Rain forces India-New Zealand World Cup semi-final into reserve day
The World Cup semi-final between India and New Zealand will head into a second day after rain prevented the match finishing as scheduled at Old Trafford yesterday. New Zealand had struggled to 211-5 off 46.1 overs when persistent rain worsened sufficiently for the umpires to halt play at 2:00 pm (1300 GMT) with 23 balls left in the innings. Ross Taylor was 67 not out and Tom Latham three not out after New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, who won the toss, had made a painstaking 67.
After more than four hours off the field, and with fresh rain falling, the match officials decided there was no prospect of completing the minimum 20 overs per side game required under the Duckworth-Lewis method for rain-affected matches. They abandoned play for the day at 6:20 pm (1720 GMT). The match, which remains a 50 overs per side contest, will now resume at 10:30 am (0930 GMT), weather permitting.
If a result cannot be achieved on Wednesday, India will qualify for Sunday’s final at Lord’s by virtue of having finished first to New Zealand’s fourth in the 10-team group stage. The Black Caps, whose group match with India was washed out, found runs hard to come by, with paceman Jasprit Bumrah taking one wicket for 25 runs in eight overs. Meanwhile, left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja enjoyed a miserly return of 1-34 in his maximum 10 overs.
That Williamson, one of the world’s best batsmen, faced 95 balls for his runs told of how tough things were for 2015 runners-up New Zealand. All five previous matches in the tournament at Old Trafford had been won by the side batting first, so Williamson’s decision at the toss was understandable. But New Zealand lost opener Martin Guptill with just one run on the board. It was an all-too familiar story for the Black Caps, who only qualified for the last four on net run-rate and came into this match on the back of three group-stage defeats by Pakistan, Australia and England.
Bhunvneshwar Kumar appealed for lbw against Guptill off the first ball of the match but failed with his review of a not out decision. India, however, did not have long to wait. The leading run-scorer at the 2015 World Cup, Guptill fell for just one -- his fifth single figure score of this tournament -- when he fended at a rising Bumrah delivery and was well caught by India captain Virat Kohli at second slip. Henry Nicholls and Williamson shared a slow-going second-wicket stand worth 68. That ended when Jadeja bowled left-handed opener Nicholls between bat and pad for 28.
New Zealand had gone more than 13 overs without a boundary by the time Williamson swept leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal for four. Williamson had revived New Zealand after a top-order collapse with a match-winning hundred against the West Indies in their only previous fixture at Old Trafford. But there was no repeat yesterday, the skipper slicing a drive off Chahal to Jadeja at backward point to leave his side 134-3. All-rounders Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme both fell cheaply before Taylor swept Chahal for six to complete a 73-ball fifty featuring just two fours.