Cricket is a game on inches. That is what mattered at the Old Trafford. Martin Guptill’s direct hit caught MS Dhoni short by the finest of margins in the penultimate over of the innings and it ended shattered India’s World Cup hopes. The veteran probably walked back probably for one final time in his career in the India colours. Nevertheless, it was a thriller of a game and clearly, New Zealand kept their nerves. A lot of current and former cricketers lauded the Kiwis for their effort and even the Pakistan cricketer Wahab Riaz was not behind.
Not many gave the Black Caps any chance to defend the modest total of 239 runs after the first innings ended. But the way they bowled with the new ball made the difference eventually. Matt Henry nipped out the likes of KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Dinesh Karthik while Trent Boult pinned Virat Kohli in front of the stumps to leave India in tatters at 24/4.
But with Ravindra Jadeja playing the innings of his life, India got ever so close from a hopeless position of 92/6. He scored 77 off just 59 balls while MS Dhoni played a valiant knock of 50 runs off 72 balls which took India close but it was not to be their day. Boult and Lockie Ferguson bowled extremely well under pressure and they deserved to win. It was a thriller of a semi-final and the crowd got their monies worth.
Congratulations New Zealand, says Wahab
No wonder even the neutral fans would’ve been thrilled after watching such a close game. Wahab Riaz was one of them and it didn’t take much time for him to take it to Twitter to express himself. He congratulated New Zealand for winning the crunch game. “What a thrilling game. This is what you call a #CWC semi-final congratulations @BLACKCAPS, well played!” he tweeted.
Here’s Wahab’s tweet:
— Wahab Riaz (@WahabViki) July 10, 2019
Speaking about his World Cup stint, Wahab Riaz was one of the best bowlers for Pakistan. He put his hand up whenever the team needed him the most and ended up with 11 wickets in eight innings and also batted well with an injured finger against Afghanistan to win the game for his team.
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