Sunday, 21 July, 2019

How the Black Caps turned around their World Cup losing streak

New Zealand's Mitchell Santner celebrates with team mates after taking the wicket of India's Hardik Pandya in World Cup semi-final on July 10. — Reuters New Zealand's Mitchell Santner celebrates with team mates after taking the wicket of India's Hardik Pandya in World Cup semi-final on July 10. — Reuters
Cary Erickson | 11 July, 2019, 23:40

Jadeja put on 116 runs with MS Dhoni, who made 50, for the seventh wicket to raise hopes of a fightback, but the Black Caps held their nerve in the closing stages. Congratulations to New Zealand team. And then it was a brilliant start with the ball.

Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar believes India's was a great fightback, courtesy M.S. Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja despite their top-order collapse as the Men in Blue fell just short of crossing the line against New Zealand in the first semi-final of the ongoing World Cup.

Having an insanely prolific top-order comprising of Dhawan, Rohit and Kohli might be the envy of many global sides but it brings with it a recipe for disaster as seen in the Champions Trophy and now the World Cup semi-final.

India fan Jitesh Khokhani said his team had a bad day, adding that these sort of blips happened to all teams at one time or another. "And when you lose 3 for 5 it is very hard to come back into the game".

"We knew we had to run our twos well and use those last 23 deliveries as well as we could to get us to that point".

"Today we were not good enough". No one wants to lose a game.

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"I completely appreciate the way he played in the whole tournament".

There has also been plenty of support on social media from the fans urging MS Dhoni to not retire.

"And you saw the passion with which he played and we have seen it in Test cricket a few times, he's played knocks under tremendous pressure and he's got three triple hundreds in first class cricket if I'm not wrong, so the talent has obviously always been there". "It is very disappointing not turning up when the team wanted me to. Each player tried really hard but it was just not our day", Khanna said.

"But having said that, we have qualified to the semis and we have played some really good cricket, so we should be also proud of the way we have played and look at the positives also, because there were a lot throughout this tournament, especially Rohit's performance was standout, Jasprit [Bumrah] with the ball and Jadeja given the opportunities".

Even coming into the second day of the rain-delayed match at 211-5 with just 23 balls remaining in their innings, Williamson knew that if they get close to 240, they could come away with a famous win.