India crashed to an 18-run defeat to New Zealand in the semi-final of the 2019 Cricket World Cup despite a heroic 77 by Ravindra Jadeja.
The trio of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul flopped in a run chase of 240 as Matt Henry and Trent Boult ripped apart the Indian top order.
India were playing for a spot in their 4th World Cup final but at the end of the day, New Zealand stormed to their second successive title clash.
For India, it was a repeat of the 2015 World Cup campaign. After dominant performances in the group stage and the quarter-final 4 years ago, India went down to Australia. In 2019, India finished on top of the group stage only to lose to New Zealand in the semi-final.
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli had scored 1089 runs in World Cup 2019 between them before the semi-final but both men were dismissed for 1 each in overcast conditions. KL Rahul had scored 360 runs including a maiden World Cup hundred before Wednesday but like Rohit and Kohli, he too perished for 1.
India were tottering at 5 for 3 in 3.1 overs in pursuit of 240. Playing only his 4th World Cup match, Pant showed more flair than the other Indian batsmen. While Dinesh Karthik played out 16 dot balls at the other end, Pant was keen to get on with the game. Even when Karthik departed to leave India in hot water at 24 for 4, Pant was prepared to play his shots.
But Jadeja and Dhoni were not going down without a fight as Jadeja slammed 77 off 59 balls and added 106 for the 7th wicket with MS Dhoni.
India’s hopes were dashed when Jadeja fell to Trent Boult in the 48th over.
Indian politician Rahul Gandhi while congratulating the team said that a billion hearts were broken due to the Indian loss, “Though they’re a billion broken hearts tonight, Team India, you put up a great fight and are deserving of our love & respect. Congratulations to New Zealand on their well earned win, that gives them a place in the World Cup final.” He tweeted.