India need 240 runs from 5 overs to beat New Zealand in the first semi-final of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, at Old Trafford in Manchester on Wednesday.
The equation was simple, the execution... far from it.
In overcast conditions, almost home-like for the Kiwis, the Indian top fell like a pack of cards standing in front of table fan switched on in full speed. Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul all departed for one run each as Trent Boult and Matt Henry made a blistering start with the new ball.
Rohit fell for just one when he edged a fine Henry delivery that curved away to wicketkeeper Tom Latham. India captain Kohli went next, lbw to a superb inswinger from left-armer Boult.
Kohli reviewed but replays upheld English official Richard Illingworth's original out decision on umpire's call and, to the despair of the massed ranks of India fans in the ground, the star batsman had to go.
Then came the catch that left a billion fans in horror as India lost their 4th wicket. In the 10th over of the game, Matt Henry bowled a seeming ball outside off to Karthik, who slashed hard at the ball. The ball flew off the edge and stuck in James Neesham's left palm.
Standing at point, Neesham almost on instinct stuck out his left hand, as the ball flew in the air. And as luck would have it for India, the ball stayed in his hand.
Here have a look for yourself,
👏 👏 @JimmyNeeshThe best catch of #CWC19 so far?#INDvNZhttps://t.co/MKs3NdMqxX— ICC (@ICC) July 10, 2019
The wicket left, Rishabh Pant at the crease, to be joined by all-round Hardik Pandya and India in deep, deep trouble in their modest chase of 240.