NEW ZEALAND reached their second successive World Cup final after dramatically toppling India by 18 runs in a stunning turnaround to their truncated last-four showdown at Old Trafford.
Resuming on 211 for five with 3.5 overs to bat after rain forced the match into the reserve day, the Kiwis eventually posted 239 for eight — a total that seemed unlikely to trouble India’s high-powered batting line-up.
However, big guns Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli misfired, India’s top three making just one apiece, as they lurched to five for three and then 92 for six. A steady hand from MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja’s 77 from 59 balls threatened a late twist but nerveless death bowling and a superb run-out by Martin Guptill to remove Dhoni saw the Black Caps home.
‘It was really tough. We had to assess the conditions quickly and looking at the surface I think both teams thought it was going to be a lot higher-scoring than that,’ admitted New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson.
India captain Kohli said: ‘It breaks our hearts because you work so hard to build momentum and finish No.1 in the table. Then, a spell of bad cricket, and you’re out. But New Zealand deserve it. They were far more sharp when it came to the crunch moments.’