WORLD CUP: Rain forces India-NZ semi-final into reserve day

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India and New Zealand will resume their World Cup semi-final on Wednesday after a rain-affected day at Old Trafford. New Zealand reached 211-5 from 46.1 overs before rain forced the players from the field at 14:00 BST.

The rain was not heavy but it was consistent enough to delay play, with the umpires deciding at 18:25h no further action would be possible.

SCOREBOARD: https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8039/scorecard/1144528/india-vs-new-zealand-1st-semi-final-icc-cricket-world-cup-2019

It means New Zealand will resume their innings at 10:30h on Wednesday and India will have the full 50 overs to chase.

It was, without a doubt, a disappointing day – India were on top on a slow pitch in front of a vociferous crowd, and returning for a second day will be a logistical challenge for some fans.

It does, however, seem to be the fairer option as it ensures both sides play a full 50 overs.

India’s Yuzvendra Chahal celebrates with teammates after the dismissal of New Zealand’s captain Kane Williamson at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on July 9, 2019. (Photo by Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP)

India on top

Tuesday – cloudy, humid, overcast – felt like an ideal bowling day, but New Zealand captain Kane Williamson opted to bat first after winning the toss.

New Zealand’s batting has not fired throughout the tournament, Williamson aside, and they almost lost Martin Guptill to the first ball of the innings when he was struck in front by Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

India reviewed the not out decision but lost their review.

It was slow going throughout the day. New Zealand did not score a run until the 17th ball of the innings; they did not hit a four until the eighth over.

The wasted review against Guptill did not cost India too much – he was dismissed shortly afterwards for one, caught by Virat Kohli at second slip – and Henry Nicholls and Kane Williamson crawled, rather than cantered, through the overs.

Their 68-run partnership steadied the innings but Nicholls, out of nowhere, was bowled by Ravindra Jadeja to end the stand.

There was no boundary for 14 overs soon after, Williamson and Taylor tied down to singles by the India spinners.

While Williamson was there, New Zealand always had hope, but when he was caught at backward point, finally trying to accelerate the innings, things firmly swung in India’s favour.

However, the Black Caps, finalists in 2015, will resume on Wednesday with the experienced Ross Taylor at the crease.

He hit the first six of the match to reach his half-century and he is capable of pushing them through the final 3.5 overs to a competitive total. (BBC Sport)

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