Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer’s centuries, and Mohammed Shami’s lethal attack helped India continue their winning streak and defeat New Zealand by 70 runs in the epic World Cup 2023 semi-final encounter at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday. With yet another win, the unstoppable team India reached the World Cup final, which will be played at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday (November 19).
Batting first, India were off to a flying start as Rohit Sharma scored a quick 47 runs off 29 balls and added 71 runs in just 8.2 overs for the opening partnership with Shubman Gill. The momentum was taken forward by Kohli (117 off 113 balls) and then Iyer (105 off 70). KL Rahul’s 39 off 20 deliveries helped India put in a huge total of 397 runs.
New Zealand did not get a good start as they lost the first two wickets for just 39 runs, but they managed to survive initial shocks and were looking set for the run chase. At one point, Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell looked in a commanding position when they added a dangerous 180-run partnership for the third wicket. However, Mohammed Shami broke that partnership by getting Williamson out and then took one more wicket (Tom Latham), putting the Kiwis on the back foot.
After Tom Latham’s departure, the Black Caps struggled for a few overs but picked up the pace again as Glenn Phillips changed the gear and hit 41 off 33 deliveries and added 75 runs in just 10 overs with Mitchell. However, Phillips lost his wicket when he went for a big hit but was caught at the boundary line by Ravindra Jadeja.
After Phillips departed, the Indian bowling attack did not allow any further partnership and picked up wickets at regular intervals. New Zealand were all out for 327 in 48.5 overs. Shami picked up seven wickets for 57 runs in 9.5 overs and emerged as the most successful bowler for India this World Cup.
Also read: ‘Well played Shami,’ says PM Modi as bowler’s 7-wicket haul against New Zealand takes India to ODI World Cup final
India will now face in the World Cup final the winner of the second semi-final, which will be played between Australia and South Africa on Thursday at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens. The Men in Blue had last won the coveted title in 2011 under then-skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. In the 2019 World Cup, India had reached the semis but lost that crucial encounter by 18 runs.
Former England cricketer Michael Vaughan praised the Indian side for their superb performance against New Zealand. “This India side are just too strong .. Even not being quite on it in the field they still manage to win by 70 .. the skipper @ImRo45 is a fantastic man manager of all the different individuals in the side.”
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