MANCHESTER: New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson defended the way they batted against India in the World Cup 2019 semi-final at the Old Trafford which they won by 18 runs to reach the final for the second time in a row. In the rain-hit semi-final played over two days, New Zealand scored 239/8 in 50 overs after opting to bat. Kane Williamson (67) and Ross Taylor (74) formed the bedrock of their innings.
In reply, India lost four top order batsmen for just 24 runs inside 10 overs before Ravindra Jadeja (77) and MS Dhoni (50) shared a 116-run seventh wicket stand to raise hopes for an unlikely victory. However, it wasn’t enough in the end as India fell short by 18 runs.
New Zealand faced a lot of flak for their slow batting and it was perceived that India would surpass the target with ease. But that was far from the truth, as the Kiwi bowlers led by Matt Henry (3/37) wreaked havoc to dash India’s hopes.
“Great semifinal over two days and we are very pleased to be on the right side of it,” Williamson said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“It was really tough and we had to assess the conditions. Both teams thought it would be a high-scoring match…But we thought if we could get to 240, we could put India under pressure,” he added.
“Lot of contributions from everyone. A lot of it was on the conditions and the rain around. We just wanted to put the ball in the good areas and put pressure on India. We just wanted some early wickets and it was a great start for the bowlers. We needed to stay in the game for long periods. The way Jadeja and Dhoni were hitting the ball, they were likely to win, but our fielders were outstanding,” he said.