New Zealand Hammering Leaves India Heading For Early Exit From T20 World Cup

The pre-tournament favourites lost by eight wickets on Sunday
16:58, 31 Oct 2021

India are already on the verge of elimination from the Men’s T20 World Cup thanks to a humbling eight-wicket defeat to New Zealand on Sunday, their second successive loss to begin the tournament.

After a 10-wicket thumping at the hands of Pakistan last Sunday, their first ever loss to their bitter rivals in any men’s World Cup, their latest reverse in Dubai means that they are left needing a miracle to reach the semi-finals.

Even if they win all their remaining matches, the pre-tournament favourites either need New Zealand to be beaten by Scotland, Namibia or Afghanistan or for Pakistan to lose both of their outstanding Group 2 fixtures – against Namibia and Scotland – if they are to progress. It is quite the disappointment for a side many had tagged as the team to beat.

India got off to a slow start with the bat in Dubai and never really recovered. Ishan Kishan was pouched in the deep by Daryl Mitchell off Trent Boult in the third over with his team just 11-1, and while Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul looked a fair bet to give them a decent base the pair were dismissed in quick succession to leave India 40-3. And after Kohli holed out to long-on for just nine at 48-4, it was always going to be a long way back.

Hardik Pandya’s 23 and a 26 not out off 19 balls from Ravindra Jadeja led them to a total of 110 for 7, a mark far better than they had looked likely to reach at one point but still a good 40 or more runs shy of being competitive against one of the world’s greatest teams in all formats over recent years.

After their heroics with the ball, with Boult’s 3 for 20 making him the pick of the bowlers, Kane Williamson’s side were never in danger of not chasing down the 111 required. Martin Guptill clobbered a quick-fire 20 off 17 balls inside the first 3.4 overs before being deceived by Jasprit Bumrah’ slower ball, but Mitchell and Williamson raced confidently towards the target without taking too many chances.

Mitchell fell just short of a half-century when he was caught in the deep off Bumrah for 49. But Devon Conway joined Williamson to help the Blackcaps score the remaining 15 runs required with a full 5.3 overs to spare, the skipper helping himself to 33 not out from 31 balls.

India’s likely exit means England are now 7/4 outright favourites with Betfred to win the Men’s T20 World Cup, with Pakistan installed at 9/4 and New Zealand 9/2.

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