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Disappointing result, but good to see fighting spirit of Men In Blue, tweets Prime Minister Narendra Modi

The prime minister lauded Team India for batting, bowling and fielding well throughout the tournament and said that the whole nation is proud of the efforts put in by the players during the showpiece event.

Disappointing result, but good to see fighting spirit of Men In Blue, tweets Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Shortly after India crashed out of ICC Men's World Cup 2019 after facing an 18-run defeat against New Zealand in the first semi-final at Manchester, Prime Minister tweeted saying that though the result is disappointing he is happy to see the fighting spirit of the Men In Blue. The prime minister lauded Team India for batting, bowling and fielding well throughout the tournament and said that the whole nation is proud of the efforts put in by the players during the showpiece event. PM Modi added that wins and losses are part of life and he wished best to the team for their future games.

"A disappointing result, but good to see Team India’s fighting spirit till the very end. India batted, bowled, fielded well throughout the tournament, of which we're very proud. Wins & losses are part of life. Best wishes to the team for their future endeavours," PM Modi tweeted.

New Zealand pacers decimated India’s strong batting line-up, reducing them to 5/3 before an inspiring century-plus partnership between Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni brought them back. Jadeja and Dhoni batted out 17.2 overs to bring India within striking distance of glory, but Trent Boult’s dismissal of the allrounder and Martin Guptill’s direct-hit run-out of Dhoni in the penultimate sealed India's fate. To New Zealand’s 239/8, India were bowled out for 221.

In a rare top order failure, India lost Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli for a combined three runs. And on Wednesday – the reserve day for the semi-final, New Zealand’s bowlers didn’t give India’s batsmen any. Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya weathered the storm adding 47 off 77 balls, but questionable shot selections from either batsman ended their fight.

Matt Henry had Rohit Sharma nicking to Latham in the second over. Two overs later, Kohli walked across the stumps a bit too much and was given out LBW, a review not able to save him. As for KL Rahul, long, lingering issue of playing a good length delivery had him poking away and edging. Dinesh Karthik took 21 balls to score his first runs.

Pant and Pandya did the right thing – played out Boult, Henry. Pant, on 17, was put down by Neesham off the first ball from Lockie Ferguson but gained in confidence with a few crisp boundaries. With India already behind the asking rate, Mitchell Santner’s introduction added to their woes, who gave away just five runs in his first five overs. His precession was rewarded when Pant and Pandya slog swept him and holed out.

For a change, Dhoni’s 29 off 55 was put at the backburner with Jadeja’s entertainment. After the 50-partnership was raised between the two, Jadeja scampered for a double to bring up his fifty, followed by his customary bat swing celebration and a little message pointed towards the commentary box.

With 62 needed off 36, Jadeja gave himself room and drilled Ferguson down the ground. With a dab to fine leg, the 100 partnership was up and India had returned from the dead. But New Zealand applied the squeeze nicely in the last five overs. Jadeja top edged Boult to lob a simple catch to Kane Williamson, and even though Dhoni cut a six off Lockie Ferguson, Guptill struck with a direct hit to deal India a body blow.

Earlier, as the skies cleared to bring out a sunny Wednesday in Old Trafford, New Zealand could add just 28 runs to their overnight score of 211 and lost three wickets to finish on 239/8.