Tuesday, July 16, 2019 09:09:15 AM

Formidable India in NZ’s path to second straight final

Photo Gallery1 Photo By Reuters - Sun Jul 07, 5:04 am

India’s Mohamed Shami (centre) celebrates with captain Virat Kohli and teammate KL Rahul after taking the wicket of West Indies’ Chris Gayle during the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup match at Old Trafford in Manchester, United Kingdom. (AFP)

MUMBAI: India’s semi-final calculations were put out of kilter by South Africa’s upset win over Australia in the last round-robin match on Saturday but they will not be too unhappy to meet New Zealand in the World Cup for the first time since 2003 on Tuesday.

Last month’s fixture at Trent Bridge between India and New Zealand was abandoned without a ball being bowled and it had looked like the only chance for the two sides to meet in the tournament would be in the July 14 final at Lord’s.

But South Africa’s thrilling 10-run win in a high-scoring match at Manchester, after India’s earlier victory over Sri Lanka, took Virat Kohli’s men to the top of the standings and set up a clash against the fourth-placed Black Caps.

While Kane Williamson’s side will probably be relieved at having avoided pre-tournament favourites and hosts England, the 2015 finalists face a no less formidable opponent in India.

The twice champions won their last World Cup meeting against New Zealand at Centurion in 2003 but more pertinently are the only side to have been defeated only once in nine matches at the quadrennial showpiece this year….

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