Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne urged his batsmen to follow the example of New Zealand centurions Tom Latham and BJ Watling after a crushing defeat in Colombo.

New Zealand prevailed by an innings and 65 runs to secure a 1-1 draw in the two-match series after Sri Lanka wilted in the face of a disciplined bowling effort.

Despite persistent rain taking chunks out of the match, Latham (154) and Watling (105 not out) saw the tourists to 431 for six declared before Karunaratne's men subsided to 122 all-out on the final day.

The captain was forced to come in at number seven after suffering an injured quadricep – not that a clatter to 32-5 before lunch gave him much respite.

"At the end of the day we need to put our hands up and say we didn't do well," Karunaratne said at the post-match presentation, having scored 21 in a 70-ball stay alongside lone half-centurion Niroshan Dickwella.

"But once the batters get a start, we need to get a big one, like Tom and BJ did.

"Dhananjaya [de Silva] and Dickwella were the biggest positives, and the bowlers also did really well."

Dhananjaya's first-innings century came as wickets clattered around him and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson hailed a superb effort from his bowling attack.

Tim Southee brought up 250 Test wickets when he removed Karunaratne on Monday and his 2-15 from 12 overs stacked up impressively alongside Trent Boult's similarly miserly 2-17.

Spinners Ajaz Patel and William Somerville also took two apiece as the visitors bounced back from a six-wicket reverse in Galle.

"The spinners bowled really nicely in our most recent series in the UAE as well," Williamson said.

"The collective unit in this match – the seamers were really impressive – showed there was a little bit in that surface for everyone.

"It was a much-improved performance from us in this match. With the weather it was a great effort to push for a victory.

"It was an outstanding effort in the first innings, there were so many contributions and we scored at a rate that allowed us to move the game forward.

"Overall, it was a very good series against tough opposition. It deserved to be 1-1."

Kane Williamson and Akila Dananjaya have been reported for suspect bowling actions during the first Test between New Zealand and Sri Lanka, the ICC has confirmed.

Sri Lanka ran out comfortable six-wicket winners in Galle, but players on both sides were cited on the match officials' report for possible illegal bowling.

Williamson, an occasional off-spin bowler, sent in just three overs for nine runs in the match, all in the final innings.

Dananjaya, meanwhile, was decisive in his side's victory, with a first-innings five-for putting Sri Lanka in control. He added a more modest 1-84 next time out.

The 25-year-old served a suspension late last year after his bowling action was reported in a Test against England.

Both Williamson and Dananjaya will undergo testing within 14 days but can continue to bowl in the meantime, as the second and final Test begins on Thursday.

Sri Lanka spinner Akila Dananjaya took a five-for for the fourth time in six Tests only for Ross Taylor to provide some New Zealand resistance on the opening day of a rain-affected first Test in Galle.

New Zealand, back in action for the first time since their thrilling Super Over loss to England in the Cricket World Cup final a month ago, won the toss and looked comfortable on 64 without loss.

However, Tom Latham (30), Kane Williamson (0) and Jeet Raval (33) all fell in quick succession as Dananjaya spun his spell, the 25-year-old then returning before tea to account for Henry Nicholls (42) and BJ Watling (1).

Ross Taylor had moved on to an unbeaten 86 by the time a torrential downpour 7.4 overs into the final session ended the day's play prematurely with New Zealand 203-5.

Dananjaya made the breakthrough when Latham dangled his bat out and nicked behind and he had the prized wicket of Williamson three balls later, the New Zealand captain meekly chipping straight to short midwicket.

The touring side were three down when Raval gave Dhananjaya de Silva a low catch at slip, but Taylor and Nicholls put on a 100-run stand to wrest the initiative back.

It was Dananjaya who broke that partnership by trapping Nicholls lbw, a decision which he frivolously appealed, and Watling went two overs later as he was pinned straight in front when attempting a wild swipe.

The fifth wicket heralded tea and the final session of the day proved brief thanks to an almighty shower, with Mitchell Santner (8 not out) due to return on day two alongside Taylor.

Ben Stokes is "flattered" to be nominated for the New Zealander of the Year award but England's Cricket World Cup hero says Kane Williamson should receive the accolade.

Votes were cast for the New Zealand-born all-rounder to claim the prize last week after he was named man of the match following a decisive innings in a World Cup final defeat of the Black Caps at Lord's.

However, Stokes believes New Zealand captain Williamson is the man who should be given the honour.

"I am flattered to be nominated for New Zealander of the Year. I am proud of my New Zealand and Maori heritage but it would not sit right with me to be nominated for this prestigious award," said the 28-year-old.

"There are people who deserve this recognition more and have done a lot more for the country of New Zealand.

"I have helped England lift a World Cup and my life is firmly established in the UK – it has been since I was 12 years old.

"I feel the whole country should align their support to New Zealand captain Kane Williamson. He should be revered as a Kiwi legend. He led his team in this World Cup with distinction and honour. 

"He was the player of the tournament and an inspirational leader of men. He shows humility and empathy to every situation and is an all-round good bloke.

"He typifies what it is to be a New Zealander. He would be a worthy recipient of this accolade. New Zealand, fully support him. He deserves it and gets my vote."

There was chaos at Lord's on Sunday as England won the Cricket World Cup, beating New Zealand in the final in scarcely believable fashion.

An incredible clash went all the way to a Super Over and a boundary count to decide the winner after the scores were tied, with Ben Stokes' heroic effort to get England back into the match absolutely vital.

Plenty has been said and written about Stokes, his bizarre accidental six and the Super Over, but a lot of the finer details of the match were lost amid the noise.

We take a look at five key factors in England's win that might have been missed.

 

MIXED REVIEWS FROM NEW ZEALAND OPENERS

It did not take long for this absorbing contest to spark intrigue as the New Zealand openers had contrasting fortunes with reviews. Henry Nicholls' decision to go upstairs was a good one as replays showed Chris Woakes' delivery, initially ruled lbw, was going over the top and the batsman went on to make 55. Martin Guptill's call when he was dismissed was less impressive.

Woakes beat him on the inside edge and Guptill unwisely asked to take another look, throwing away a review. There was then no option open to Ross Taylor, who would have escaped after being pinned by Mark Wood.

WILLIAMSON'S FAILURE MORE COSTLY THAN ROOT'S

Both Kane Williamson and Joe Root enjoyed outstanding World Cups and were fully deserving of their places in the official team of the tournament. But neither man truly fired at Lord's on Sunday, with Williamson gone for 30 from 53 balls and Root even more sluggish with seven off 30.

Tom Latham still performed admirably after the New Zealand captain went, reaching 47, yet they went 92 balls without a boundary at one stage and failed to truly kick on. Williamson ended the tournament with 50 fours but was badly missed in those middle overs - especially considering boundary count became the final tie-breaker.

SANTNER DUCKS FINAL BALL TO SET 242

This really was a match of fine margins, with both teams scoring the same number of runs in their regular innings and then again in the Super Over. Every tiny error could be perceived as costly and there was a bizarre moment as Mitchell Santner inexplicably limited New Zealand's scoring at 241-8.

Jofra Archer sent in a slower-ball bouncer to end the Black Caps innings and Santner, with nothing to lose, ducked out of the way. That decision eased England's chase by a tiny but decisive margin.

DE GRANDHOMME DESPERATELY UNFORTUNATE

He might not have been an obvious hero, but had New Zealand held on in the fast and furious finale, Colin de Grandhomme could have been considered the match-winner. England's target of 242 was relatively modest but they were strangled by De Grandhomme, who took 1-25, having dropped Jonny Bairstow in his first over.

His was the most economical 10-over spell in a World Cup final since 1992 when Derek Pringle claimed 3-22. Like Pringle, though, his efforts were ultimately in vain.

BLACK CAPS' SPORTSMANSHIP EVIDENT AGAIN

Three sixes off the final two overs of England's innings did the damage for New Zealand. But while much has been made of the ludicrous nature of the third, as Ben Stokes accidently nudged a throw to the boundary, Guptill deserves credit for his honesty following the maximum that kickstarted England's surge.

Stokes looked to have been denied at the fence by Trent Boult, but the left-armer stepped on the boundary before unloading for Guptill to take the catch. In a fine show of sportsmanship, for which New Zealand were lauded throughout the tournament, Guptill immediately signalled for six.

Kane Williamson's New Zealand were "shattered" after a heartbreaking loss to England in the Cricket World Cup final but the Black Caps skipper remained magnanimous in defeat.

The tournament hosts lifted the trophy for the first time at Lord's after Sunday's epic final was decided by the finest of margins.

New Zealand posted 241-8 having opted to bat, and the scores were level at the conclusion of the chase, Ben Stokes making 84 not out while Mark Wood was run out coming back for a second off the final ball that would have secured victory for England.

Stokes and Jos Buttler plundered 15 from the Super Over and New Zealand matched that tally – Martin Guptill short of his ground in trying to pick up a two off the last delivery as the home side prevailed due to their superior number of boundaries in the initial 50 overs.

"It certainly wasn't just one extra run, so many small parts in that match could've gone either way, congratulations to England, they've had a fantastic campaign and they deserve the victory," said Williamson, who was named player of the tournament for his 578 runs at 82.57.

"It's been challenging, the pitches have been different to what we expected, there was talk of 300+ scores but we haven't seen many, thanks to our side and the fight they showed in this campaign, it took a huge amount of heart to get us to this stage. It just wasn't meant to be today.

"The guys are shattered at the moment, it's obviously very devastating, they've performed at this tournament at such a high level, it's pretty tough to swallow at this stage but a fantastic effort from our guys all round.

"We felt runs on the board was going to be challenging, as it proved. We may have liked another 10 or 20 but [we thought] perhaps 240 might be enough. We put England under pressure, it was a fantastic game of cricket, both sides showed fight and heart.

"To go to the last ball, it's tough to separate but credit to England and there's a lot of positives in this experience for our boys."

Stokes enjoyed a huge slice of fortune in the final over when, with nine needed off three, he scampered a two and then inadvertently deflected the ball to the boundary in diving back to his crease, earning a bonus four runs for his team.

"That was a bit of a shame, wasn't it," a typically understated Williamson remarked. "That's the game we play, those things happen from time to time, you just hope it doesn't happen at times like that, it's tough to nit-pick, it just wasn't meant to be for us."

New Zealand won the toss and chose to bat first in the Cricket World Cup final at Lord’s as both sides look to land the trophy for the first time.

A wet start in London saw the pitch covered early in the morning before showers passed to avert the danger of a significant delay.

The toss and start of play were nudged back by a quarter of an hour to 10:15 local time (09:15GMT) and 10:45 (09:45GMT) respectively.

Tournament hosts England, led by Eoin Morgan, are unchanged from their semi-final victory over Australia, and New Zealand also made no alterations to the side that saw off India.

This is a first Cricket World Cup final for England since 1992, when Graham Gooch’s team lost to Imran Khan’s Pakistan.

For New Zealand it was a chance to go one better than four years ago when they suffered a seven-wicket thumping at the hands of fellow tournament co-hosts Australia.

There are five survivors from that match lining up against England, with Martin Guptill keeping his place despite making five single-figure scores in his past seven innings. The opener is joined by skipper Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Matt Henry and Trent Boult.

Williamson backed Guptill to come good and said it would be "incredibly special" for New Zealand to win the trophy.

"But before those potential thoughts it's about playing some good cricket," he said.

England captain Morgan said he was not unhappy with the outcome of the toss.

"No, not at all. It was a bit of a 50-50 call. It's always difficult here at Lord's. With the overheads we were probably leaning towards a bowl but it doesn't really bother me," Morgan said on Sky Sports.

"Whichever side plays well will lift the trophy at the end of the day.

"It's a big challenge for us playing against an in-form New Zealand side."

New Zealand and England will both be aiming to lift the Cricket World Cup for the first time when they meet in the final on Sunday.

Hosts England were the pre-tournament favourites but the Black Caps should not be underestimated by Eoin Morgan's side, having also reached the final four years ago.

Australia easily came out on top in a trans-Tasman clash on that occasion but a well-matched clash is expected at Lord's, the home of cricket.

England and New Zealand finished third and fourth respectively in the group stage but each side won their semi-final comfortably, Morgan's men disposing of the holders by eight wickets while Kane Williamson's team beat India by 18 runs.

Williamson shoulders the burden of expectation for New Zealand in terms of their batting, the skipper having hit 548 runs at the tournament, over 200 more than any of his team-mates. Opener Martin Guptill has struggled, however, recording two ducks and passing 50 just once.

Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson have taken 35 wickets between them, posing a twin pace threat of which England should be wary, though the hosts' batting line-up is packed with explosive power and class.

Joe Root has outscored Williamson by a single run while Jonny Bairstow has hit two hundreds in his past three games, including 106 in a win over New Zealand in Durham during the group stage.

Bairstow's prolific opening partnership with Jason Roy has been crucial for England, while captain Morgan's remarkable 148 against Afghanistan was one of the most thrilling innings of the tournament.

England's batting has been their strength in the years since a disastrous 2015 World Cup, though in Jofra Archer they have unearthed one of the stars of this year’s event.

The Barbados-born paceman only made his international debut in May but has taken 19 World Cup wickets, the most for England.

If New Zealand are to produce an upset, the battle between Archer and Williamson may well prove to be decisive.

 

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

Both teams lost three matches during the group stage, with New Zealand squeezing into the semi-finals as the last of the four qualifiers. However, they then produced a brilliant display to down India in a rain-affected semi-final at Old Trafford that spanned two days.

England had a major wobble during the group stage when Roy was injured, but they head into the final on the back of wins against India, New Zealand and Australia - all three of their fellow semi-finalists.

 

WHAT THEY SAID

England captain Morgan: "I think in general throughout the tournament the scores have been a lot lower than they have previously here in the last three or four years. Us adjusting to that has been harder work than it normally is. New Zealand have done it brilliantly and Lord's isn't ever a high-scoring ground so I'd say it will be a bit of a battle.

Black Caps skipper Williamson: "We were in a different part of the world on a different surface against a different opposition [for the 2015 final], and both sides are very different from four years ago, so it's kind of hard to compare those times. Whether having had experience in a final or not is a good thing? Any final you get the opportunity to play in is a really positive thing."

OPTA FACTS

- Ben Stokes (England) is yet to be hit for a six in the tournament, making him the only one of 59 bowlers to send down more than 30 overs yet to concede a maximum.
- Kane Williamson has scored more runs (548) 2019 than any other player has managed in an edition of the World Cup for New Zealand, Joe Root has set the same record for England (549 runs).
- England are trying to emulate the England women's ODI side who lifted the Women's Cricket World Cup in 2017 with a dramatic nine-run victory over India, also at Lord's.
- Ross Taylor (987 runs) and Martin Guptill (976) are vying to become the second player after Stephen Fleming (1,075) to score 1,000 World Cup runs for New Zealand. Williamson requires 119 to reach the same milestone.

Kane Williamson is not concerned about New Zealand being underdogs for Sunday's Cricket World Cup final against tournament hosts England.

Both teams are bidding to win the tournament for the first time in their history, New Zealand having been beaten in the final by trans-Tasman rivals Australia four years ago.

England entered the World Cup among the favourites having risen to the top of the ODI team rankings, but Williamson is backing his side to pull off an upset on Sunday.

"I think England, rightly so, deserve to be favourites," Williamson told a news conference when asked if his team are underdogs. "Coming into this tournament from the start, they were favourites and they've been playing really good cricket.

"But whatever dog we are, it's just important that we focus on the cricket that we want to play and we have seen over the years that anybody can beat anybody regardless of breed of dog.

"We are really looking forward to the occasion and, like I say, the end point and the result, there's a lot of time between now and that point.

"So focusing too much on it I don't think is a positive thing and the focus for us as a group is what's in front of us and we know you go into any match and you have to deal with a number of different things, whether it's different moments of pressure, whether it's different moments of momentum and we have to be prepared to deal with all of those again."

New Zealand are yet to pass 300 with the bat at this World Cup, with Williamson expecting a low-scoring contest at Lord's.

"I think turning up, most teams having played here before expected scores to be a lot higher than what we have seen," Williamson added.

"But the reality of it is that they have been quite tough surfaces and there's been surfaces that have aged throughout perhaps a match on one day, so trying to make those adjustments are really important and I think if you are focusing on what you need to do as a group and the cricket that you want to play, then making those adjustments like in the last game.

"I think both sides looked at the surface, thought it was a really good one, and thought perhaps 300 and something was what was going to be at play, but after 15 overs or so, having conversations thinking, 'This is really quite difficult and 300 looks like a long, long way away' so if we are able to perhaps achieve something a little bit more realistic on that surface, then that gives you every chance to win the matches.

"And we have done it on a number of occasions but we will have to be good at doing that tomorrow and surfaces at times have been hard to read, especially with the pre-emptive ideas what most teams come into the World Cup with, which is very high scoring and tough work for the bowlers. Bowlers have, I think, enjoyed themselves a little bit.

"So, yeah, tomorrow is a new challenge for each occasion where we will need to make those adjustments quickly."

When England and New Zealand met in the Cricket World Cup four years ago, Eoin Morgan and Kane Williamson had little influence upon the direction of an explosive contest.

Williamson dutifully compiled an unbeaten nine from 22 balls after a Brendon McCullum shellacking effectively ended the contest before he was called upon.

A year later, when McCullum stepped aside, Williamson took the reins as skipper of one of the most exciting sides in world cricket, ready to repeatedly make his mark.

The main problem for Morgan in being at the mercy of an eight-wicket defeat with 226 balls to spare, with no discernible means of turning the tide at any stage, was him already being the England captain.

Morgs way – tearing up the script of failure 

Previously a freewheeling trailblazer of a batsmen – a contemporary cricketer as his adopted nation struggled frequently and embarrassingly with the realities of the modern limited-overs game – Morgan was appointed two months ahead of an England World Cup campaign doomed to shambles.

His innovative, 360-degree strokeplay disintegrated into 90 runs across five innings during an ignominious group-stage exit.

Morgan was unable to stitch up reopened wounds from previous failures but, in tandem with Paul Fabrace and Trevor Bayliss, he ensured those scars would not be his own.

This England, Morgan's England, would play in their captain's image. A rollercoaster series against McCullum's New Zealand was the launchpad for a fearless approach where wickets lost or runs conceded were not to temper ambition.

Where previous captains unsuccessfully begged team-mates not to go into their shells, England version 2.0 had a skipper for whom shackles had always been there to break. Morgan was a leader by example, first and foremost.

Kane the run machine 

The example set by Williamson in that eventual 3-2 series defeat to England could scarcely have been better as he registered scores of 45, 93, 118, 90 and 50 – Morgan's own 50, 88, 71 and 113 before a final-game duck were similarly spectacular – and he took on captaincy for the World Twenty20 in 2016.

While McCullum's aggressive leadership had roots in his bludgeoning shot-making, Williamson the skipper instantly appeared every bit as shrewd and calculated as his unfailing deflections down to third man.

The Black Caps won four consecutive matches in India before a semi-final loss to England. Williamson led them superbly on the sort of slow, turning pitches they had previously struggled to negotiate.

Style and substance

Morgan grabbed the headlines with a record-breaking century against Afghanistan during the group stage of this World Cup, smashing a remarkable 17 sixes.

It was a desert island innings – the sort of performance you might pick as the one piece of cricket viewing to keep you sustained in isolation. Williamson's knocks do not usually fall into that category, although he is the batsman you would pick to make runs in any conditions if your life depended on it.

His only score below 40 in the tournament came when Mark Wood deflected a drive fortuitously back onto the stumps at the non-striker's end when the finalists met during the round-robin phase.

That body of work includes two centuries and a pair of fifties, the latter of which – a perfectly judged 67 against India as the roof appeared to be falling in on New Zealand's sodden Manchester semi-final – made a place at Lord's possible. Williamson is a sure thing.

England do not rely on the mercurial Morgan to the same extent. But whether Jofra Archer is tormenting opposition batsmen with laser-guided aggression, Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow are ruggedly disassembling the opposition attack or Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett are bending the middle overs to their will, everything England do at their best takes its cue from his planning and calm conviction.

Weathering the storm

Stepping out at Lord's on Sunday will feel sweeter for two steely competitors who know they had to tackle adversity to get there.

The group-stage wobble of back-to-back defeats against Sri Lanka and Australia saw England's approach and their captain's stomach for the fight questioned. At a crossroads, Morgan doubled down and the hosts took apart the three best teams in the competition one after the other.

Although it felt more measured than Kevin Pietersen's social media yapping about Morgan, former Australia captain Michael Clarke and McCullum both wondered aloud whether Williamson was too conservative a leader for a country whose recent successes came on the front foot.

When it mattered most against India, the 28-year-old judged everything impeccably, never missing a beat in a game that pulsed with tension.

The influence of their 2015 mismatch upon New Zealand and England's respective directions of travel since has been well documented but this time, far from being swept along in the noise and confusion, Morgan and Williamson's fingerprints will be all over every moment of this Lord's showdown.

It will be a triumph hard-earned and richly deserved when one side lifts the trophy they both desire most.

England will bid to bring 'cricket home' at Lord's on Sunday when they face New Zealand in the World Cup final.

The home of cricket will host a clash between two countries seeking their first ever World Cup triumph.

Eoin Morgan's England crushed Australia by eight wickets in the second semi-final, after Kane Williamson's Black Caps stunned India at Old Trafford in their last-four encounter.

Here we take a look at the Opta numbers behind Sunday's showpiece.

 

6 - Whichever team lifts the trophy at the weekend will become the sixth nation to win the World Cup - after West Indies, India, Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

2 - England have met New Zealand in two previous ODIs at Lord's, the Black Caps winning on both occasions - by five wickets in 2013 and 51 runs in 2008.

548 - No New Zealander has scored more runs at a World Cup than Williamson has managed in this edition.

4 out of 5 - The team that has won the toss has lost four of the previous five World Cup finals. Australia's victory over Sri Lanka in 2007 is the exception.

275 - The highest successful chase in a World Cup final came in 2011 when India (277-4) beat Sri Lanka.

359 - Only one team has managed to score more than 300 in a World Cup final when batting first, Australia posting 359-2 against India 16 years ago.

1,029 - England (2,942) have scored 1,029 more runs than New Zealand (1,913) at the tournament, though they played an extra group game as the Black Caps' fixture with India was washed out.

100 - Morgan's men have been explosive in obtaining those runs too, scoring 100 more fours and 53 more maximums than their upcoming opponents.

3 - Jason Roy's return to the side has coincided with three consecutive century stands alongside Jonny Bairstow. There have been never been four successive opening partnerships worth three figures in England's ODI history.

338 - No bowler has produced more dot balls than England paceman Jofra Archer's 338. New Zealand seamer Trent Boult (320) is third on the list behind Australia's Pat Cummins (323).

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.

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.

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.

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