Cricket World Cup 2019: Blackcaps show championship credentials with enthralling win over India

New Zealand have produced a brilliant bowling performance to upset India with an 18-run victory in their rain-affected World Cup semi-final on Wednesday.

The Blackcaps will face the winners of the second semi-final between England and Australia in Sunday's final at Lords.

New Zealand added 28 runs to their overnight score from 23 balls to finish on 239/8 - a modest total that India would have been confident of chasing down.

But the Kiwi bowling attack turned the game around, taking three wickets in the opening 19 balls, with tournament top-scorer Rohit Sharma, skipper Virat Kohli and opener KL Rahul all dismissed for one.

From a dire position of 24/4, India got themselves back in the game, thanks to a superb 116-run seventh-wicket partnership between MS Dhoni (50) and Ravindra Jadeja (77), only to be bowled out for 221 with three balls remaining.

Jadeja's pyrotechnics gave India a fleeting hope, but he departed with 32 required off 13 balls, before MS Dhoni was run out for 50 from 72 deliveries, as the Asian giants fell short of 240.

Ross Taylor top-scored with 74 runs from 90 balls, as the Black Caps added 28 runs in the remaining 3.5 overs of their innings, deferred until Wednesday night (NZT), after persistant rain on Tuesday.

India made an abject start to their reply, losing three wickets in the space of 11 balls, including the prize scalps of Rohit and Kohli, who had contributed more than 1000 runs in the group stage.

Jadeja, batting for the first time in the tournament, put on a World Cup-record 116 for the seventh wicket, alongside the more subdued Dhoni, who was content to defer the big-hitting responsibilities to his junior partner.

Jadeja obliged, clubbing four fours and as many sixes, before holing out to long-off off Trent Boult.

Although Dhoni attempted to up the ante, the veteran was run out following a direct hit from Martin Guptill in the penultimate over, as India's hopes vanished.


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