Manchester: New Zealand captain Kane Williamson on Wednesday said the run out of India wicket-keeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni was significant during the first semi-final of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup at Old Trafford.
India got off to a horrendous start while chasing a moderate target of 240 on the reserve day. The Kiwi bowlers rattled the top-order of India. Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni rebuilt the innings but Trent Boult changed the match contours as he dismissed Jadeja.
Towards the end when the onus was on Dhoni (50), Martin Guptill pulled off a brilliant run out. India were bundled out on 221.
“His (Dhoni) contribution throughout the campaign was extremely important. He is a world-class cricketer. We all knew the game was a final line in a number of ways,” Williamson said after defeating India by 18 runs.
“That run out was significant as Dhoni can finish games and (he has) on a number of occasions. It was a tough surface so nothing promised but naturally, to dismiss Dhoni on whatever fashion was extremely important,” he added.
Applauding Jadeja’s performance with the bat, Williamson said the all-rounder timed the ball beautifully. Dhoni assumed the role of second fiddle to Jadeja, who played aggressive shots from ball one and along the way completed his fifty.
Boult tilted the table and put India under pressure as dismissed Jadeja (77), who played a skier and gave a comfortable catch to Williamson at long off.
“Jadeja played like he was playing on a different wicket. He timed the ball beautifully well and how he operated with Dhoni in that partnership. He sort of swung thing to parody perhaps even them having momentum going into those last overs. They got up from (92/6) even though it was tough to start. It was a very good game of cricket spanning over two days which was unusual but great game obviously,” Kiwi skipper said.
Williamson praised his boys for pulling off a brilliant game of cricket. He said that match required different mentality on the tough surface.
“(It was) a brilliant fighting effort from our guys on a tough surface. It required that mentality. The way the bowlers and fielders operated on the field, on the surface where we had to adapt differently we can feel great about it.” he said.
Williamson signed off on a hopeful note, saying Indian fans should be right behind their national team as cricket can be tough on a number of occasions.
“I hope their fans are right behind them and respect that a game of cricket can be a tough one on a number of occasions,” he said.
New Zealand will meet either England or Australia in the World Cup final at Lord’s on July 14.