Kane Williamson lauded the heart shown by New Zealand after their thrilling Cricket World Cup semi-final win over India at Old Trafford.

The Black Caps, who finished fourth in the group phase, were big outsiders to prevail and their odds only lengthened after they reached 211-5 in a rain-affected innings on Tuesday.

After returning on Wednesday to add another 28 runs at the expense of three wickets in the few overs that remained, Williamson's side faced the daunting prospect of attempting to thwart India's prolific batting line-up.

But a superb display with the ball from Matt Henry (3-37) and Trent Boult (2-42) helped bowl their opponents out for 221, the 48th-over dismissal of Ravindra Jadeja after an eye-catching 77 proving pivotal.

While through to a second successive World Cup final, Williamson viewed his side's feat at this year's tournament very differently to when they jointly hosted with Australia in 2015.

"It's a different feeling to last time," the captain said during the on-field presentation ceremony. "We've had to skin it over the round robin, so it's been quite different.

"A lot of heart has been shown by the guys so far but we're keeping our feet on the ground.

"It was a great semi-final and we're happy to be on the right side of it.

"It was really tough batting conditions [on Tuesday]. We had to assess conditions quickly, I think both sides thought it would be a higher scoring game.

"We spoke about getting 240-250 and we knew that would be competitive. There were a lot of contributions from everyone to get us to that total.

"We spoke about the conditions during the interval, we wanted to put the ball in good areas and move the ball around and put some pressure on India, they are a world-class side.

"It was a great start from the bowlers, we knew it would get tougher for us as the innings went on.

"We showed plenty of heart and the fielders and bowlers were outstanding."

Either England or Australia await in the final at Lord's on Sunday. 

Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni did their best, but once again India were found wanting in a big spot.

As was the case in the 2015 Cricket World Cup semi-final and the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy final, India cruised through a tournament before stumbling in a high-stakes situation.

A target of 240 against New Zealand should have been easily attainable for an experienced batting line-up that had Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in imperious form, even on an Old Trafford track that had provided little pace and assistance to batsmen.

But having fallen to 5-3 just 19 deliveries into their reply, their soft underbelly was exposed and neither Jadeja (77) nor Dhoni (50) could prevent the Black Caps returning to the World Cup final, India dismissed for 221 to slip to an 18-run loss.

In a unique contest that spanned two days due to rain, the odds had been in India's favour throughout New Zealand's innings on Tuesday. The Black Caps were restricted to 27-1 in the powerplay - the lowest total in the opening 10 overs of this World Cup - with only captain Kane Williamson (67) able to find any real fluency.

Persistent showers forced New Zealand to resume Wednesday's reserve day on 211-5 after 46.1 overs and though Ross Taylor (74) finished as his team's leading run-scorer in their 239-8, India looked set to get home.

"Around 250 would never be enough in a bilateral series between these two teams on this surface but in a World Cup semi-final... it may just be," New Zealand great Brendon McCullum had tweeted on Tuesday.

He had a point - India have developed a habit of floundering in key major ODI games.

Four years ago, they stormed through the group stage, winning six out of six and crushing Bangladesh by 109 runs in the last eight. In the semi-finals, their bowlers were taken apart by an Australian team that reached 328-7 to set up a 95-run victory.

Two years ago, they finished top of their Champions Trophy group and then lost just one wicket in chasing down 265 in the semi-final against Bangladesh. In the final, however, a revitalised Pakistan team they had thumped by 124 runs in the group stage piled on 338-4, India wilting to 158 all out in reply.

Here, the target was considerably smaller, but the story remarkably similar.

Rohit arrived in Manchester as the competition's leading scorer having plundered five centuries, but he edged a terrific Matt Henry delivery behind on one. Kohli, the number-one ranked batsman in ODI cricket, had also made a single before being given out lbw and when KL Rahul departed for the same score from the first ball of the fourth over, India were reeling.

Dinesh Karthik's dismissal from the final delivery of the opening powerplay left India four down. They had lost a combined four wickets in the powerplays of their previous nine matches combined. How would they fare without their leading batsmen?

The pressure appeared too much for Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya, leaving India still needing 148, their fate in the hands of Dhoni and Jadeja - two men with a combined age of 68. 

Dhoni, in likely his final World Cup, would only tick along, as has been the case in recent years, while a pumped-up Jadeja provided the fireworks, dragging India back into position with four boundaries and as many maximums.

But when their 116-run partnership ended as Jadeja miscued to Williamson at long off, India still needed 32 from 13.

Dhoni slapped one delivery for six but for once he could not be the finisher, run out to end potentially his last ODI innings.

India's hopes went with him, too. They had only themselves to blame.

Virat Kohli conceded the "outstanding skill level" on display from New Zealand's bowlers in the early part of India's chase made the difference in their Cricket World Cup semi-final.

In a match-of-the-tournament contender, played over two days due to rain in Manchester, it was the Black Caps who fought into a second consecutive final with an 18-run win at Old Trafford.

New Zealand scrapped to a total of 239-8 after sedate scoring a day previously, but Matt Henry and Trent Boult ran roughshod through India's star-studded top order, with Kohli's men slipping to 71-5.

A gallant century stand from MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja set the tone for a thrilling chase, but New Zealand showed impressive resolve to upset the odds and will now face the winner of the Edgbaston semi-final between England and Australia.

"We got what we needed to get in the field in the morning and we thought we had restricted them to a total that is chaseable on any surface," India captain Kohli said at the post-match presentation.

"But the way they bowled in that first half an hour was the difference in the game.

"It was fine having to come back today. We had a good day yesterday and I'm very proud of that effort. Then it was a professional effort with the ball this morning and we had the momentum.

"But credit to the New Zealand bowlers - the way they bowled with the new ball, moving it around, it was an outstanding skill level on display and they made life very difficult for our batsmen."

Jadeja's explosive knock of 77 from 59 balls, which included four fours and as many sixes, almost turned the game but when his sky-bound effort was pouched by New Zealand captain Kane Williamson it was game over.

"Jadeja had an outstanding game. The way he played today was a great sign for his skill set and what he can do for the team," Kohli added.

"He turned the game around in no time and had a good partnership with Dhoni, who got run out in the end. It's a game of margins.

"It's tough - 45 minutes of bad cricket puts you out of the tournament. It's hard to come to terms with, but New Zealand deserve it - they put us under pressure and came through in the key moments."

New Zealand produced a remarkable bowling display and held their nerve under late pressure to inflict a stunning 18-run Cricket World Cup semi-final defeat on India at Old Trafford.

India's top order collapsed as the Black Caps reached the showpiece match for the second World Cup running, leaving the dreams of Virat Kohli's side and their army of followers in tatters.

With play having carried into the reserve day after rain on Tuesday, the Black Caps resumed on 211-5 and added another 28 runs for the loss of three wickets in 3.5 overs.

That left a tricky winning target of 240 in testing conditions, but India's reply immediately hit trouble in the shape of Matt Henry and Trent Boult, who decimated a usually lethal batting line-up, ensuring Ravindra Jadeja's explosive knock down the order came in a losing effort.

A flurry of wickets in the closing overs saw Kohli's men dismissed for 221, meaning New Zealand will face England or Australia in the final.

India's top order was blown away by New Zealand seamers Matt Henry and Trent Boult at Old Trafford to leave Virat Kohli's side reeling at 24-4 in pursuit of a victory target of 240 in the first Cricket World Cup semi-final.

The Black Caps resumed their innings on Wednesday, with rain having halted their progress after 46.1 overs on Tuesday, and they reached 239-8, a total that looked below par against an India side with such an explosive batting line-up.

However, the momentum had shifted firmly in New Zealand's favour after the opening 19 deliveries of the reply. Rohit Sharma, Kohli and KL Rahul were all sent back having scored just a single run each, before Dinesh Karthik (6) fell from the final ball of the powerplay.

Rohit, the competition's leading run scorer who had amassed three straight centuries and five in total heading into this contest, feathered an edge through to wicketkeeper Tom Latham off Henry.

Kohli was the next to depart, unsuccessfully reviewing Boult's lbw shout as replays showed the ball would have gone on to clip the top of the bails, with Rahul also nicking behind to complete a remarkable early passage.

Rishabh Pant and Karthik were given the task of rebuilding the innings, but the latter was removed by a superb one-handed take from Jimmy Neesham at backward point to give Henry a third wicket of a remarkable start.

India have been set a target of 240 to reach the Cricket World Cup final after New Zealand added a further 28 while losing three wickets having resumed their innings on Wednesday's reserve day.

The Black Caps had laboured to 211-5 in 46.1 overs before rain at Old Trafford prevented any further play on Tuesday, meaning they completed the final 3.5 overs on Wednesday and reached an eventual total of 239-8.

Ross Taylor moved from 67 not out overnight to 74 before being run out, with Kane Williamson (67) having been the only other New Zealand batsman to have found any sort of rhythm on a surface that many struggled to read on Tuesday.

Ravindra Jadeja, who had figures of 1-34 from his 10 overs, ran out Taylor with a brilliant direct hit from midwicket then took his second catch of the innings from the very next ball to send back Tom Latham (10).

Matt Henry also holed out to give Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3-43) his second dismissal of the morning as New Zealand missed the chance to make the most of the final 23 balls they had to face.

Play began in brighter conditions on Wednesday and showers were not expected in the area during the day.

India need to bat at least 20 overs for a result to be possible, otherwise Virat Kohli's side would progress to the final as they finished top of the group phase.

The Cricket World Cup semi-final between India and New Zealand will resume on Wednesday's reserve day following heavy rain at Old Trafford.

New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat, reaching 211-5 after 46.1 overs when the players were forced off the field at around 14:00 local time (13:00 GMT).

Light but persistent showers continued throughout the afternoon and though the umpires inspected the pitch at 18:10, heavier rain arrived at that point and the covers were summoned back on.

Play had to resume by 18:36 for a conclusion to be reached on Tuesday, with India needing to bat at least 20 overs for a result.

However, as the bad weather refused to relent, the umpires made the decision to call off play for the day, meaning the teams will be back at the venue on Wednesday to reach a conclusion.

New Zealand will face the final 3.5 overs of their innings, with Ross Taylor (67 not out) and Tom Latham (3 not out) to return to the crease.

Further showers are forecast in Manchester, though, and should the game not be completed, India will qualify for Sunday's final at Lord's because they finished above New Zealand in the group stage.

India took control of their Cricket World Cup semi-final against New Zealand, who were 211-5 when rain brought a halt to proceedings in the 47th over.

The Black Caps won the toss and elected to bat first, but they toiled to 27-1 in the powerplay before Kane Williamson (67) at least attempted to push their innings on.

Like openers Martin Guptill (1) and Henry Nicholls (28), Ross Taylor (67 not out) had struggled to score initially but had finally found some sort of rhythm when the inclement weather arrived.

The steady rain became heavier and the covers came on with just 23 balls remaining.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to bat first in their Cricket World Cup semi-final against an India side that included Yuzvendra Chahal.

With 16 of the last 20 World Cup matches having been won by the team batting first, Black Caps skipper Williamson decided to put India into field at Old Trafford.

India, who finished top of the group stage, made just one change to their team as spinner Chahal replaced Kuldeep Yadav, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar keeping his place at the expense of fellow seamer Mohammed Shami.

New Zealand also bought in just one new face as Lockie Ferguson, who came into the game as the Black Caps' leading wicket-taker with 17 dismissals, replaced Tim Southee.

Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson will reignite an old rivalry when India and New Zealand face off in the Cricket World Cup semi-finals on Tuesday.

The duo first played against each in 2007, before captaining their respective countries in an Under-19 World Cup semi-final in Malaysia a year later.

Kohli came out on top in that encounter, dismissing Williamson in a three-wicket victory for India.

Kohli and Williamson have since scored 33,840 international runs and 99 centuries between them, and now they go head to head for a place in Sunday's final against Australia or hosts England.

While India have relied mainly on Rohit Sharma - the leading scorer at the World Cup with 647, including five centuries - for their runs, Williamson was in fine form for New Zealand earlier in the tournament and has the best batting average at 96.20.

However, the Black Caps lost their last three group-stage games against Pakistan, Australia and England and only qualified for the final four on net run rate.

With the sides yet to play each other in this tournament due to their June 13 fixture being rained off, New Zealand - beaten finalists in 2015 - may have their work cut out to progress against 2011 champions India, who have won seven matches in the competition and are hot favourites to triumph at Old Trafford.

 

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

A 31-run defeat to England is all that mars a perfect record for India, and with Rohit in devastating form with the bat they would certainly be worthy finalists.

New Zealand looked on course to cruise into the last four after winning five straight games, but they lost their way towards the end of the group stage and were fortunate Pakistan did not click into gear until late on.

 

WHAT THEY SAID

India captain Kohli on his reunion with Williamson: "I'll remind Kane [about 2008], I'm sure he remembers. It is quite a nice thing to realise that 11 years later we are captaining our respective nations again in a senior World Cup from Under-19s."

Black Caps skipper Williamson: "I think for everybody it sort of starts fresh tomorrow after what was a very tough round-robin stage, and we were certainly expecting that it would be tough. It's just a great occasion to be a part of. I know the guys are really excited by the opportunity to go out and try to play with that freedom that when we do gives us the best chance."

 

OPTA FACTS

- There have been seven completed matches between India and New Zealand in World Cup history - the Black Caps have edged it so far with four wins.
- India have recorded six victories in their last seven ODIs against New Zealand.
- New Zealand have reached the semi-final stage of the World Cup for the fourth time in succession, though they are yet to win the competition.

The Cricket World Cup group stage is over and the build-up to the semi-finals is under way.

Group winners India will take on New Zealand at Old Trafford on Tuesday, with hosts England facing rivals Australia at Edgbaston two days later.

With the feast of cricket coming towards its conclusion, we take a look back at some of the stats from the first round with the help of Opta.

 

BATSMEN

Most runs

1. Rohit Sharma (India) 647
2. David Warner (Australia) 638
3. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 606
4. Aaron Finch (Australia) 507
5. Joe Root (England) 500

Batting averages

1. Kane Williamson (New Zealand) 96.20
2. Rohit Sharma (India) 92.42
3. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 86.57
4. David Warner (Australia) 79.75
5. Samiullah Shinwari (Afghanistan) 74.00

Fours

1. Rohit Sharma (India) 67
2. David Warner (Australia) 64
3. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 60
4. Jonny Bairstow (England) 55
5. Babar Azam (Pakistan) 50

Sixes

1. Eoin Morgan (England) 22
2. Aaron Finch (Australia) 18
3. Rohit Sharma (India) 14
4. Chris Gayle (West Indies) 12
5. Jonny Bairstow (England) 11

Fastest hundreds (by deliveries)

1. Eoin Morgan (England) 57 v Afghanistan
2. Jos Buttler (England) 75 v Pakistan
3. Carlos Brathwaite (West Indies) 80 v New Zealand
4. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 83 v West Indies
5. Rohit Sharma (India) 95 v Pakistan

BOWLERS

Most wickets

1. Mitchell Starc (Australia) 26
2. Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh) 20
=3. Lockie Ferguson (New Zealand) 17
=3. Jaspirt Bumrah (India) 17
=3. Mohammad Amir (Pakistan) 17
=3. Jofra Archer (England) 17

Economy rate (from seven or more innings)

1. Colin de Grandhomme (New Zealand) 4.46
2. Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Afghanistan) 4.47
3. Jasprit Bumrah (India) 4.48
4. Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan) 4.61
5. Ben Stokes (England) 4.65

Dot balls

1. Jofra Archer (England) 300
2. Pat Cummins (Australia) 295
3. Mitchell Starc (Australia) 288
4. Trent Boult (New Zealand) 284
5. Kagiso Rabada (South Africa) 273

Sixes conceded

1. Rashid Khan (Afghanistan) 14
2. Yuzvendra Chahal (India) 13
=3. Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan) 10
=3. Adil Rashid (England) 10
=5. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 9
=5. Dawlat Zadran (Afghanistan) 9
=5. Glenn Maxwell (Australia) 9

Runs conceded

1. Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh) 483
2. Adil Rashid (England) 433
3. Mitchell Starc (Australia) 432
4. Gulbadin Naib (Afghanistan) 419
5. Mohammad Saifuddin (Bangladesh) 417

After five arduous weeks, the Cricket World Cup group stage has reached its climax and four teams are left standing.

Hosts and pre-tournament favourites England briefly flirted with a disappointing early exit before rallying to beat India and New Zealand and reach the last four.

Lying in wait are old rivals Australia at Edgbaston on Thursday, while India and New Zealand will do battle first in Manchester in two days' time.

But before we sit back and take in the final acts of a hugely enjoyable tournament, let's review the thrills and spills (and a couple of comedy moments) of an enthralling group stage.

 

Rihanna delights in Durham

Over a decade ago, Rihanna's smash hit 'Umbrella' enjoyed an extended stay at the top of the UK album charts but there was no need for the brollies at Durham as West Indies faced off with Sri Lanka.

Unfortunately, the Barbados-born popstar saw the Windies beaten by 23 runs, but there was a tearful reunion with assistant coach Roddy Eastwick – a former school teacher of Rihanna's. 


Bees create buzz at The Riverside

An unbroken 175-run stand between Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis stung Sri Lanka at The Riverside.

But it was a swarm of bees that created quite the buzz on social media. The honey-loving insects caused a sudden delay, with players having to hit the deck to take evasive action.


Roy clatters Wilson

We are very, very, very sorry Joel Wilson…but this was undoubtedly hilarious.

Jason Roy brought up a century in England's beating of Bangladesh but, while tracking the progress of the ball, did not see the poor, unaware umpire who was completely clattered by the opener in comical scenes.

Once back to his feet, a slightly sheepish Wilson saw the funny side.


Bairstow answers critics head on

England's defeats to Sri Lanka and Australia drew plenty of criticism at home, not least from Michael Vaughan, which led to an unsavoury back-and-forth with Jonny Bairstow.

But Bairstow responded in impressive fashion, making centuries against India and New Zealand to help England progress to the last four.

Celebrating that latter century, Bairstow rubbed his hair in a seemingly light-hearted jibe at Vaughan's previous treatment to bolster his hairline.


Stokes or Woakes?

Two stunning catches, but who did it better – Ben Stokes or Chris Woakes?

All-rounder Stokes plucked a stunning one-hander in the deep off Andile Phehlukwayo in the tournament's opening match between England and South Africa at The Oval.

Not to be outdone, Woakes took a brilliant full-length dive on the boundary to send Rishabh Pant packing in England's much-needed win over India. Superman, eat your heart out.


Hat-trick heroes

Afghanistan had the chance for a famous upset against India at the Rose Bowl. Twelve runs were needed off four deliveries…enter Mohammed Shami.

The paceman took the vital wicket of dangerman Mohammad Nabi and followed up with the scalps of Aftab Alam and Mujeeb Ur Rahman to end Afghanistan's hopes. Three wickets in three balls.

New Zealand lost out to trans-Tasman rivals Australia at Lord's, but Trent Boult had individual reason to celebrate with a hat-trick of his own.

A stunning finish in the final over of Australia's innings saw Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Starc and Jason Behrendorff fall to full, in-swinging deliveries.

Boult, who has donated the ball to the MCC Museum, had to endure a nervy wait after a Behrendorff review.


Starc brilliance takes down Stokes

England made a dismal start in their pursuit of 286 against Australia at Lord's, slumping to 53-4.

Ben Stokes' courageous 89 threatened a fightback at the Home of Cricket. That was until Mitchell Starc's unplayable yorker swung in late to rattle the base of the stumps to end Stokes' resilience and England's chances of victory.


Pakistan deny Afghanistan

Afghanistan finished without a point after the group games but will rue a couple of missed opportunities – not least versus Pakistan, who slumped to 156-6 chasing 228 at Headingley. 

But captain Gulbadin Naib gave up 18 costly runs in the 46th over and Pakistan edged home with a couple of balls to spare against the underdogs in a dramatic finale.


Farewell Chris

Chris Gayle's final World Cup did not exactly go to plan. The explosive batsman made 242 runs from nine innings as West Indies – fancied by many to challenge – crashed out.

His final knock against Afghanistan yielded just seven runs, but there was time for some typical flamboyance when the charismatic Gayle celebrated a low catch with some press-ups.

A tidy turn with his occasional off-spin also yielded 1-28 and the 39-year-old lapped up the acclaim at stumps.

India opener Rohit Sharma will not let himself think about breaking Sachin Tendulkar's record for the most runs in a Cricket World Cup.

Rohit moved to 647 runs for the tournament in England after making his fifth century in Saturday's seven-wicket win against Sri Lanka.

He needs just 27 more runs to surpass India great Tendulkar's haul of 673 at the 2003 World Cup.

Matthew Hayden amassed 659 for Australia in 2007, meaning Rohit sits third in the all-time standings with one and possibly two innings still to come.

No batsman had ever made five centuries before in a single World Cup, so Rohit has already entered the record books.

India's semi-final place was assured long before their trip to Leeds, where Rohit and KL Rahul both made centuries at the top of the order to pave the way for an emphatic victory.

"I'm not thinking about milestones," Rohit said after his innings of 103, which included 16 boundaries.

"I know if I play well all these things will happen along the way. My job is to keep my head straight, keep playing and get the team to the finishing line.

"I want to start every day afresh and I try and come out thinking I've not played any ODIs, I've not made any hundreds in the tournament, it's just the first game of the tournament. That is the kind of mindset I want to get in.

"People around me are talking about hundreds, but that's the challenge of a sportsman: try to keep your head straight and focus on the job at hand."

Captain Virat Kohli has seen his side win seven and lose just one match in the group stage.

Kohli said at the post-match presentation: "We wanted to play good cricket but we didn't expect this kind of scoreline heading into the semis. That's what hard work and consistent performances get you.

"It's a real honour for all of us to play together on the field for India."

Asked about his team line-up for the semi-finals, Kohli said: "More or less everything is set, but we don't want to be one-dimensional. The team that is flexible on the day has more chance of executing what they want to.

"We need a good balance and whatever combination provides the balance for us, I think we'll go ahead with that. We're happy with the way we've played but it's about turning up on the day now and putting another performance in."

Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne praised veteran fast bowler Lasith Malinga, who was playing his final World Cup match in the 50-over format.

"Of course Sri Lankan cricket will miss him. In Test cricket and one-day cricket, he was wonderful - he was the man," Karunaratne said. "He's done a really good job. Everyone has to end their chapter. After that we have to find a new guy."

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