed a bouncer from Lockie Ferguson for a huge six which just evaded Santner. The hopes came back for India and it was all down to that man who had finished 47 chases India’s favour in his illustrious. But there was an anti-climax.

Ferguson bowled a superb bouncer to cramp him for room and in desperation to come back on strike, Dhoni got run-out. Martin Guptill, the best fielder of the opposition, just broke a million Indians hearts. New Zealand sustained immense pressure of the knockouts and some brilliant bowling from them upfront helped them defend 240 in the end to make it to the final.

Williamson and Taylor help NZ post 239

Earlier, Kane Williamson called it correctly at the toss and it was a no-brainer to bat first. But India were extremely good with the new ball. Jasprit Bumrah got Martin Guptill in the fourth over itself and from the start itself, it was a slow going for New Zealand. Henry Nicholls and Kane Williamson stitched 68 runs for the second wicket but they were too slow.

Ravindra Jadeja spun one past Nicholls’ defence to castle the batsman which brought Ross Taylor to the middle and another partnership blossomed. New Zealand two best batsmen were in the middle and the duo made sure they didn’t allow India to get into their struggling middle-order. Both of them took their time, played too many dot balls and took the score past the 100-run mark.

Williamson scored a half-century in the process, not for the first time but India’s tight bowling didn’t let them score quickly. The partnership of 65 runs in 17 overs was finally broken by Yuzvendra Chahal and it looked tougher for the Black Caps to up the ante. They promoted James Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme to score quick runs but to no avail.

However, Ross Taylor was adamant in staying put and slowly but surely he made sure that New Zealand got past the 200-run mark with more than five overs. He attacked Chahal and Pandya in the final overs of their respective spell and eked out some important runs. In the 47th over, the rain arrived and the play never resumed on Tuesday. The reserve day came into the equation and on resumption, the Kiwis added 28 runs off the last 23 balls.

They ended up on 239 runs for the loss of eight wickets after 50 overs as Taylor scored 74 runs off 90 deliveries before getting run-out thanks to Jadeja’s brilliance. But the Kiwis just had enough on the board to make it to their second consecutive final.

Here’s how Twitter reacted:

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