Guptill leaves a lesson for Tamim


The moment Collin de Grandhomme took the catch of Rishabh Pant at midwicket the entire British and Australian media at the Edgbaston press box forgot their rivalry for a moment to greet it with a loud cheer.
For many of them, who kept one eye on television and other eye on the practicing Australia and England teams at the ground, it was the end of the contest in the first semi-final in Manchester.
All of them desperately wanted New Zealand to win not just because they were underdogs, but it would give their respective country a better chance to clinch the trophy should they make it to the final.
But the resistance of MS Dhoni and the counter attack of Ravindra Jadeja kept them restive to a point that it came hard for all to concentrate on anything else.
Even the dismissal of Jadeja to Trent Boult for 77 could not remove the tension completely as Dhoni was still at the crease.
India won 48 of their previous 50 matches when Dhoni stayed unbeaten in a run chase, so there was always some hope for India with him at the crease.
New Zealand could have done no better to get his wicket, with Martin Guptill unleashing a direct hit from fine leg to leave Dhoni (50) inches short.
This was the end of India’s World Cup and perhaps the end of the career of Dhoni, one of the most celebrated cricketers ever to play the game.
Former England cricketer Victor Marks, who was covering the tournament for the Guardian, immediately concluded that it was one of the three all–time greatest run-outs alongside Greg Chappell’s run out by Vivian Richards in the 1975 final and Inzamam-ul Haq’s run out by Jonty Rhodes in 1992.
‘It was the moment that every fielder would cherish in their life,’ said Marks.
‘The game was in the balance with a place in the World Cup final at stake and Dhoni was the last hope of India. Guptill could have never made a better throw,’ said Marks, a member of England’s 1983 World Cup squad.
One of Marks’ 34 one-day internationals was the World Cup semi-final against India at the same place in Old Trafford, so no one could feel the intensity of the game better than him.
Guptill’s New Zealand could do something that Marks’ England could not do in 1983, so naturally he was elated.
For Marks and his other media colleagues watching the game from Edgbaston, it was the completion of redemption for Guptill, who came into this World Cup with so much promise only to do almost nothing with the bat.
After an unbeaten 73 against Sri Lanka in their first match, his form deserted him as the right-hander could muster only 94 runs in his remaining innings.
Guptill, with his fielding effort, erased the pain and left a lesson for many cricketers like Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal, who let down their team in the field after a similarly ordinary World Cup with the bat.