"With play going into the reserve day after rain ended play on Tuesday, the bowlers were superb up front, defending what seemed to be meagre target".
India suffered their only group stage defeat against hosts England, who meet Australia in the second semi-final in Birmingham on Thursday. Kane Williamson won the toss and did no wrong while he chose to bat first. Promptly the team found itself on 24 for four at the 10-over mark, the new low in this World Cup's powerplays.
This was not the end of trouble for them, as it was drizzling at that moment and they continued to play till 46.1 overs where Bhuvneshwar Kumar was bowling his 9th over.
The Kiwis had only 3.5 overs to swell a position of 211 for five, an attritional innings curtailed by persistent rain on Tuesday afternoon, forcing play to be deferred to Wednesday morning and pick up where they left off.
Trent Boult got Kohli trapped lbw to rattle the famed Indian top-order and set the tone for the underdogs' victory.
Santner got rising star Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya as he dried up the flow of runs in the middle overs.
"They literally finished off the backbone of the Indian side and then there was a good fightback, hats off to MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja, especially Jadeja in just his second game of the World Cup", he said. Yet, displaying the tigerish qualities which have brought them so much success in rugby and cricket - despite having a population of under four million people - New Zealand managed to remove Jadeja for 77 and the die was cast. "India will be required to bat for at least 20 overs to complete the match".
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"[Trent] Boult swung the ball, Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson bowled with pace and Martin Guptill and Jimmy Neesham produced two outstanding bits of fielding to put New Zealand into the final".
"I think Dhoni had to hold the innings from one end and allow Jadeja to play freely". "Yes we are not denying that we made errors but in hindsight, we can criticize a lot", Kohli said.
On the reserve day on Wednesday, New Zealand added 28 more runs to their overnight score to finish at 239 for eight, a total which India found hard to chase following a top-order collapse under overcast conditions.