OPINION: New Zealand may only have half a cricket team, but it was still good enough to beat India, the great cricket power and a country of over a billion people. Calling the kiwis underdogs was probably an insult to the most widespread war in this country, but they never let go and they destroyed India's alleged top order with an exhibition of quality balls.
Kane Williamson's men are now on their way to the Lord and a World Cup against Australia or England. They should probably hope for England, which will be under greater pressure and not always been best at home with cricket. New Zealand must also hope for a bowler friendly pitch because they have only got over 250 runs once throughout the tournament.
New Zealand has already lost to Australia at Lord's World Cup, ripped off by Mitchell Starc, who took five wickets to 26 in the match. But it's a reason where these New Zealanders have played some very good cricket in the past.
When New Zealand played a test match against England at Lord's in 201
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And expects New Zealand to defend their lives. I smiled as Brendon McCullum called on this team to "attack, attack" in front of their semifinals. If they had attacked early in New Zealand there would now be a waste. Instead, their two big batsmen will say that New Zealand's only two batsmen, Ross Taylor and Williamson, once again dug them out of a hole.
They did it with brains and skill and defense and sound to say good luck. Taylor was dropped by the fierce MS Dhoni, for whom this was a World Cup too far, as he was almost in double figures. Williamson and Taylor both mishooked and saw their edges fall securely and they routinely played and missed.
I choked on my porridge when coach Gary Stead said: "We work a lot, very hard in nets and on things, but at the end of the day you sometimes also have some luck."
Williamson's team hasn't always been perfect, but they've probably been lucky in this tournament. They were a yard of defeat against Carlos Brathwaite and the West Indies. They had points for a rainy fight against India, while Pakistan, leveling with New Zealand and beating them head-to-head, was counted on fighting Sri Lanka. They also won a decisive throw in the semi because anyone fluttering first in Old Trafford has won in all the recent matches.
New Zealand also got the conditions they would have asked for. India's top order routinely battles in England when the ball swings in the air and nibbling off the track. They lost last year's test series in England 4-1. And then it was again.
Boult and the excellent Matt Henry found the perfect line and length and had the fortune you need. India's top order lined up instead of playing and lacking for the decisive 10 overs as the ball was really zipping. And Virat Kohli was released lbw on a marginal judge's call, the kind of decision that went New Zealand's way when they beat.
Perhaps the English judges believed that India is just too powerful, too much waves in the world cricket these days. Nevertheless, a nation will be destroyed and their sporting gods reassessed. Kohli, lavish player, though he is, now has scores of 9, 35, 1 and 1 in the three ODI World Cup semi-finals and final ones he has played.
Credit to India's captain though. The face of anger and despair that he had used during India's innings had gone after the fight, and he spoke well and said: "The credit must go to New Zealand bowlers, because with the new ball they were excellent, ready for everyone and they made life very difficult for the batsman.
"It's a game of margins. We have played so good cricket, and 45 minutes of bad cricket puts you out of the tournament. It's hard to accept, it's hard to come by, but see, New Zealand deserves it. They were sharper – and braver – when it came to crunch moments. "
Will New Zealand change a winning team to the finals. Everything suggests it's not Williamson's way. He and Stead have made a big decision right in this world Cup. The selection and belief in Henry has paid big dividends when It is important to most people. The captain and the coach attach great importance to it.