India took on New Zealand in the first semifinal of the 2019 World Cup in a match which was played over two days due to incessant rains. A confident show from the Black Caps saw them register an 18-run win over India to book their spot in the finals while Virat Kohli's men were forced to bow out of the competition.
Opting to bat first under overcast conditions, the New Zealand batsmen were not off to the greatest of starts as the Indian bowlers started brilliantly, applying pressure on the New Zealand top-order.
Jasprit Bumrah dismissed Martin Guptill early but Kane Williamson stabilized the innings with Ross Taylor. Williamson and Taylor put on a 65-run partnership until the former was sent back by Yuzvendra Chahal. The middle order failed to convert their starts as when rain interrupted play, New Zealand were on 211/5 fron 46.1 overs.
On the reserve day, New Zealand could add just 28 runs to their overnight total as India were set a total of 240. India got off to a horrible start, losing the first three wickets for just five runs. From there on, India were in the chase until consistent breakthroughs for New Zealand derailed India's chase.
Ravindra Jadeja's counter-attacking knock of a 59-ball 77 gave hope to the two-time world champions. Eventually, the task at hand was too huge, as New Zealand's bowling attack, led by Matt Henry's 3/37 restricted India to 221.
Here are three reasons why India lost this semifinal.
#3 Poor start from the top order
One of the most consistently performing top order batsmen in the tournament, the 240-run target seemed to be a comfortable task for the trio of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli. All through the tournament, India's batting was hugely dependent on the top 3 and with the three of them failing in this game, the middle order failed to stand up to the task.
The Kiwi pacers Trent Boult and Matt Henry seemed to appear like men on a mission as they did not give any respite to the Indian batsmen. India lost their first three wickets with just five runs on the board, which left too much to do for an unsettled middle-order. India were never able to recover from this setback as they bowed out from the tournament.
Matt Henry's 3/37 was the standout which earned him the player of the match award while Trent Boult and Mitchell Santner chipped in with a couple of wickets as well.
Also read – World cup most wickets