In cricket, there have always been some memories that are difficult to forget for fans. Likewise, some heart-shattering defeats of their favourite teams are tough to overlook. For Indian cricket fans, one such memory is the semifinal loss against New Zealand in the 2019 Cricket World Cup, held in England.
Team India were favourites to win the tournament after a remarkable performance in the group stage where they had acquired the top spot in the league with only one loss in 9 games. Hence, they entered the contest with high expectations.
India was chasing a target of 240 runs in the game, but their top-order was collapsed brutally. The trio of KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli departed for one run each. Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant and all-rounder Hardik Pandya did their best to get the side out of trouble but failed to convert their starts into big totals.
However, Ravindra Jadeja and senior lad MS Dhoni came for the rescue, steadying the ship by hanging in the middle for quite some time. The pair went on to add a crucial 116-run stand for the 7th wicket. In fact, at one stage, it looked like India could pull off a sensational victory, but a twist in the tale was waiting to greet them.
Jadeja was dismissed at 77 off 59 balls. However, fans had hopes left as MSD was still there in the middle. With 31 needed in the final two overs, MSD shifted the gears and smashed a tremendous six off Lockie Ferguson.
But on the third ball of the same over saw a mis-hit from Dhoni, and he went for a couple. Martin Guptill, who ran quickly from fine leg, picked up the white leather at one go and effected the direct hit to crush all Indian fans’ hopes dramatically.
Recently, New Zealand all-rounder Jimmy Neesham was asked about the same incident. A fan quizzed Neesham to describe his fans’ feelings before and after the epic Dhoni run-out in the semis. With no surprises, Neesham had a humorous response to the question.
“Before: Cool, we’re probably gonna win
After: Cool, we’re definitely gonna win,” tweeted Neesham.
Before: Cool we’re probably gonna win
After: Cool we’re definitely gonna win https://t.co/YaX1zXvyD7
— Jimmy Neesham (@JimmyNeesh) June 4, 2021