Sport Cricket Kiwis win a classic as Australia set to make England changes

Kiwis win a classic as Australia set to make England changes

Martin Guptill celebrates with Jimmy Neesham (r) and team mates after running out MS Dhoni during the Semi-Final. Photo: Getty
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New Zealand will play Australia or England in the Cricket World Cup Final after the Black Caps edged India by 18 runs in a semi-final classic.

Chasing 240 for victory, India slumped to 4-24 after 10 overs, heaping the pressure on its lower order.

But Ravindra Jadeja played superbly for a 59-ball 77 and he linked up with MS Dhoni (50) to drag India from 6-92 to 6-208.

Jadeja fell in the 48th over, though, before Martin Guptill produced a stunning direct hit run out to leave Dhoni short of his ground.

Martin Guptill is congratulated as he leaves the pitch after the Semi-Final match. Photo: Getty

And New Zealand held on from there as India were bowled out for 221 in an epic contest at Old Trafford.

“A lot of heart shown by the guys,” New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said afterwards.

“[It was] a really tough match. A great semi-final. Very pleased to be on the right side of it.

“It was really nice to get some early wickets. [It was] a great start for the bowlers.”

Only 46.1 overs were possible due to bad weather on Tuesday, forcing the match into a reserve day.

New Zealand was 5-211 when play resumed as Ross Taylor, on 67 not out, led the chase for quick runs.

Taylor added just seven runs to his overnight score, though, before being run out. Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3-43) claimed two late wickets as New Zealand eventually finished its 50 overs on 8-239.

It did not seem enough but the Black Caps ripped through India’s top order, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli all dismissed for one.

Matt Henry (3-37) dismissed Rahul and Rohit, both caught behind, while Trent Boult (2-42) trapped Kohli lbw.

The scenes of jubilation were then ramped up a level when James Neesham took a truly outstanding one-handed catch to remove Dinesh Parthik (6).

Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya tried to steady things but were both removed for 32, Pant’s dismissal eye-catching given it came from a particularly poor shot.

Pandya’s departure brought Jadeja to the crease in a seemingly impossible position at 6-92 in the 31st over.

But the left-hander thrashed the ball everywhere, mixing sublime cricket shots with terrific match awareness as he hit four fours and four sixes.

Dhoni was slower and aimed to play his now-customary anchor role, but he was not fluent and was relying heavily on Jadeja despite producing the occasional flicker of brilliance.

MS Dhoni of India bats during resumption of the Semi-Final match. Photo: Getty

And that meant Jadeja’s departure – which came after he skied a catch to Williamson – would prove fatal.

India lost its last four wickets in less than two overs in the hunt for quick runs as New Zealand claimed a famous victory.

Australia set to change it up

Australia will make at least one change to its team as Peter Handscomb prepares for his Cricket World Cup debut in Thursday’s last-four clash with England.

Australia lost its last match to South Africa and will welcome Handscomb, 28, into the team to replace the injured Usman Khawaja (hamstring).

Glenn Maxwell’s position is under threat, too, with Matthew Wade looming as a possible option. Wade has been in tremendous form for Australia A, who are currently touring England.

“He’s had [an] unbelievable few [games] for Australia A. He’s confident, he’s had a little baby so he’s pretty happy with life at the moment,” Langer said.

Another man who has just become a father, David Warner, appears the key wicket for England.

Warner sits second on the tournament run charts with 638 runs and made a splendid 122 against South Africa on Saturday.

Marcus Stoinis has been passed fit despite a pair of what Cricket Australia called “side injuries” and now seems likely to play, while Steve Smith appears set to bat at No.3 in Khawaja’s absence.

“That is probably likely, I will be honest. He [Smith] is one of the best players in the world,” Australia captain Aaron Finch said.

England head into the semi-final in a bullish frame of mind after finally showing the sort of form that saw them branded as pre-tournament favourites.

Eoin Morgan’s side were on the verge of missing the semi-finals but posted consecutive wins against India and New Zealand to stop the rut.

The mind games have been in full swing, as expected, with Australia spinner Nathan Lyon declaring England are “favourites” and the expectation is “all on them”.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes said the game will “definitely” be the biggest of his career while paceman Liam Plunkett insisted his team are “a different animal” to England teams of the past.

England has won its last four one-day internationals at Edgbaston and has triumphed in six of its last seven one-day internationals against Australia, a run that included a 5-0 series whitewash in England in 2018.

But Australia won the most recent meeting, claiming a 64-run success in a World Cup fixture at Lord’s last month.

Aaron Finch (100), Jason Behrendorff (5-44) and Mitchell Starc (4-43) were the stars for Australia on that occasion.