India's dream of winning the Cricket World Cup was shattered as they succumbed to an 18-run defeat against New Zealand. With this win, New-Zealand reached their second consecutive World Cup final while India were again defeated in the semi-finals after 2015.
In a rain-affected match which was played across two days, New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat first. The pitch was tricky for the batsmen as the overcast conditions offered more spin and more bounce to the bowlers. Indian bowlers did their job as they restricted New-Zealand at 239 for 8 in 50 overs.
Chasing 240 in a bowling favourable pitch, India suffered a top-order collapse as Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul were dismissed early. The Men in Blue were suffering as they went 5/3 early in their innings. Even Dinesh Karthik tried to steady the ship along with Rishabh pant, but he faced the same fate after some time on the crease.
Hardik and Pant tried to turn their match in India's favour but both of them failed to convert their start into a big innings. It was Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni who gave Indian fans hope with their sensational partnership. Jadeja scored 77 while Dhoni scored 49 runs before they were dismissed. India's innings eventually ended at 221.
Virat Kohli stated that India enjoyed a perfect first half but poor shot selection led to their downfall. Speaking after the match, Kohli said:
"The first half, we were very, very good. We got what we needed at that point. We thought we had restricted New Zealand to a chaseable score but the way they come out with the ball was what made the difference."
"Jadeja had a really good couple of games and it's his performances that are a huge positive. New Zealand deserve it, they put us under more pressure."
The Indian skipper blamed the poor shot selection and hailed the calibre New-Zealand players.
"At times, I think our shot-selection could have been better. Really proud of the way we competed throughout the tournament."
"As I said, come the knockouts, New Zealand were braver than us and deserve to win."
Here's how Twitter reacted to Jadeja's valiant innings:
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