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Rain stalls New Zealand momentum in Manchester

The first semi-final of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 will extend into a second day in Manchester after rain prevented a full day’s play.

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New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to bat first on a muggy morning at Old Trafford on Tuesday, 9 July. Having lost their last three group stage fixtures, New Zealand, up against an India side that have lost just once in this World Cup, were very much going into their fourth consecutive World Cup semi-final as underdogs.

India nearly got off to the ideal start through Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who came into the side at the expense of Mohammed Shami. He struck Martin Guptill firmly on the pad as India duly squandered their only review as replays showed the delivery to be sliding down leg side.

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New Zealand took 16 balls to get off the mark, with Jasprit Bumrah again proving dangerous. The pressure told on Guptill, whose edge flew to Virat Kohli at first slip.

On a slow surface, runs were hard to come by, but Williamson (67), Henry Nicholls (28) and Ross Taylor (67*) laid a solid platform. Williamson's wicket, after he reached his fourth fifty-plus score of the tournament, threatened to derail the innings, before New Zealand decided to play their shots.

After the fall of Jimmy Neesham (12) in the 41st over, New Zealand began to accelerate. They struck 49 runs in the following 5.1 overs before the rain – which fell continuously all afternoon – came down.

Play for the day was eventually called off by the umpires with New Zealand 211/5 after 46.1 overs. The game will continue, weather permitting, on Wednesday morning, with Williamson's men resuming on the same score. 

The five wickets taken were shared between each of India’s bowlers on the day.

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Afghanistan fans celebrate a boundary during the 2019 Cricket World Cup warm up match between England and Afghanistan at The Oval in London on May 27, 2019.

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