Bengaluru, July 11: New Zealand stunned India by 18 runs in the first semifinal of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
In a game that spilled on to the reserve day because of rain intervention, the Black Caps first made a cautious 239 for eight in a split innings and then got India all out for 221 after reducing them to five for three in the fourth over.
Ravindra Jadeja led a terrific fightback with a 59-ball 77 while Mahendra Singh Dhoni made 50 and the duo gave glimpses of hope to the Indian fans though the dream eventually crashed.
With this win, New Zealand made their second successive World Cup final in cricket. In 2015, they had made the final with an unbeaten winning streak only to lose to trans-Tasman rivals Australia in the title clash.
This time though, they had a different journey to the semifinals as they lost their last three games in the league. In 2015, they had beaten South Africa in a high-scoring thriller while in 2019, they sealed a low-scoring battle.
New Zealand thus became the fifth team to make two consecutive World Cup finals since the tournament started in 1975. Australia made it four times in a row between 1996 and 2007 and won three times in a row in 1999, 2003 and 2007 after losing the first one in 1996 against Sri Lanka.
The West Indies made it three times in a row between 1975 and 1983 and failed to complete a hat-trick in 1983 after winning in 1975 and 1979. In 1983, they had lost to Kapil Dev's XI in the final. The Caribbeans, however, have the distinct record of playing three consecutive finals at the iconic Lord's.
England also made two consecutive finals in 1987 and 1992 but on both occasions, they failed to achieve the target. They lost to Australia by seven runs at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, on the first occasion and to Pakistan by 22 runs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1992.
Sri Lanka are the fourth team to have come too close to the World Cup title but yet losing it on back-to-back occasions. While they made the final of the 2007 edition in the West Indies and lost to Australia (or rather to Adam Gilchrist) in a rain-curtailed final, they were thumped by India in the final of the 2011 edition in Mumbai.
In terms of captains, while the West Indies had made all their three consecutive finals under the leadership of Clive Lloyd, Australia had the reins in the hands of Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting (twice) between 1996 and 2007. England were led by Mike Gatting and Graham Gooch in 1987 and 1992, respectively. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, had Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara as their captain in 2007 and 2011, respectively.
For New Zealand, the captain in 2015 was Brendon McCullum while in 2019, it is Kane Williamson.