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3.1 overs (0 Run) No run.
2.6 overs (0 Run) Oh..that must have hurt! Trent Boult bangs this one into the pitch, on middle, angling in once more, Rohit Sharma goes for the pull shot but misses it and gets hit around the box.
2.6 overs (1 Run) Goes fuller but down the leg side, Rohit Sharma looks to heave it away but misses. Wided.
2.5 overs (0 Run) Length again and on middle, as well, Rohit Sharma blocks it back to the bowler.
2.4 overs (0 Run) Pulls his length back now, on middle, angling in again, Rohit Sharma has no room to work with and turns it to the leg side.
2.3 overs (6 Runs) SIX! BANG! Rohit Sharma goes big now! Trent Boult serves this full and on off, angling in, Rohit Sharma dances down the track and smacks it through the line over the deep extra covers fence for a biggie.
2.2 overs (0 Run) Back of a length and on middle, Rohit Sharma stays back and pats it towards short mid-wicket.
2.1 overs (0 Run) On a length and on off, Rohit Sharma gets behind the line of it and blocks it down the pitch.
1.6 overs (0 Run) This is on a good length and outside off, Shubman Gill leaves it alone.
1.5 overs (0 Run) Another full delivery, on off, Shubman Gill pushes it gently towards short covers.
1.4 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! Unlucky for Tim Southee! He bowls this full again and around off, angling in, Shubman Gill looks to tuck it away again but gets an inside edge just past the stumps towards the fine leg fence for another boundary.
1.3 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! Easy pickings! Tim Southee bowls a half-volley around the leg stump line, Shubman Gill uses his wrists well to flick it with good timing through square leg as the fielders chase after it and dives but fails to stop it from going to the fence for a boundary.
1.2 overs (0 Run) Full again but around off this time, Shubman Gill drives it firmly but straight short covers.
1.1 overs (0 Run) Tim Southee begins with a full delivery as well, on middle, Shubman Gill tucks it straight to short mid-wicket.
Tim Southee to take the other new ball.
0.6 over (0 Run) Pulls his length back a bit, on off, Rohit Sharma steers it towards point. 10 runs off the first over then!
0.5 over (4 Runs) FOUR! Two in two! Trent Boult continues with his fuller length but this time it is around off, Rohit Sharma absolutely drills it past mid off for another boundary.
0.4 over (4 Runs) FOUR! Just over! Trent Boult pitches this one up once more, on middle, Rohit Sharma takes a couple of strides forward and whips it elegantly with his back foot in the air over the leaping short mid-wicket fielder for a boundary.
0.3 over (0 Run) Goes fuller again and on middle,too, Rohit Sharma looks to work it away but gets a leading edge along the ground towards short covers.
0.2 over (0 Run) This is on a good length and around off, Rohit Sharma stays there and dabs it towards point.
0.1 over (2 Runs) Rohit Sharma and India are underway straightaway! Trent Boult looks for some swing and starts with a full delivery, on middle, Rohit Sharma flicks it away nicely through mid-wicket as Lockie Ferguson from mid on runs to his right and slides to stop it. Two runs taken.
Done and dusted with the pre-match formalities and it is now time for the play to begin! The two umpires are out in the middle and so are the players of New Zealand. The Indian opening pair of skipper, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill also stride out to the middle and the stadium is absolutely buzzing. Trent Boult has the new ball in hand and is raring to go. Just the one wide slip in place, let’s go…
We are minutes away from the start of the game but first, the officials walk out and the coveted trophy is placed upon a podium as well. It is a sea of blue and cheers of ‘India, India’ can be heard throughout the ground. Next up, the players along with their mascots line up for their respective national anthems. It will be the national anthem of New Zealand first, followed by the Indian national anthem.
Kane Williamson, the skipper of New Zealand says that they would have batted first as well. Adds that they will try to use the new ball and hopes there will dew later on. Tells that four years ago, it was the same occasion but different venue. Says this should be an amazing game. Mentions that it has been a great effort from his side so far but it all comes down to this game. Informs they are unchanged as well.
Rohit Sharma, the captain of India says that they will bat first. Adds that it looks like a good pitch, a bit on the slower side and they need to do well. Mentions that it was in 2019 when they played against the same Kiwi side in the semifinal and they know how they play their cricket. Also adds that it is a very important day but it is all about turning up on a given day and control the controllables. Informs that they are playing the same team.
New Zealand (Unchanged Playing XI) – Devon Conway, Rachin Ravindra, Kane Williamson (C), Daryl Mitchell, Mark Chapman, Glenn Phillips, Tom Latham (WK), Mitchell Santner, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult.
India (Unchanged Playing XI) – Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj.
TOSS – It is toss time in Mumbai for the 1st Semi Final. Rohit Sharma flips the coin and it lands in favour of him. India elected to BAT first.
Given the monumental nature of the clash and the game taking place in Mumbai, there will be a lot of celebrities in attendance. A couple of sporting royalties are also in the house and are having a bit of fun in the middle. Yes, Mumbai’s own Sachin Tendulkar is one of those two big names and he is joined by iconic footballer David Beckham.
PITCH REPORT – Ravi Shastri is pitchside. He says that the spinners’ length is bare and they will come into play from early doors. Adds that the track is hard enough and if there is dew, it will play well throughout and there is a bit of grass in the middle. Reckons that you want to bat first in a big game but won’t be surprised if the chasing team wins the game. Simon Doull joins him and adds that the teams would want to put runs on the board but he also adds that if the team is one or two wickets down going into the phase when the dew comes in, they can easily chase down 8 runs in an over. Ravi adds that India has a much stronger middle order than 2019 and those middle overs will be very important. Doull ends by saying that Mitchell Santner holds the key for New Zealand and Rachin Ravindra could be used to open the bowling alongside Trent Boult given the amount of right-handers India has in its side.
New Zealand, on the other hand, started the tournament finely with four wins in a row but then they hit a bump losing the next four. Thanks to their good NRR and the win against Sri Lanka they remained in the top four. Rachin Ravindra has been a revelation for them and already has three hundreds to his name. Devon Conway has been a bit hot and cold but Kane Williamson has been in good form even though he missed a few games due to injury. Daryl Mitchell has also contributed well but their middle order needs to do more to challenge the hosts. They also have a tricky decision to choose between James Neesham and Mark Chapman. Their leading pacer, Trent Boult found his rhythm just at the right time and he has troubled the Indian top order on many occasions. Tim Southee and Lockie Ferguson will also need to be at the top of their game with Mitchell Santner handling the spin department who has been good throughout this tournament. They faced defeat when these two sides met in the league stages and will hope to turn things around in this big game. Will it be India making it to the final after 12 years? Or will New Zealand get through to a third straight World Cup final? Let’s find out together. Toss and team news in a bit.
India have no doubt been the team to beat in this World Cup and finished top of the table with nine consecutive wins. They have a settled team with each and every one contributing to their success in some way or the other. Their batting has been brilliant with Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill giving them quick starts to set the tone while Virat Kohli has played the anchor role to perfection scoring a couple of hundreds as well. Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul are also coming into this game after registering smashing centuries in the last game. Their bowling has been one of the best if not the best in this tournament. Mohammed Shami has blown away the opposition while Jasprit Bumrah has been exceptional at all phases of the game. The spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja have exploited the home conditions well and will be key again in the middle overs while Mohammed Siraj has found his form back at the right time. They will be well aware of what happened in the last World Cup and will hope to take learnings and just continue the momentum to go past the Kiwis.
The form, the winning streak, nothing matters now and the team that can handle the pressure will go ahead. We have a repeat of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup semi-final as India takes on New Zealand at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The Men in Blue suffered heartbreak four years ago and will hope to avenge that defeat while the Kiwis will want to take some inspiration from that match and make it to their third final in a row. With that, we welcome you to the coverage of the first semifinal!
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