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.

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

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."

India will seek a winning end to the Cricket World Cup's group stage when they take on Sri Lanka, with top spot still in their sights.

Australia lead the way as the semi-finals beckon but India could leapfrog them should the holders lose to South Africa and Virat Kohli's men take advantage in Leeds.

India may take the chance to rest players, though, with their place in the last four already assured. This could be the ideal opportunity to leave out MS Dhoni, who has been out of sorts.

Dhoni's place in Indian cricket history is assured but his return of 223 runs is below par. It would be very like the 37-year-old to be saving his best displays for the knockout rounds, however.

For Sri Lanka there is a chance to salvage some pride after a disappointing campaign that has had highs and lows. There is also likely to be a World Cup farewell for veteran quick Lasith Malinga, who inspired their defeat of England.

Avishka Fernando could lead the next generation for the Lions, with the 21-year-old having hit a superb 104 in their win over West Indies last time out, improving his batting average to 61 for the tournament. 

Kusal Perera and captain Dimuth Karunaratne are his only team-mates to have averaged over 30.

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

A shock win over England will be Sri Lanka's most cherished memory from this World Cup, but their performances have been too inconsistent. They were brilliant in posting a huge score against West Indies, but terrible in being skittled by New Zealand in their opener. Form has come too late.

It is perhaps concerning for the three other semi-finalists that India have not really hit top gear - but they have not had to do so yet. A low-energy defeat to England at Edgbaston felt like a blip and, if they finish second behind Australia, they will have to play the hosts again at the same venue.

 

WHAT THEY SAID

Sri Lanka captain Karunaratne: "All batsmen have big points. We take a couple of videos - not only Rohit [Sharma], Virat and all the top six batsmen, we have a plan for everyone. But if you couldn't execute really well, the plans aren't working. So the point is we have to execute really well against those batsmen."

India wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik: "I think at the back of our minds we do have the semi-final in mind. That's a big game for us. For all the four teams that qualify, it's going to be a massive game. So that's in the back of the mind."

 

OPTA FACTS

- Jasprit Bumrah needs one more wicket for his 100th ODI career scalp. His first 99 wickets have come at an average of 22, the best rate of anyone to take more than 20 wickets for India.
- Sri Lanka and India have recorded seven completed Cricket World Cup matches to date; the Lions hold the edge with four victories to India's three.
- Malinga needs just one wicket to move clear of Wasim Akram as the outright third-top wicket taker in Cricket World Cup history, the pair are currently tied on 55 wickets behind Muttiah Muralitharan (68) and Glenn McGrath (71).

Virat Kohli hailed Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah as "the best around" after they helped send India into the Cricket World Cup semi-finals.

India booked their last-four place with a 28-run win over Bangladesh on Tuesday, set in motion by Rohit's brilliant 92-ball 104 - his fourth century of the tournament.

A chase of 315 always looked beyond the Tigers, yet Bumrah made absolutely sure with a stunning spell to end the match, collecting wickets from consecutive balls to bowl Bangladesh out for 286.

In the post-match presentation, Kohli took the opportunity to pick out both players for individual praise.

"I have been watching [Rohit] for years now and I have been saying openly, in my opinion, he is the best one-day player around," the captain said.

"When he plays like that, it's a joy to watch. He's having the tournament of his life. We are so, so delighted to see him bat the way he is, because when he plays well, we know we are heading towards a big score.

"That's all we need in the changing room. When he plays like that with so much confidence, all the guys in the changing room get so much confidence watching him play.

"I'm really, really happy for him. He's really going well and hopefully, with three more games to go, he can put two big scores there."

Turning to top-ranked bowler Bumrah, Kohli continued: "Bumrah's overs were always going to be crucial, so that's why we stopped him after four overs initially.

"He is someone you can bank on at any time in the game. He's a world-class bowler, the best in the world at the moment. There's a good reason for that. He's been bowling consistently well."

Tamim Iqbal dropped Rohit early on, but Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza was not ready to acknowledge that moment as a turning point.

"With a batsman like Rohit Sharma in such good form, it obviously affects it," he said. "But that's what happens in cricket. We can't blame it just on that catch."

And Mortaza rued Bangladesh's failure to produce their own big-scoring partnership in the manner of Rohit and KL Rahul's opening stand.

"If one of them could have made 80 or 90 then it would have been a different match," he said. "With 47 and 41 [two of Bangladesh's three biggest stands], it's asking too much."

Virat Kohli heaped praise on MS Dhoni after India inflicted a heavy defeat on West Indies at Old Trafford.

India's 125-run win all but confirmed a Cricket World Cup semi-final spot for Kohli's unbeaten side and ended West Indies' hopes of reaching the last four.

Captain Kohli was man of the match after a gritty 72 and Dhoni made useful runs. The wicketkeeper-batsman's unbeaten 56 contained two sixes in the final over of India's innings, while Hardik Pandya also scored 46.

The Caribbean side then folded with the bat, following India's 268-7 with a feeble 143 all out.

Kohli said: "We've just become number one as far as the rankings are concerned and, to be honest, we've been playing like that for a while now. I think the key is to continue the same way.

"Things haven't gone our way with the bat in the last two games but we've still found a way to win. That to me is a very pleasing thing and I'm happy I could contribute as well.

"Today, getting to 270 was crucial. I think Hardik played outstandingly well and MS finished very strongly.

"When those two play like that we always get to a winning total and on that kind of wicket 270 was always going to be a very, very difficult score to chase."

Speaking about Dhoni, Kohli said: "He knows what he wants to do out in the middle. He's won us so many games and the best thing about having someone like him is when you need that extra 15, 20 runs he knows exactly how to get them for the team.

"Keeping strike at the end and finishing off with two big sixes was something that gave us a lot of boosts as a team.

"His experience eight out of 10 times has come good for us. He's a legend of the game, we all know that, and he's doing a tremendous job for us and hopefully he can continue."

West Indies skipper Jason Holder said: "I thought the bowlers did a fantastic job and I couldn't really ask them for more, and the guys gave a really good effort in the field. I guess we just let ourselves down with the bat."

Holder believes that was a theme reflected throughout the World Cup, as he analysed where it went wrong for West Indies.

"We let ourselves down significantly," Holder said. "I don't think we seized the crucial moments in this tournament as well as we should have.

"I thought the bowlers had a reasonable campaign and everything we asked of them they came out and delivered.

"We didn't really support as well as we'd have liked in the field, in fact we let ourselves down tremendously in the field, and some of our batting was just too inconsistent."

India captain Virat Kohli claimed another slice of cricket history when he became the fastest player to reach 20,000 international runs.

Kohli achieved the milestone with the 37th run of his innings against West Indies in Thursday’s Cricket World Cup fixture at Old Trafford.

The 30-year-old has taken 417 international matches to reach the 20,000 mark.

India legend Sachin Tendulkar and West Indies great Brian Lara previously topped the list, having both passed the mark in their 453rd international match.

Kohli is one of 12 players to achieve the feat, joining Tendulkar, Lara, Kumar Sangakkara, Ricky Ponting, Mahela Jayawardene, Jacques Kallis, Rahul Dravid, Sanath Jayasuriya, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Inzamam-ul-Haq and AB de Villiers.

The bulk of Kohli’s runs for India have come in ODI cricket, the skipper beginning his innings against West Indies with 11,087 runs at an outstanding average of 59.60.

Those runs include 41 centuries in the 50-over format, with only Tendulkar (49) ahead of him on that list.

Kohli has also scored 6,613 runs in Test cricket, at an average of 53.76, while he boasts a further 2,263 in Twenty20 internationals.

Virat Kohli's fifth Indian Premier League century helped Royal Challengers Bangalore record a much-needed 10-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders, despite the best efforts of the in-form Andre Russell.

Captain Kohli led from the front, making an even 100, while Moeen Ali contributed 66 in a hurry as the Royal Challengers posted a formidable score of 213-4 at Eden Gardens.

Kolkata appeared set to fall well short in reply, labouring to 60-3 at the halfway stage following two early wickets for returning paceman Dale Steyn.

However, not for the first time this season, Russell produced an onslaught at the back-end of an innings to suddenly put the game back in the balance.

The West Indian all-rounder hammered nine sixes as he and Nitish Rana (85 not out) put Bangalore on the back foot, getting what seemed a nigh-on impossible equation down to 24 required from the final over.

Russell kept his side's hopes alive by hitting Moeen for six down the ground, leaving the equation at 17 off three, but a dot ball by the England spinner curtailed the Knight Riders' late charge.

The following delivery saw Russell run out for 65 and while Rana finished the game with another six, Bangalore had just about held their nerve under pressure. The victory is just their second of the campaign, though they remain bottom of the table.

 

KOHLI TIMES IT JUST RIGHT

With AB de Villiers not in the starting XI, the pressure on Kohli was even greater to perform for his struggling franchise.

The right-hander needed 40 balls to reach 50 but exploded into life after such a patient start, needing just a further 18 deliveries to make it through to three figures. He reached the milestone in glorious fashion, sending a cover drive to the fence for his ninth four.

Kohli had also smashed four sixes before he was caught off the final ball of the innings having put on 64 with Marcus Stoinis, who ended up unbeaten on 17.

Moeen had earlier dominated a 90-run stand for the third wicket, the England international belting six sixes. 

 

STEYN RUINS KOLKATA CHASE

In need of a boost to their bowling attack, Bangalore turned to Steyn. The South African bowler had last played for the team in the IPL nine years ago, yet he showed what they had been missing with an early burst to put the home team on the back foot.

He dismissed Chris Lynn and Shubman Gill in the powerplay, while the Knight Riders were further hampered by Robin Uthappa eating up 20 deliveries to make just nine runs.

Too many early dot balls came back to haunt them at the death as well, with Russell and Rana running out of time.

Still, Russell has now amassed 377 runs in the tournament this year, despite facing just 171 balls. His tally of 39 sixes tops the charts, as he sits 13 clear of fellow West Indian Chris Gayle.

Royal Challengers Bangalore avoided an unwanted Indian Premier League record by finally getting up and running with an eight-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab despite Chris Gayle's unbeaten 99.

Defeat for RCB would have seen them become the first side in IPL history to lose their first seven matches of the tournament, but they stopped the rot in Mohali on Saturday.

The in-form Gayle struck five sixes and 10 fours in a brilliant knock, KL Rahul and Mandeep Singh the next highest scorers with 18 as Kings XI posted 173-4.

Gayle would have been out without scoring in the first over if Kohli had reviewed when Umesh Yadav rapped him on the pads and the opener took advantage of that stroke of luck.

Kohli made 67 from 53 balls before AB de Villiers (59 not out from 38) and Marcus Stoinis (26no off 15) saw Bangalore home with four balls to spare.

 

 

GAYLE CASHES IN AFTER EARLY LET-OFF

Gayle should have been on his way when he was struck in front by Yadav but the finger did not go up and Kohli opted against a review.

That proved to be costly as the self-proclaimed 'Universe Boss' cut loose, hitting two sixes off a Mohammed Siraj over which went for 24 runs.

The West Indies opener brought up his half-century off only 28 balls and, after being dropped by Kohli on 83, he finished one shy of a hundred after hitting the final ball of the innings from Siraj for four.

 

KOHLI MAKES AMENDS

While it was not a day to remember for Kohli in the field, he made amends with a typically brilliant second half-century of the tournament.

The India captain went through his repertoire of classy strokes and motored to 50 in 37 balls. 

He put on 85 with De Villiers for the second wicket before hooking Mohammed Shami straight to a perfectly placed Murugan Ashwin.

 

DE VILLIERS AND STOINIS FINISH IT OFF

RCB needed 46 to win off 27 deliveries when Kohli departed and De Villiers and Stoinis stepped up to see them home.

Stoinis breathed a sigh of relief when Ashwin put down a skier, then De Villiers added insult to injury by hitting the next ball from Australian Andrew Tye over the ropes in an eventful 18th over that cost 18 runs.

De Villiers got down on one knee to smash Shami for six leaving RCB needing only six off the last over and Stoinis dispatched Sarfaraz Khan's first ball for four and took two off the next to win it.

Andre Russell produced an astonishing late onslaught as Kolkata Knight Riders made sure Royal Challengers Bangalore are still searching for their first win in the 2019 Indian Premier League.

The West Indies all-rounder belted seven sixes as he made an unbeaten 48 from just 13 deliveries, helping the Knight Riders overhaul their opponents' total of 205-3 with five balls to spare.

Having arrived at the crease with the score at 139-4 in the 16th over, Russell managed a single from his first four legal deliveries as the Royal Challengers appeared on course to break their duck in this season's competition.

However, his whirlwind knock made the task of 53 runs from the final three overs a breeze, with the five-wicket triumph lifting Kolkata up to second in the table.

Bangalore, in contrast, remain stuck at the bottom. A fifth successive defeat did not appear on the cards at the halfway stage of the contest, with two of their star names shining with the bat.

Captain Virat Kohli top-scored with 84 from 49 deliveries and shared a second-wicket stand of 108 with AB de Villiers, who made 63. However, Russell eclipsed the pair with a dazzling display of hitting down the stretch.

 

SOUTHEE SUFFERS IN THRILLING CHASE

When Tim Southee started the penultimate over of the game, the Knight Riders required 30 from 12 deliveries. By the time the New Zealander had finished his spell, the scores were level.

After Shubman Gill started the over with a single, Russell smashed 28 runs off the next five balls. A quartet of sixes included two over midwicket, while the boundary in the blitz came with a cheeky steer over wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel when Southee dropped in a short ball.

Russell has now managed 207 runs in this year's IPL from 77 deliveries, putting him third on the top-scorers' list behind Sunrisers Hyderabad duo David Warner and Jonny Bairstow. His tally includes an astonishing 22 sixes.

Kolkata needed their in-form player to fire, too. Chris Lynn made 43 at the top of the order and there were also contributions from Robin Uthappa (33) and Nitish Rana (37), though the Royal Challengers appeared to be in control until the game came to a dramatic - and hasty - conclusion.

 

KOLHI SHINES DESPITE RCB'S GLOOMY OUTLOOK

Bangalore have found runs hard to come by in this campaign - they had been bowled out for scores of 70 and 113 prior to Friday - but found some form after being put in by Kolkata.

Kohli produced successive drives for four to get up and running at the start of his innings, albeit Bangalore's run-rate slowed after finishing the powerplay on 53 without loss.

Opener Patel fell with the score on 64, trapped lbw for 25, but the initial breakthrough only allowed De Villiers to combine with his skipper in a thrilling century partnership.

After the former South Africa international departed, Marcus Stoinis made an unbeaten 28 in a hurry to lift Bangalore beyond 200, a good score but not quite good enough in the final reckoning to secure an overdue triumph.

Shreyas Gopal bamboozled struggling Royal Challengers Bangalore and Jos Buttler blasted a half-century as Rajasthan Royals got up and running in the Indian Premier League with a seven-wicket win.

There was more misery for Virat Kohli in his 100th game as RCB captain at Sawai Mansingh Stadium, where his side could only post 158-4 after Gopal took 3-12 from his four overs on Tuesday.

Gopal doubled his wicket tally for the tournament with a brilliant leg-spinning exhibition, dismissing Kohli, AB de Villiers and Shimron Hetmyer.

Parthiv Patel top scored with 67 from 41 balls for Bangalore, who were thrashed by Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday, but his first half-century of the 2019 IPL was not enough to prevent his side from being the only team without a victory.

The Royals, missing Sanju Samson due to a niggle, sealed their first two points after Buttler smashed 59 from 43 balls.

Yuzvendra Chahal (2-17) gave RCB hope, but Steve Smith made 38 and Rahul Tripathi capitalised on being dropped early in his innings to score an unbeaten 34, hitting a six to win it off the penultimate ball.

GOPAL PUTS RCB IN A SPIN

Kohli moved up to open for the second time in the tournament, but the skipper missed out in his landmark match as skipper.

Parthiv and Kohli put on 49 before Gopal claimed the huge wicket of the mercurial India captain, who was flummoxed by a ripper of a googly and bowled through the gate for 23.

De Villiers was caught and bowled in the tweaker's next over and he had a third wicket when Hetmyer was caught behind, reducing RCB to 73-3 midway through their innings.

It was left for Parthiv - who struck a six and nine fours - to lay the platform for a late flurry from debutant Marcus Stoinis (31 not out from 28) and Moeen Ali (18no off 9)

 

BUTTLER SERVES UP ANOTHER TREAT

Buttler failed twice after he was the victim of a Ravichandran Ashwin 'Mankad' but he was back in the groove at the top of the order.

The explosive wicketkeeper-batsman struck Navdeep Saini for back-to-back boundaries after Ajinkya Rahane was dropped by Kohli in the second over and did the same to Stoinis in his first over for his new franchise.

Buttler continued to rocket along, reaching his half-century from 38 balls with a glorious straight drive off England team-mate Moeen, who he also pulled for six before he struck the crafty Chahal - who also removed Rahane - to Stoinis at long-off.

 

RAHUL ENSURES RCB TRIP UP AGAIN

Smith was not at his fluent best, but used his experience to rotate the strike and score at over a run a ball.

Chahal should have had a third wicket when Umesh Yadav dropped Tripathi in the deep on nine before Smith hammered Mohammed Siraj for six. 

Smith fell off the final ball of the 19th over from Siraj, but with only five needed from the last over, Tripathi hooked Yadav over the ropes to win it in emphatic fashion.

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