WORLD CUP 2019
Both teams are yet to be beaten in 2019 World Cup © Cricbuzz
Abid Ali’s individual efforts, both with bat and ball, helped India put up a challenge, but it wasn’t enough as New Zealand completed a four-wicket win in Manchester. Batting first, India were reduced to 101/6, before Ali took charge with a knock of 70. He rallied the lower-order around him to lift the team to a total of 230 in 60 overs. However, a hundred from New Zealand captain Glenn Turner provided the bedrock on which the run chase was built. While India got six wickets, they weren’t able to get rid of Turner who was in control throughout to lead his side over the line.
An insipid batting performance from India, much like the previous one against West Indies in the tournament opener, led to a second straight defeat in what turned out to be a forgettable campaign. Put into bat at Leeds, their batsmen were bereft of ambition, exemplified by their top-scorer Sunil Gavaskar, whose knock of 55 came off 144 balls. Kapil Dev tried to provide some impetus lower down the order but his innings was short-lived, and so was Karsan Ghavri’s as India folded for just 182. New Zealand’s opening batsmen – John Wright and Bruce Edgar – took their time in a 100-run stand which shut the door on any little chance India might’ve had to begin with. Edgar even went the distance to take his team home with an unbeaten 84 as New Zealand won by eight wickets.
It was the first time the World Cup was being held in the subcontinent, and this was a crucial game for co-hosts India after going down in their opening encounter by one run. However, their start was far from ideal in Bangalore after being put into bat. They had lost Kris Srikkanth, Sunil Gavaskar – both run out – and Dilip Vengsarkar with just 21 on the board. But a counter-attacking 75 from Navjot Singh Sidhu kept India in the game, before Kapil Dev and Kiran More propelled them to a total of 252 with a quick-fire eighth-wicket partnership of 82.
New Zealand made a promising start to their chase through an opening stand of 67. Half-centuries from Ken Rutherford, and later Andrew Jones coming in at No.4, kept them in the hunt. But once India got into the lower middle-order, they ran through it even as Jones batted on from the other end. That collapse was decisive. Eventually, New Zealand fell short by 16 runs.
When the two sides met again for the final league match in the 1987 World Cup, New Zealand were facing a must-win situation. But they were completely swept away by a home side who were at their most ruthless in Nagpur. Their batsmen’s failure to make good starts count – six of the top seven crossed 20, but the top score was only 40 – scuppered their progress, thus finishing with a modest 221 on the board.
What followed was an annihilation as Sunil Gavaskar and Kris Srikkanth had a blistering opening stand. Srikkanth fell for 75 off 58 balls, but Gavaskar remained unbeaten on 103 as India romped home in the 33rd over itself, with nine wickets in hand.
New Zealand were unbeaten coming into this match, almost certain of a spot in the semifinals with five straight wins behind them. On the other hand, India, preciously placed, were desperate for a win. But they started off on the wrong foot. After being sent into bat, India lost Kris Srikkanth for a duck to off-spinner Dipak Patel. Soon after, their other opening batsman Ajay Jadeja had to retire hurt. There was a good recovery through a 127-run stand between captain Mohammad Azharuddin and Sachin Tendulkar, but Azharuddin’s leisurely 55 off 98 balls lacked the flourish India required and they could only manage a total of 230.
The table-toppers were off to a good start through Mark Greatbatch’s brisk half-century. He shared an 82-run stand with Andrew Jones, who played second fiddle in their partnership and went on to anchor the chase with an unbeaten 67 which took the team home, despite a few late hiccups. This loss put a further dent in whatever little hope India had of making it through.
This Super Six match was sure to be India’s last of the competition as they had no chance of progressing through to the semifinal. Batting first at Trent Bridge, their innings chiefly revolved around Ajay Jadeja’s 76, which helped them post a score of 251. New Zealand had all to play for and found themselves in a tricky spot at 90/3 around the 22-over mark – mirroring the graph of India’s innings. But a crucial 83-run partnership between opening batsman Matt Horne and Roger Twose provided the stability needed in the chase. Wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Parore later came up with a quick-fire cameo of 26 and New Zealand sealed the match with eight balls to spare.
Zaheer Khan starred with a four-wicket haul as New Zealand were bundled out for a paltry 146 at Centurion in this crucial Super Six encounter. It was almost a must-win game for New Zealand in their bid to make the semifinals. But after being inserted in by India, their batting woes came to the fore once again – even as early as the first over itself when Zaheer dismissed Craig McMillan and Nathan Astle for ducks off consecutive deliveries. New Zealand never did get a grip on their innings after those early jolts, something which India managed to do in the run-chase after being reduced to 21/3. Mohammad Kaif and Rahul Dravid came together, weathered the early storm with some luck along the way, and scored half-centuries each to get the job done.