With three slots in the coveted semifinals already decided and sealed, it all came down to the clash between New Zealand Vs West Indies on Saturday morning. The undefeated Kiwis took field with another emphatic victory in mind while the West Indies looked forward to beating their own inner demons and post an upset win. The match was expected to be a closely fought encounter with the Kiwis rightly being hailed as the favourites. But what transpired left the viewers and the West Indies team shell shocked.
Kiwis won the toss and as expected, elected to bat. Their batsmen had been dominant in the tournament thus far but what happened today can only be described as absolute and total mayhem. Martin Guptill scored a feisty double ton to take the game away from the windies even way before they could come out to bat. His 237 off merely 163 balls helped the Kiwis in posting an un-chaseable 393 on board. The sheer brilliance and magnificence of his knock had to be seen to be believed.
Other batsmen played around the ruthless Martin to help their team book a berth in the semis. The dominance of Martin Guptill can be gauged by the fact that the second top scorer for them was Ross Taylor with his composed 42 off 61 balls. As far as the bowling performance of the West Indies team is concerned, the less said the better. They were smashed all over the park with three of their top bowlers conceding more than a whopping 9 runs per over. 394 seemed like an impossible run chase and in the end that’s what it exactly proved to be.
The clueless West Indies batsmen came all guns blazing, seeking to achieve a near impossible feat, but Trent Boult had other plans. Boult scalped 4 crucial wickets to play spoilsport and ended whatever ray of hope the West Indies team had left. West Indies batsmen perished because of their poor shot selection and attempt to hit every ball out of the park. But who can blame them, their bowlers didn’t leave them with a lot of choice.
Credit should also be given to Kiwi bowlers, especially Boult, for keeping their nerves intact and bowling in the right areas. The only saving grace for West Indies was Chris Gayle’s knock of 61 off just 33 balls, but that obviously wasn’t enough. To sum things up, Kiwis absolutely decimated their humble opponents to cruise their way to the semis with winning by 143 runs.
New Zealand now square off with the dangerous South Africa on Tuesday, 24th of March, for a place in the coveted finals of the cup that matters. Both the teams have never won a world cup and are equally motivated to change this blot in their cricketing history. Whoever emerges victorious, one thing is for sure that it will be a cracker of a match which can go down the wire. It’s certainly game on, period.