A cricket blotter works through a large puddle on the outfield. -Matt West
The first semi-final of the Cricket World Cup will be played over two days after intermittent rain stopped Tuesday's play with New Zealand on 211 for five against India after 46.1 overs.Ross Taylor was batting on 67 with Tom Latham on three at the other end when rain forced the players off. Match officials waited for more than four hours while rain stopped and started before deciding to take the game to the rest day.
New Zealand lost opener Martin Guptill with just one run on the board and crawled to 27-1 off the first 10 overs. All five previous matches in the tournament at Old Trafford had been won by the side batting first, so Williamson's decision at the toss was understandable. The Black Caps' top order has struggled at the World Cup and the overcast conditions in Manchester yesterday allied to a fresh pitch offering some seam movement promised to assist India's impressive pace attack.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar appealed for lbw against Guptill off the first ball of the match and an India review of the original not out decision proved unsuccessful, with replays indicating the ball would have gone down the legside. It took New Zealand 17 balls to score the first run of the match and India did not have long to wait for Guptill's wicket in any event. The right-hander was the leading run-scorer of the tournament when New Zealand finished runners-up at the 2015 World Cup.
But he had made just one when he fended carelessly outside off-stump against a rising Jasprit Bumrah delivery and was well caught, head-high, by India captain Virat Kohli at second slip. Guptill's fifth single-figure score of the tournament left New Zealand 1-1 in the fourth over.The group match between 2015 finalists New Zealand and twice champions India last month was one of the four 'no-result' matches in the rain-hit tournament.
Tournament hosts England and reigning champions Australia will contest the second semifinal at Edgbaston on Thursday, with that match able to continue on to Friday if a reserve day is required. At the end of the league stage game, India topped the list with 15 points from nine matches with seven wins, one defeat and one washed-out game.
On the other hand, New Zealand finished 4th after the league stage securing 11 points. If the final match fails to produce any result on the schedule and reserve day, then both the finalists will be declared joints champions for the first time in the history of the ICC World Cup.
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