The semi-final clash between India and New Zealand is all set for a roller-coaster journey. India’s bowling, led by Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s 3/43 restricted New Zealand to 239/8. Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson slammed 74 and 67 respectively as they managed to reach a decent total on a pitch which was assisting the pacers in overcast condition. In response, India started disastrously with the top three being blown away by the swing and accuracy of Trent Boult and Matt Henry. Rohit Sharma, who had blasted five centuries in one edition and was gunning for a record fourth ton, squared up against the accuracy of the New Zealand bowlers.
In the first over bowled by Henry, Rohit poked at a good length ball in the corridor outside off and Tom Latham took a catch. In the next over bowled by Boult, he trapped Virat Kohli LBW for 1 and Henry continued to run through the batting order, getting rid of KL Rahul and dismissing Dinesh Karthik.
It was the wicket of Karthik that had social media talking for it was a brilliant catch by James Neesham. Henry, bowling his fifth over on the trot, bowled a full ball outside off and it stopped on Karthik who opened the face of the bat and steered it to point, Neesham dived to his left and took a stunning one-handed catch to send back Karthik.
However, cricket once again showed it was a great leveller and Neesham came crashing down to earth. With India looking to rebuild, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya were striking the boundaries and in the first over bowled by Lockie Ferguson, Pant clipped a full ball on the pads to shortish midwicket where Neesham dropped the catch.
With New Zealand dismissing the top order cheaply, they would be aiming to win the match and enter the final for the second time ever since the 2015 World Cup. India, on the other hand, would be banking on their middle order to revive Kohli’s side and ensure they reach the final. New Zealand has a 4-3 head-to-head record against India in World Cups, having never lost a game against India in England.