The first semi-final match between India and New Zealand in the ICC World Cup has been callled off due to rain. After a whole lot of ‘will they won’t they’, the umpires have decided to end the speculation and called an end to the day after fresh showers forced the ground staff to bring the covers back on. Unlike the group stage match between India and NZ many weeks back, the stakes are higher this time round and there is a reserve day for the semi-final. Tomorrow is when both teams will resume the match and New Zealand will (hopefully) continue their innings from where they left off, at 211/5 in 46.1 overs.
What India Might be Chasing?
If New Zealand don’t come out to bat after the match resumes, then according to DLS method, India would be chasing the following target, depending upon the number of overs:
For 46 overs, the target will be 237
For 40 overs, the target will be 223
For 35 overs, the target will be 209
For 30 overs, the target will be 192
For 25 overs, the target will be 172
For 20 overs, the target will be 148
There are reserve days for both the semi-finals and the final. If both the days of the semi-finals are washed out and a result isn’t possible then the team ranked higher during the league stage will qualify for the final. But if the final on Sunday is washed out then both teams will share the trophy.
Earlier, New Zealand skipper Kane Wiliamson won the toss and chose to bat. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah swung the ball both ways and bowled two maiden overs. New Zealand lost opener Martin Guptill cheaply in the 4th over with scoreboard reading 1. Henry Nicholls and Kane Williamson batted slowly but steadied the innings. They stitched a 68-run partnership for the second wicket before Nicholls got out for 28 runs. Williamson scored a gritty half-century and kept their innings going. He got out trying to accelerate the innings. From there on Ross Taylor changed gears and completed his half-century. The wickets kept falling from the other end and when rain arrived in the 47th over they had scored 211/5 in 46.1 overs.
India thrash Sri Lanka
Rohit Sharma became the first player to hit five centuries in a single World Cup as India cantered to a comfortable seven-wicket win in their final World Cup group match against Sri Lanka on Saturday. Sharma smashed 103 off 94 deliveries as semi-finalists India chased down their target of 265 in 43.3 overs to end the league stage with seven wins, one defeat and one washout. Sharma's opening partner KL Rahul top-scored with 111 as the pair put on 189 runs for the first wicket to put India well on top. Sharma reached his century off 92 balls with 14 fours and two sixes but was dismissed shortly afterwards. Sharma now leads the tournament's run-scoring charts with 647 runs in eight matches after hitting his third successive century.
He is only the fourth batsman after Sachin Tendulkar, Matthew Hayden and Shakib Al Hasan to score more than 600 runs at a single World Cup. While Sharma has been the showstopper, Rahul has played the supporting part to perfection. Jasprit Bumrah’s splendid figures of 10-2-37-3 was the highlight of India’s bowling effort after Sri Lanka won the toss and batted. They were put into immediate distress by Bumrah and were down 55 for four at one stage. They managed to reach a decent total thanks to Angelo Mathews’ century (113) and his 124-run fifth-wicket partnership with Lahiru Thirimanne.
South Africa upset Australia
South Africa caused a massive upset on the final day of the group matches on Saturday as they stunned Australia by 10 runs to end their campaign on a high. The result means the defending champions have been dethroned from the top position in the points table by India. Defending 325 on a good batting track in Manchester, South Africa negated the threats from David Warner and Alex Carey's knocks to bowl Australia out for 315 in 49.5 overs with Kagiso Rabada leading the way with 3 wickets while Dwaine Pretorious bagged two. Chris Morris, Imran Tahir, Kagiso Rabada and Andile Phehlukwayo picked up a wicket each.
Warner top-scored for the Aussies with 122 while Carey made a swashbuckling 85 off 69. The duo were batting superbly after Australia had collapsed to 119 for 4, adding 108 runs for the fifth wicket. But pressure of the asking rate got to the duo as the chase fell apart for Australia after Warner's wicket with Carey also falling at a crucial juncture. Some big hits from Mitchell Starc in the death overs kept Australia interested but the Proteas held their nerves and prevailed eventually. Earlier, captain Faf du Plessis struck South Africa's first century of the World Cup to lift his side to an imposing 325 for six against Australia at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Pak secure 5th place after 4th straight win
Pakistan secured fifth place after beating Bangladesh by 94 runs and finished on the same points as fourth-placed New Zealand. Both teams had five wins but the Black Caps advanced with a superior net run-rate. To reach the semis, Pakistan had to win by an unprecedented 316 runs. It didn't take on the challenge and finished on 315-9 with Imam-ul-Haq scoring a 100-ball 100 and Babar Azam 96 in 98. The updated maths meant, to advance to the semis, Pakistan had to bowl out Bangladesh for 7 or less, and that equation died in the second over of the chase. Powered once more by the brilliant Shakib Al Hasan (64 runs in 77 balls), Bangladesh ended on 221 all out. The 19-year-old Shaheen Afridi swung the ball and took 6-35, the best figures by a Pakistan bowler in World Cup history, and the youngest bowler in tournament history to achieve a 5-for. He ended with 16 wickets in five matches. Shakib finished his tournament with a total of 606 runs from eight innings, the third highest ever in World Cup history, behind India's Sachin Tendulkar (673 in 11 innings) and Australia's Matthew Hayden (659 in 10). Shakib averaged 86 runs.
Gayle helps Windies end campaign with a win
Chris Gayle waved to all sides of Headingley as he walked off the field for the last time at a Cricket World Cup. Upon reaching the boundary edge, he was met by Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib who bowed before the West Indies great. It wasn't the perfect farewell for the man otherwise known as the "Universe Boss" - Gayle's last World Cup innings was a scratchy 18-ball 7 - but he still made a telling contribution in his own inimitable style. With his occasional offspin, Gayle took the pivotal wicket of Ikram Ali Khil for 86 that sparked a mini-collapse as Afghanistan stumbled in its pursuit of 312 in a match between the World Cup's two worst teams on Thursday. The Afghans were dismissed for 288 on the last ball of the match, their highest total at a World Cup but still not enough to avoid a 23-run loss and returning home with a sweep of nine defeats. West Indies ended the World Cup with two victories - from their first and last games - and moved level on five points with South Africa, which still has a match to play against Australia. It was a disappointing tournament for the Windies but at least Gayle had his successful World Cup farewell.
England beat New Zealand to enter semis
Riding on a splendid hundred by Jonny Bairstow – his second of the tournament – and a fine performance by the bowling unit, England hammered New Zealand by 119 runs at Chester-le-Street and stormed into the semi-finals of the World Cup. England scored 305 for 8 and then bowled out New Zealand for 186 in 45 overs. They are the third team to qualify for the semi-finals after India and Australia. England end their group stage with 12 points at number 3 on the points table. New Zealand are currently at number 4 and have ended their group stage campaign at 11 points. Were the fourth semi-finalist as Pakistan faled to come up with a record-breaking win against Bangladesh on Friday.