'What an upset': Twitterati express disbelief as New Zealand turn tables on India to reach World Cup final
As cricket fans across the globe witnessed one of the most major match upsets in recent history, Twitter was bustling with people attempting to make sense of how an almost certain march to the final was lost by India.
Sports journalist Ahmed Naqvi was in disbelief at the outcome, tweeting: "What an upset. One of the all time shock World Cup semi-final defeats."
Pakistan bowler Wahab Riaz expressing great satisfaction at the entertainment today's match provided said: "What a thrilling game. This is what you call a #CWC semi final. Congratulations @BLACKCAPS, well played!"
Cricket statistician Mazher Arshad questioned Dhoni's motive behind refraining from hitting the big ones, when an uptick on the scoreboard was the need of the hour.
"Can't understand Dhoni's strategy of holding one end for so long. He might be a champion chaser of his time but now more often than not his stay on the wicket hurts his team. Surely, you gotta go for big shots when 72 is needed off 8 overs," he tweeted.
Afterwards, when the match slipped away from India, he commended New Zealand for exercising great control of their emotions throughout.
"Love the way New Zealand have held nerves during intense situations in this tournament. Overcame a mini-collapse in the run chase vs BD, then Williamson's six to seize the game vs South Africa, Boult's catch to dismiss Brathwaite and now this semi-final."
Indian commentator Sanjay Manjrekar attributed the loss of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli early on in the game as a major reason behind the loss.
"India’s worst fear before the tournament & through the tournament came true in the semi finals. Rohit and Virat getting out early," he wrote.
Cricket analysis portal, The CricViz Analyst, shared the following insight regarding India's failure to chase down a modest target today, in light of a similar occasion in the past:
"Since the 2015 WC, India have only failed to chase one target smaller than the 240 they’ve just failed chasing: 190 v WI in Antigua, in that match MS Dhoni scored 54 off 114 balls. The top three failed — but MS Dhoni is no longer good enough to make up for their failings.
Sports journalist Rehanul Haq also shared a few statistics to demonstrate how New Zealand's consistent performance over the years is precisely due to the side's excellent control of their nerves.
Sajjad Sadiq, editor of the Pak Passion website, noted that Williamson made remarkably apt use of his bowlers throughout the second inning.
"Not only is Kane Williamson a great batsman, he's a very intelligent captain. Rotated his bowlers brilliantly, shining example in the field and tactically he was superb."
Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi said that he had expected a final show down between England and India but was blown away by the superior performance put up by the Kiwis today.
"Stunning result in Manchester!! I had predicted an England-India final but NZ have been brilliant, unbelievable effort to restrict this India batting for such low total. Great game for Jadeja, hard luck India."
One Indian fan dubbed this picture showing Dhoni's dismissal as "the most heartbreaking picture on social media".
Another, regarding Guptill's methodical fieldwork, said that it just might go down in history as "the best ever throw in a cricket match".
"If NZ goes on to win this world cup , this throw will go down as the best ever throw in a cricket match. Take a bow Martin Guptill," he wrote.
Indian cricketer Suresh Raina, praising the team's performance, said that they had played well and had just been dealt an unlucky hand.
"Tough luck, boys. Well played. You've won hearts with your efforts throughout the tournament. Congratulations @BLACKCAPS," he tweeted.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, soon followed with a pat-on-the-back message of his own for the Indian team:
"A disappointing result, but good to see #TeamIndia’s fighting spirit till the very end. India batted, bowled, fielded well throughout the tournament, of which we are very proud. Wins and losses are a part of life. Best wishes to the team for their future endeavours," he wrote.
Sports journalist Rehanul Haq, in a tongue-in-cheek statement to cap off the day's roller coaster ride, said: "Now I want England in the final just to say, 'both these finalists lost to Pakistan'.”
Thumbnail image: The Black Caps celebrating their victory. — Photo courtesy ICC
Header image: The two captains embrace after a semi-final thriller. — Photo courtesy ICC