India produced another scintillating effort with the ball to restrict the 2015 runners-up to 239 runs in a rain-marred first semifinal of the ICC World Cup 2019 at the Old Trafford in Manchester. It is not likely to be a daunting task for the Men in Blues who will aim to chase down the target convincingly to seal a berth in the final.

Resuming at 211 for five, Ross Taylor and Tom Latham relied mainly on ones and twos before a brilliant piece of fielding got Taylor out while he tried to sneak in the second run. In the very next delivery, Jadeja grabbed a stunner in the deep to dismiss Latham to keep the run-rate under check. New Zealand managed to add only 28 runs to post a target 240 of in front of India.

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Previously, Indian seamer utilised the overcast conditions to great effect after Kane Williamson opted to bat first. Both the sides went in with one change – Lockie Ferguson came in for Tim Southee while Yuzvendra Chahal replaced Kuldeep Yadav in the playing for India. Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar was exceptional with the new ball bowling three maidens in the first four overs and getting Martin Guptill out.

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Ravindra Jadeja celebrates his wicket. Getty Images

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The onus was once again on the New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, who started the revival alongside Henry Nicholls. Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar bowled exceptional line and length as they found it hard to get going. The left-hand-right-hand combination had to rely on ones and twos. Just when they looked to up the ante after crossing the 50-run mark, a moment of brilliance from Ravindra Jadeja got the better of Nicholls. The left-arm spinner bowled a quickish delivery to begin the 19th, and Nicholls expected the same from Jadeja who keeps it slow to sneak in between the batters pad and bat to bring the breakthrough for India.

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The dismissal brought Ross Taylor to the crease who looked completely out of the socks. Kane Williamson reached his half-century but the vigil ended soon. Ross Taylor finally got going and brought his fifty to help New Zealand cross the 200-run mark when started pouring in Manchester and the play had to call off. India will hope to chase the total and seal the berth for the pinnacle clash.

Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson. Credit: Twitter

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Ankush Das

I am an accountant by qualification, my parents thought their obedient son would study further to become a CA, but I had other things in mind. An ardent Cricket fan is following his passion and making a living watching and working around his favorite sport.