NZ had six men outside the circle
NZ had six men outside the circle

Indian fans erupt over NZ’s illegal move

MARTIN Guptill produced arguably the moment of the 2019 Cricket World Cup with an absolute laser to run out MS Dhoni and secure victory for New Zealand in the first semi-final.

In what turned out to be a two-day nailbiter, Dhoni was trying to pull off an unthinkable chase before it all came undone with 10 balls remaining.

A wild swipe to the leg side saw the Indian great try to steal a second run only to be caught short of the crease thanks to Guptill's pinpoint throw.

But eagle-eyed fans picked up a gigantic error that occurred right before the fateful ball was bowled.

Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult took control of the field and signalled for a fielder to push back to deep fine leg moments before the fateful delivery.

The commentary team noted the duo made the moves without skipper Kane Williamson and signalled for third man to come up and fine leg to go back.

A graphic on the broadcast showed a fielder pushing back to the fine leg fence but showed the fielder at third man remaining in position.

It left viewers under the assumption New Zealand had six players on the fence - one more than is allowed at that point of the game.

Only five fielders are allowed outside the circle from overs 41-50.
Only five fielders are allowed outside the circle from overs 41-50.

Guptill's brilliance left India reeling as they required 25 runs from nine balls and had to do it with only their tail left.

"We all know the game is a fine line in a number of ways. But that run out was significant," Williamson said.

"We've seen Dhoni finish games from those similar positions on a number of occasions. It was a tough surface so nothing promised but naturally to dismiss Dhoni in whatever fashion is extremely important, but for a direct hit run out very, very similar to Jadeja's was a big moment in the game."

TV replays of the crucial moment didn't display the entire field so it was impossible to know the truth. But Indian fans blew up over what they saw as an oversight by the umpires.

NZ TACTICS LEFT INDIA STUNNED

Indian captain Virat Kohli was left rueing a disastrous 40 minutes which saw his side sensationally dumped out by a brilliant Black Caps bowling display.

Chasing 240 for a spot in the final, India's lauded top order collapsed in remarkable fashion, first falling to 3/5, then slumping further to 4/24 after 10 overs.

Kohli - who made just one from six balls - was left stunned, having gone into the change of innings extremely confident that India would be playing in the final at Lord's on Sunday.

"Chasing 240, we were very comfortable. We were confident that we can get the score," Kohli said.

"I think the game pretty much changed in those first 40 minutes when we were batting.

"When you lose (three wickets for five runs) it is very difficult to come back into the game. That first spell made all the difference."

India's captain Virat Kohli reacts after their loss in the Cricket World Cup semi-final match against New Zealand at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, Wednesday, July 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)
India's captain Virat Kohli reacts after their loss in the Cricket World Cup semi-final match against New Zealand at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, Wednesday, July 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

Kohli didn't want to blame his batsmen for the shocking start - noting that he and quintuple Cup centurion Rohit Sharma had both received good deliveries, and praising the Black Caps' new ball pairing of Trent Boult and Matt Henry for producing a "perfect" start.

"New Zealand deserve a lot of credit because they put up a great display how to bowl with the new ball.

"They had perfect line and lengths and forced us to make errors, or bowled good deliveries to us so the pressure created was immense in those first 40 minutes.

"They did not provide any opportunities for us, for the first seven or eight overs we didn't get a ball to drive. So that shows the kind of control they bowled with - they put the fielders in the right positions and that was a perfect spell of fast bowling with the new ball, which put us under a lot of pressure."

Kohli also explained how New Zealand's aggressive fielding strategies made things even more difficult for his side to get on top, especially after they had lost early wickets.

"If there is a low total, we knew there's probably only one or two sides in world cricket that will put seven fielders in the ring and one was always going to be New Zealand," he said.

"We knew they were going to attack more and not let the game go to the end, they won't take it deep, they will go all out and play the game that way because I have seen them play that way. Today also third man was up in the ring, and in a one-day game you had five catching fielders. So they know how to create pressure because they play very consistent cricket and today was an example of that."

Williamson got the upper hand over Kohli.
Williamson got the upper hand over Kohli.

A record World Cup partnership for the seventh wicket between MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja kept India's hopes alive, but some excellent death bowling from that same pairing that caused so many problems at the start - Boult and Henry - wrapped up the win for New Zealand.

After such an strong tournament up until today, it was a result that left Kohli heartbroken, but the skipper was also realistic that his side wasn't good enough when they needed to be.

"We played outstanding cricket throughout this tournament, and to just go out on the basis of 45 minutes of bad cricket is saddening and it breaks your heart.

"We are not shying away from accepting that we didn't stand up to the challenge and we were not good enough under pressure.

"We have to accept that - and accept the failure as it shows on the scoreboard."

- Niall Anderson, NZ Herald

News Corp Australia


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