India-New Zealand World Cup semi-final to resume on reserve day.
Images from Tuesday’s first semi-final at Old Trafford.
IMAGE: India’s players celebrate the wicket of New Zealand’s Kane Williamson in the first semi-final of the ICC World Cup, at Old Trafford, on Tuesday. Photograph: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images
Rain pushed the first semi-final of the ICC World Cup to the reserve day after dominant Indian bowlers excelled yet again to restrict New Zealand to a below-par 211 for five, at Old Trafford, in Manchester, on Tuesday.
Rain forced players off the field after 46.1 overs and, as per ICC’s playing conditions, the game will resume on Wednesday from where it stopped.
Despite half-centuries from captain Kane Williamson (67 off 95 balls) and veteran Ross Taylor (67 not out off 85 balls), the Black Caps could not force the pace against tournament’s best bowling attack.
IMAGE: An Indian fans waits patiently for the rain to relent. Photograph: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images
By the time when the covers were off at 10 pm IST, the outfield had too much water and there was no way match could have resumed.
For the match to be completed, India are required to bat for at least 20 overs. If after the reserve day the match has still not reached a result, India will progress to the final given their higher finishing position in the group stage.
Remember, the reserve day will be a continuation not restart, meaning the score from the original match day will be carried through.
IMAGE: Jasprit Bumrah, centre, celebrates after dismissing Martin Guptill. Photograph: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images
Earlier, India’s bowlers maintained their stranglehold on the opposition with another splendid performance after the Kiwis had elected to bat.
After a brilliant start by Jasprit Bumrah (1/25 in 8 overs) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/30 in 8.1 overs), Ravindra Jadeja (1/38 off 10 overs) and Hardik Pandya (1/55 in 10 overs) did well in the middle overs enough to keep the opposition under check.
If the first Powerplay was witness to fine exhibition of swing bowling under overcast conditions, the middle overs had Pandya using the newly-laid two-paced pitch to good effect, bringing the slow bouncer to the fore.
IMAGE: Ravindra Jadeja celebrates taking the wicket of Henry Nicholls. Photograph: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images
That was one delivery that Taylor initially found difficult to get away as the dot ball count increased with each over.
Martin Guptill (1) struggled to get going as Bumrah relieved him off his misery with a delivery that bounced more than expected, taking the edge as Kohli, at second slip, made no mistake with the sharp chance.
IMAGE: New Zealand captain Kane Williamson bats. Photograph: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images
Williamson looked compact in his defence along with the edgy Henry Nicholls (28 off 51 balls) during their 68-run second-wicket stand. Such was the impact of the first spell bowled by Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar that the Kiwis never got the required momentum.
But credit should also be given to Jadeja and Pandya for keeping the Kiwis on a tight leash.
Jadeja vindicated his skipper’s decision with tight wicket-to wicket bowling and the odd one that turned created problems for Nicholls. He had 38 dots to his credit by the time he ended the spell.
IMAGE: Ground staff work to dry the pitch dry as play is delayed due to rain. Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images
Williamson, who was getting into some sort of rhythm however couldn’t capitalise as Taylor got stuck playing one dot ball after another.
In fact, during the crucial second Powerplay, New Zealand managed only 65 runs in 17 overs as Chahal got decent turn with his leg-breaks.
The New Zealand captain, who was hitting a few slog sweeps against the turn, got impatient having reached 50 off 79 balls and paid the price by gifting his wicket to the leg-spinner when his team needed him most.
Taylor did up the ante in the final overs with three boundaries and a six but it looks unlikely to be enough.
Hosts England play defending champions Australia in the second semi-final on Thursday.