India lost to New Zealand by 18 runs in the semi-final of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup at Old Trafford in Manchester on Wednesday.
India were bowled out for 221 in reply to New Zealand's 239/8, as Kane Williamson & Co. trumped Virat Kohli and his boys to book their place in the final of the Cricket World Cup for the second edition in a row.
India lost key batsmen Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul for just one run each. The best ODI team in the World slumped to 5/3 at the start of their chase and in no time were 24/4 when Dinesh Karthik has dismissed thanks to a splendid catch from James Neesham. New Zealand quicks Matt Henry (3/37) and Trent Boult (2/42) did the damage with the new ball.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni played a patient knock of 50 from 72 balls, with a strike rate of 69.44. Dhoni also hit 1 four and one six during his stay at the crease.
After the failure of the Indian top-order, the need of the hour was calm, especially after the knocks from Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya.
Dhoni, along with Ravindra Jadeja, raised visions of an improbable win after adding 116 runs for the seventh wicket, coming together at 92 for six.
Jadeja came in under overcast conditions when all looked lost and then wielded the willow-like a sword, proving a point to critics like Sanjay Manjrekar in the most befitting manner.
Dhoni and Jadeja produced a 116-run partnership, a record for the seventh wicket at a Cricket World Cup before Jadeja was caught for 77 off 59 balls.
When the bits and pieces all-rounder departed, India needed some 32 runs from 13 balls. Maybe Jadeja fell in search of runs that Dhoni was just not being able to score.
Fours balls and a six later, Dhoni too was sent back by a brilliant piece of fielding by Martin Guptill, on 50.
The rest of the Indian 'batsmen', failed to offer much resistance to the Kiwi quicks as Bhuvneshwar Kumar fell for a duck and Yuzvendra Chahal's valiant tries did not connect.
MS Dhoni's knock left Twitter divided, with some blaming him for India's loss, while others lauded his fight and never-say-die attitude.
Congratulations to @BLACKCAPS on making it to the finals. Jadeja played an outstanding innings and got India in the game along with MS Dhoni, yet it was a case of so near yet so far #IndvNZ — Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) July 10, 2019
Thank you Thala.... We'll always love you... #Dhoni pic.twitter.com/rootjWYwdp — कौशलेन्द्र सूर्यवंशी (@ImKaushalendra) July 10, 2019
Hard luck team india .. played a very spirited game through the tournament 👏🏽👏🏽 the wicket of Dhoni and his walk back just broke my heart #INDvsNZ proud nonetheless 💪🏽 pic.twitter.com/iGCPhIhLEU — Randeep Hooda (@RandeepHooda) July 10, 2019
Me trying to understand dhoni's knock!! #INDvsNZ pic.twitter.com/4LRJxCqRjv — SRkian Haris (@sleeplesspillow) July 10, 2019
#Dhoni Distance between Semi-final to Final 😓😓 💔💔#INDvNZ #Kohli #Dhoni @imVkohli @msdhoni pic.twitter.com/FaVuYO1qee — Rihaana Mohammadi (@SRKsRihaana) July 10, 2019
The search for a third World Cup, at least for the time being, continues.