India out of World Cup final

Thursday 11th July 2019 07:39 EDT

India lost to New Zealand by 18 runs after restricting them to 239/8 in the rain-hit semi-final played over two days. Confronted with a moving ball and bowlers who had the skill to exploit the conditions, India's top order- Rohit Sharma, K L Rahul and Virat Kohli – floundered and were dismissed for 1 each. A late fightback by M S Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja turned what threatened to be a one-sided match into a thriller, but it wasn't enough to stop the Kiwis from entering their second consecutive World Cup final - and India from bowing out at the semi-final stage for the second straight time. Throughout the tournament, Rohit had regularly offered opportunities early on, and cashed in when the opposition did not take them. But, there were no second chances this time. India's talisman for this tournament was gone for 1, and the chase of 240 was already looking a lot harder.

Virat Kohli, the world's top-ranked ODI and Test batsman, was put through a swing bowling masterclass by Trent Boult. After moving a series of deliveries away from him, Boult brought one in back. The skipper immediately went for DRS. Replays showed it to be desperately close, with the ball barely clipping the top of leg stump. India retained the review, but unfortunately not the wicket. Two down for 5 runs, and desperation setting in already.

Virat Kohli explains why India lost

Kohli rued the manner in which India lost the match saying the team played so well throughout the tournament only to bow out in the last-four stage due to a poor stretch of "45 minutes". "Forty-five minutes of bad cricket puts you out of the tournament. Difficult to take it - but New Zealand deserve it. Our shot selection could have been better, but we played good cricket throughout. New Zealand were braver in crunch situations and they deserve it," Kohli said at the presentation ceremony, referring to the period in which India lost four top-order batsmen, including Rohit Sharma and Kohli, inside 10 overs.

Indian batters were undone by Matt Henry's brilliant opening spell as he returned figures of 3/37. Ravindra Jadeja (77) and MS Dhoni (50) shared a 116-run stand for the seventh wicket, but in the end that proved to be not enough, especially after Dhoni was caught short of crease by a brilliant direct hit by Martin Guptill.

"We got what we needed in the field. We knew we had a good day, we felt like we had the moment, but credit has to go to NZ bowlers for the swing and help they got from the surface," Kohli said. The skipper also showered praise on Jadeja, saying: "Jaddu had an outstanding couple of games. He went with so much clarity... MS had a good partnership with him. It was a game of margins and MS was run-out."

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