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India crash out of the World Cup with shock defeat to New Zealand

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India are out of the 2019 Cricket World Cup after their top order collapsed on a truly remarkable reserve day of their semi-final against New Zealand. 

On a pitch which has faced plenty of criticism, Kane Williamson's 67 and Ross Taylor's 74 were made to look all the more impressive as the Men in Blue fell to 5-3. 

K.L. Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli all made just a single run as Matt Henry ripped through their attack. 

Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni at least restored some dignity by setting up an incredibly nervy finish, the former hitting a quick-fire 77 before being caught by Williamson off Trent Boult to effectively put the game to bed. 

Once again, questions were initially asked over why Dhoni, the hero of 2011, was sat up in the balcony and didn't make his entrance until his team-mates had slumped to 71-5. 

By the time he emerged, most had given up any hope of a resurgence - perhaps wrongly, but by then, the damage was done. 

Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant had put up a brief fight before the 21-year-old swept into the hands of Colin de Grandhomme at deep midwicket. 

Pant had been given a reprieve on 18 when he was dropped by Jimmy Neesham, not that the Black Caps will have begrudged him that error in the slightest. 

Indeed, his low left-handed catch off Dinesh Karthik arguably trumped both Ben Stokes and Sheldon Cottrell's efforts from earlier in the tournament. 

For as long as Dhoni was at the crease, there must have been a glimmer of doubt in Kiwi minds as one of the great psychological battles of the tournament unfolded. 

The 38-year-old can no longer go on the front foot in the way he used to, but going into the game, India had only ever lost two ODIs in which he was chasing at the end. The veteran allowed Jadeja to build up a phenomenal strike rate but it proved in vain. 

Dhoni was finally dismissed in the penultimate over, run out in poetic fashion by Martin Guptill, who will be delighted to have made his mark after his woes with the bat in England and Wales. 

Kohli, meanwhile, has questions to answer. On this occasion, the skipper was trapped lbw off Boult, failing to make it into double figures for the third successive World Cup semi-final. 

CRICKET-WC-2019

In spite of Jadeja's late heroics, several leaders who India might ordinarily have turned to simply didn't pull their weight at Old Trafford, a pity given their impressive bowling display on Tuesday. 

The same could not be said of New Zealand, who will face either Australia or England on Sunday at Lord's. 

Henry, Boult, and Lockie Ferguson made the most of the early powerplay and put the tournament favourites in a very difficult position. 

Williamson also made the brave call to keep Boult on at the death. 

The ICC might grimace at India's exit - but spare a thought for the ticketing staff who will now have thousands of returns to contend with in the next few days. 

Who will win the Cricket World Cup 2019? Have your say in the comments. 

Topics:
New Zealand cricket
India cricket
Cricket

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