In Pics: ICC World Cup 2019 Semi-Final | New Zealand beat India by 18 runs

In Pics: ICC World Cup 2019 Semi-Final | New Zealand beat India by 18 runs

New Zealand sealed the win in style with this 18-run win in the semi-final in Manchester and reached the final for the second consecutive time since 2015 when they had secured a similar thrilling win against South Africa in Auckland.

In Pics: ICC World Cup 2019 Semi-Final | New Zealand beat India by 18 runs

The toss fell in favour of Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson, who asked the opposition to have a bowl. 

In Pics: ICC World Cup 2019 Semi-Final | New Zealand beat India by 18 runs

On overcast conditions, the seam movement was ought to trouble the opening pair and the pair eventually took 17 deliveries to open the account. Opener Martin Guptill struggled to get his feet moving and eventually was sent back to the pavilion by a beautiful outswinger by Jasprit Bumrah. Once he departed, in-form Kane Williamson joined Henry Nicholls in the middle. The duo strung a partnership of 68 runs before the latter was dismissed by left-arm wrist spinner, Ravindra Jadeja. 

In Pics: ICC World Cup 2019 Semi-Final | New Zealand beat India by 18 runs

Williamson, along with Ross Taylor continued to show their class against promising Indian bowling attack and registered a partnership of 65 runs. In the process, Kane Williamson went past Martin Guptill to become the highest run-getter for New Zealand in a World Cup edition. 

In Pics: ICC World Cup 2019 Semi-Final | New Zealand beat India by 18 runs

The wickets continued to tumble and New Zealand batsmen failed to build a partnership in the middle. By 45th over, half-side was back to the pavilion and the team scored 202 runs. With just 30 deliveries left to play, both Ross Taylor and Tom Latham decided to go after the bowlers. However, they weren't able to add much with rain interrupting the game at 46.1 over. The rain continued to be the spoilsport as there was no play further on the day.

In Pics: ICC World Cup 2019 Semi-Final | New Zealand beat India by 18 runs

Ross Taylor's 74 off 90 balls helped New Zealand ended on 239/8. 

In Pics: ICC World Cup 2019 Semi-Final | New Zealand beat India by 18 runs

In response, Henry and Boult produced one of the best bowling spells in the tournament. Rohit Sharma, with 648 runs five centuries, was undone by a delivery that nipped away outside off and he fell for 1. Kohli was undone by the pace and swing of Boult and was trapped LBW for 1. The murmurs of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy final grew. With KL Rahul falling to Henry and Dinesh Karthik falling to a superb one-handed catch from Neesham, India was in the doldrums.

In Pics: ICC World Cup 2019 Semi-Final | New Zealand beat India by 18 runs

Hardik Pandya played a subdued knock while Pant showed his aggression. The left-hander was looking in good touch but once again, a rash shot when settled resulted in his dismissal and that drew furious reactions from Virat Kohli in the dressing room. With the asking rate mounting, Pandya top-edged the slog sweep off Mitchell Santner and he holed out to Williamson.

In Pics: ICC World Cup 2019 Semi-Final | New Zealand beat India by 18 runs

Jadeja and Dhoni's partnership in the middle overs once again gave hope for India. With the partnership crossing 100 and with both having momentum, it seemed New Zealand was in pressure. However, the nature of the partnership was contrasting. While Jadeja found the boundary, Dhoni did not seem to press the accelerator to compliment Jadeja.

In Pics: ICC World Cup 2019 Semi-Final | New Zealand beat India by 18 runs

However, Boult struck in his last over as Jadeja fell to the dot-ball pressure while the game was sealed when Guptill, having a poor run with the bat, produced the match-defining moment when he ran out Dhoni with the batsman just inches short. The mood of the Indian fans and the stadium was off considerable disappointment. It was a sad way for Dhoni to go out in what could be his last game in the World Cup. For New Zealand, they showed that punching above your weight and flying under the radar does have benefits.