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Black Caps fight their way into Cricket World Cup final

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“We just wanted to put the ball in the good areas and put pressure on India. We just wanted some early wickets and it was great start for the bowlers.”

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New Zealand survived Ravindra Jadeja’s late onslaught to stun India by 18 runs in a low-scoring thriller yesterday and reach the Cricket World Cup final for the second time in a row.

Twice champions India were reeling at 24/4 in their chase for a modest victory target of 240 in what had appeared to be a lop-sided semi-final.

Jadeja (77) partnered Mahendra Singh Dhoni in a century-plus stand but India were bowled out for 221 in the final over and New Zealand will play hosts England or defending champions Australia in Sunday’s final at Lord’s.

“Great semi-final over two days and very pleased to be on the right side of it,” New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson said.

“We just wanted to put the ball in the good areas and put pressure on India. We just wanted some early wickets and it was great start for the bowlers.”

“The way Jadeja and (MS) Dhoni were hitting the ball, they were likely to win, but our fielders were then outstanding.”

Opting to bat first in the rain-hit contest played over two days, New Zealand’s 239/8 looked far from imposing against India’s formidable batting line-up.

But Matt Henry (3/37) and Trent Boult (2/42) ripped the heart out of India’s top order and spinner Mitchell Santner struck two crucial blows in the middle overs.

“We thought we had restricted them to a total that is chaseable on any surface,” Kohli said.

“But the way they bowled in that first half-an-hour was the difference in the game.

“We had a good day yesterday and I’m very proud of that effort. Then it was a professional effort with the ball this morning and we had the momentum.

“But credit to the New Zealand bowlers – the way they bowled with the new ball, moving it around, it was an outstanding skill level on display and they made life very difficult for our batsmen.”

Williamson had won the toss on Tuesday and opted to bat at a venue where teams batting first had won all five previous matches in the tournament.

India’s new ball pair of Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3/43) and Jasprit Bumrah bowled with impeccable discipline while Jadeja was also very economical with the ball.

Resuming on the reserve day at 211/5, New Zealand added 28 runs from the remaining 23 deliveries as Ross Taylor top-scored with a gutsy 74 to go with Williamson’s 67.

Jadeja proved his value as a fielder with a pinpoint throw to run out Taylor and in the next delivery, took a well-judged catch near the ropes to dismiss Tom Latham.

But that’s all academic as New Zealand wait for the result of today’s match to see who they will meet on Sunday.

Reuters