Saturday, March 21, 2015

Guptill, Boult Power New Zealand to the Semi Final

New Zealand vs West Indies at Westpac Stadium, Wellington on 21st March 2015 - Match Review

New Zealand Defeat West Indies by 143 Runs.

It was time for the final Quarter Final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and co-hosts New Zealand were up against the Men from Caribbean at the scene where England were slaughtered by Tim Southee’s 7-33. Brendon McCullum won the toss and had no hesitation in deciding to bat first. Milne was back for them in place of Mitch McClenahegan and Benn and Gayle replaced Roach and Dwayne Smith for the West Indies.

Martin Guptill caressed the first ball from Jerome Taylor back past him for a boundary and then was dropped by Marlon Samuels on 4 off the third! Guptill hogged most of the early strike and was playing superbly in the ‘V’ but when McCullum got the strike he hit a six and a four off Holder. McCullum tried to blast one off Taylor over mid on in the next over but did not get all of it, Jason Holder taking a fine catch running backward. That slowed the Kiwi’s down a wee bit and there was some uncertainty in the running between Williamson and Guptill to start with. But they settled down and both of them played some gorgeous shots when Andre Russel just got one ball to hold up slightly in the pitch which Williamson spooned to Gayle at short cover.

Ross Taylor, who had got into a bit of form in the last game against Bangladesh, began slowly. But with Martin Guptill now in his elements, Taylor was not really forced to take any undue risks and he could play himself in. Guptill got to his 100 off 111 balls and with wickets in the bank; New Zealand looked like they would post a big total. Ross could not power on due to a breakdown in communication with Guptill, he was run out for 42 which consumed 61 deliveries.

Corey Anderson was promoted up the order, ahead of Grant Elliot and he muscled a four and six but was struggling for his timing and gave a catch to Gayle off Russel as a pull shot caught the toe end off his bat. In the meantime Guptill had effortlessly upped the ante and brought up his 150 off just 134 balls. Grant Elliot joined him and had fun as he smashed a valuable 27 off just 11 balls.

It was all Martin Guptill after that, he raced to his 200 off 152 balls and kept peppering the boundaries. Everything that the West Indies bowlers threw at him disappeared into the crowd. The best part was that all of his shots were regular cricket shots, played with a straight bat. No slogs, reverse sweeps, switch hits or ugly hoicks towards mid wicket. He finished on a remarkable 237*, the highest score by a batsman in a World Cup knockout match, the first 200 by a Kiwi; New Zealand made the highest ever score in a World Cup knock out stage, 393.

Martin Guptill, the fifth batsman to score an ODI 200 and the first Kiwi to do so, 
he achieved his in the World Cup Quarter match against West Indies

The score was a huge one but if any team had the firepower to chase it down, it was West Indies. Chris Gayle and Johnson Charles started the innings but Charles was bowled by Trent Boult as he tried to advance to Boult. West Indies promoted Lendl Simmons up the order but he lasted only for a short time as he edged behind to Guptill off Boult again. Gayle was unable to run and hence started playing big shots to almost every ball. Daniel Vettori was introduced early by McCullum but he traveled the distance as Gayle swept him for 3 6’s in a row. At the other end, Marlon Samuels was striking the ball sweetly too. He had raced to 27 off just 15 balls when he uppercut a wide Boult delivery that seemed destined to go for a six but Vettori nonchalantly leapt up in the air, struck out one hand and caught the ball high in the air!! Catch of the World Cup right there, Dan the Man!

Denesh Ramdin was caught right in front of the stumps and Boult was on fire as he took his 4th. Carter came out and looked good as he played some pleasing strokes. Gayle in the meanwhile continued with his onslaught. McCullum then handed over the ball to the raw Adam Milne and he got one past Gayle, West Indies 120-5 in the 17th over. Sammy, Russel and Holder all played shots and kept hitting balls for 4’s and 6’s but the score that they were chasing was just too much and out of their reach. They were all out for 250, but incredibly the runs had come in just 30 overs!! If the West Indies had kept wickets in hand then they would probably have chased this mountain of the total down. New Zealand won the match by 143 runs, the highest margin of victory in a World Cup knockout game.

With this extraordinary win New Zealand booked a place for them in the Semi Finals where they will face South Africa who had defeated Sri Lanka in the first Quarter Final. India, who had defeated Bangladesh and Australia, who came out on the top against Pakistan, will battle each other in Sydney in the other Semi Final.

PS - The image used is courtesy www.espncricinfo.com

2 comments:

singhalalok said...

I am expecting NZ or SA to win this WC.

India definitely deserves with their recent performance, but i would be happy if SA or NZ get to lift the trophy, with all their hard work paying-off.

Moon said...

World Cup Cricket gets a new finalist this time. Let's see what happens. And definitely, I want to see India in the finals :)

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