In the end, it was all about little margins as India failed to chase down the target of 240 runs in their 18-run defeat against New Zealand in the first semi-final of the ongoing ICC World Cup 2019. Despite half-centuries from Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni, India failed to get over the line in the pressure run-chase. However, a huge controversy has now emerged after the conclusion of the game.
The ball on which MS Dhoni was run-out, should have been called a no-ball as six fielders were outside the ring at that time. According to the rules, a maximum of five players is allowed outside the 30-yard circle in the third powerplay between 40 to 50 overs. However, the error in the field placement went unnoticed by the umpires.
Fans on Twitter were furious to notice the umpiring howler and felt a no-ball call might have changed the result of the contest. Though Dhoni would have been adjudged run-out despite it being a run-ball, some felt the wicket-keeper might not have taken the risk to get a couple knowing that the next ball was going to be a free-hit delivery.
After New Zealand posted a challenging total of 239 runs on the board riding on two half-centuries from Kane Williamson (67) and Ross Taylor (74) respectively, their bowlers dished out a brilliant performance to bundle out India on 221 runs in a last-over thriller. India were dented early in their chase by the Kiwis pacers, who struck early to nullify the threat of Indian top-order.
Openers Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and captain Virat Kohli were all dismissed for one run apiece before Dinesh Karthik (6) was removed cheaply to leave India struggling on 24/4 inside ten overs. Rishabh Pant (32) and Hardik Pandya (32) then posted a 47-run stand for the fifth wicket and rescued the sinking ship.
Ravindra Jadeja came out to bat at no.8 and played an absolutely stunning knock of 77 runs under pressure to post a 116-run stand with MS Dhoni, who also scored a 50 off 72 balls and put on a great fight against the strong New Zealand bowling attack. However, in the end, he got run-out as India’s campaign in the World Cup came to an end on a disappointing note with Kiwis becoming the first team to make it to the final.