Manchester: New Zealand’s thrilling semi-final victory over Cricket World Cup favourites India ranks as one of their best ever limited-overs performances, former skipper Daniel Vettori has said.
Kane Williamson’s side sealed an 18-run victory and advanced to Sunday’s title clash at Lord’s, where they face Australia or hosts England, with several media outlets calling the shock win the “Miracle in Manchester.”
Vettori, who guided New Zealand to the 2011 semi-finals, heaped praise on pace bowlers Trent Boult and Matt Henry after they dismissed India’s top three of KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and skipper Virat Kohli for one run each.
“To bowl as outstandingly as they did in a high-pressure game makes victory over India one of New Zealand’s best ever one-day performances,” Vettori wrote in his column for the International Cricket Council.
“Trent Boult and Matt Henry’s opening spell was one of the best you’ll see, and to dismiss three incredibly talented India batsman to have them five for three takes something special.
“A semi-final adds so much pressure, so when you’re able to deliver under that type of strain — it’s something else … they bowled impeccably … and that pressure tells on the batsmen, so they really earned the wickets.”
Boult and Henry shared five wickets while spinner Mitchell Santner claimed two in a tight display to snuff out India’s hopes.
The victory sent 2015 runners-up New Zealand to their second consecutive World Cup final and Vettori said they would be full of confidence.
“As a New Zealand fan you would be hopeful of them doing it again in the final,” Vettori added.
“But whatever happens it’s going to be a great occasion, and the Black Caps can go into that game with a lot of confidence behind them.”