The Indian team has once again qualified for a World Cup final at the same Wankhede stadium where India won the World Cup in 2011. The Indian team has defeated the New Zealand team by 70 runs in a thrilling semi-final match till the end.
If you divide this semi-final match into two halves like a movie, the first half was entirely in favor of India. Rohit won the toss. As expected, he chose to bat first. As expected, he gave the team the positive start they needed with a powerful performance in the powerplay. Gill, another opener, also showed action in his role. Kohli played the same mature game here as he has played throughout the series. Kohli has been instrumental in forming partnerships which are considered essential to set a good score. Gill collaborated with Shreyas and played well. Kohli broke Sachin’s record by scoring his 50th century before Sachin at Wankhede and dedicated it to Sachin himself.
Shreyas Iyer went on to score a stunning century as Kohli was bowled by Southee for 117 runs. Out-of-form Shreyas Iyer was back in good form scoring a half-century against Sri Lanka at the same Wankhede ground. Now again he has proved his importance by scoring a century in the semi-final at the same Wankhede. Retiree Gill recovered from the hurt and batted despite leg cramps. India put up 397 runs in 50 overs as they put in a solid batting performance as a team.
398 runs target for New Zealand team. It is difficult to chase such a large target at knockout pressure. Everyone expected it to be a one-site game. But, New Zealand gave a twist. In this match till the end, India kept the tension going without getting any rest. Shami took two important wickets of Rachin Ravindra and Devon Conway in the powerplay.
New Zealand were stymied as Shami turned the ball in and out, holding the seam perfectly. Apart from Shami, Bumrah and Siraj’s line & length were a bit modest. Bumravella bowled like a cannapinna and gave a lot of voids. Despite the quick fall of two wickets, Daryl Mitchell and Kane Williamson formed a partnership to rescue the team from the slump. Both joined forces in the 8th over.
The partnership was broken in the 33rd over. It was these 25 overs in between that made the Indian team suffer a lot. This will be the only time the Indian team is confused about what to do in this World Cup.
India suffered that much. Kane Williamson is not in good touch. However, he was lucky. A lot of balls edged and went for a boundary as if it was a chance to be caught. A few balls took an inside edge and missed the stumps. He got away with being called lbw by the umpires. With the help of luck, Kane Williamson has survived. Daryl Mitchell beat the spinners and established himself at fine leg and third man. Both have scored 181 runs together.
They have also brought the run rate almost to the limit. Rohit has never looked so tight in the current World Cup. There was so much tension on the faces of the Indian team. In between, Shami Trapp took an easy catch from Kane Williamson on one of Bumrah’s deliveries. All this has created fears that New Zealand is going to defeat the Indian team in the knockout this time as well. The ball went back to Shami’s hand at that moment when the confidence of the Indian fans was waning.
Shami bowled the 33rd over. This over is the turning point of the game. Shami sent out Williamson who was playing perfectly. Williamson tries to hit the ball down the leg stump line for a six. Suryakumar Yadav who was standing near the boundary line caught this ball perfectly.
The entire stadium roared with applause. The Wankhede stadium itself erupted in jubilation. Shami did not stop there. He bowled an incoming delivery to newcomer Latham and was dismissed lbw for 0 runs. This is where the game started to change. Until then, the New Zealand team, which had been raising the run-rate perfectly by hitting a six four per over, stumbled under the pressure of the wicket. New Zealand scored only 16 runs in the next 4 overs. Hit only one boundary. However, New Zealand did not rest. Daryl Mitchell looked set to play an innings similar to Maxwell’s for Australia. Glenn Phillipzoom contributed to it. But they could do nothing but fight to some extent.
Shami bowled out Daryl Mitchell, who had scored 134 runs, and Bumrah bowled out Phillips. That was the end of the game. New Zealand all out for 327 runs. The Indian team qualified for the final after winning by 70 runs.
Shami is the hero of today’s game. He gave 57 runs in 9.5 overs and took 7 wickets. He also gave a good start by taking wickets in the Powerplay. It was he who made the turning point of the game after the slip. He was the one who took down the tail-enders the fastest. The whole game is shamiyam. It was such a bowler that India did not consider first choice at the beginning of this series.
The 2011 World Cup semi-final match against Pakistan would have gone like this. But the climax will be favorable for India. The same has happened now. 2011 looks like it’s coming back. Will November 19 be India Day?