NZ stun India to reach Cricket World Cup final despite Ravindra Jadeja heroics

Vastavam web: New Zealand survived Ravindra Jadeja’s late onslaught to stun India by 18 runs in a low-scoring thriller on Wednesday and reach the Cricket World Cup final for the second time in a row. Twice champions India were reeling at 24-4 in their chase for a modest victory target of 240 in what had appeared to be a lop-sided semi-final.

Jadeja (77) partnered Mahendra Singh Dhoni in a century-plus stand but India were bowled out for 221 in the final over and New Zealand will play hosts England or defending champions Australia in Sunday’s final at Lord’s. “Great semi-final over two days and very pleased to be on the right side of it,” New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson said. “We just wanted to put the ball in the good areas and put pressure on India. We just wanted some early wickets and it was great start for the bowlers.”

Opting to bat first in the rain-hit contest played over two days, New Zealand’s 239 for eight looked far from imposing against India’s formidable batting lineup. But Matt Henry (3-37) and Trent Boult (2-42) ripped the heart out of India’s top order and spinner Mitchell Santner struck two crucial blows in the middle overs.

Henry dismissed Rohit Sharma, the World Cup’s leading scorer, and Boult trapped Virat Kohli lbw in the next over. India’s captain reviewed the decision but could not get it overturned. The horror continued for India as KL Rahul became the third Indian top order batsman to depart for one, Henry’s second caught-behind victim.

Rishabh Pant added 47 runs with Hardik Pandya to arrest the slide and Pant made 32 before his wild heave off Santner found Colin de Grandhomme near the mid-wicket boundary. Rishabh Pant added 47 runs with Hardik Pandya to arrest the slide and Pant made 32 before his wild heave off Santner found Colin de Grandhomme near the mid-wicket boundary.