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India ease past Netherlands to stay unbeaten in World Cup

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BENGALURU: Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul’s blistering centuries, paired up with a disciplined bowling show powered India to a thumping 160-run victory over the Netherlands in the 45th ICC World Cup 2023 match at M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Set to chase a daunting 4110-run target, the Netherlands put up a decent fight with the bat but still fell 160 runs short.

Middle-order batter Teja Nidamanuru spearheaded the Netherlands’ fightback with a brisk half-century but his efforts were not enough to propel his side to the favourites.

He remained the top scorer for the Netherlands with a 39-ball 54, laced with one boundary and six sixes.

Opener Max O’Dowd (30), Colin Ackermann (35) and Sybrand Engelbrecht (45) were the other notable run-getters for the Netherlands while the rest of their batters failed against a relatively easy-going Indian bowling attack.

Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja bagged two wickets each for India while Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma made one scalp each.

This is India’s fourth-highest ODI total and second-highest total in the ODI World Cup. Their highest ODI total is 418-5 against West Indies, while in World Cup they scored 413-5 against Bermuda in 2007.

Indian captain Rohit Sharma scripted a flying start for his team after winning the toss as he along with Shubman Gill raised 100 runs for the first wicket inside 12 overs.

Shubman Gill scored a quick 32-ball 51, featuring three boundaries and four sixes before Teja Nidamanuru took a sharp catch at boundary off Paul van Meekeren’s bowling to end his entertaining knock.

Rohit Sharma soon followed him back to the dressing room after scoring 61 runs from 54 balls, with the help of eight boundaries and two sixes.

Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer then knitted a 71-run partnership for the third wicket, with the former reaching his 70th ODI half-century before Roelof van der Merwe bowled him, extending the wait for his 50th ODI hundred.

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With the scoreboard reading 200, Iyer was joined by KL Rahul and they wreaked havoc on the Netherlands’ bowlers as they scored 208 runs from 128 balls for the fourth wicket, with both batters scoring centuries and lifting India’s total beyond the 400-run landmark.

KL Rahul completed his hundred in 62 balls, making it the fastest hundred by an Indian batter in the ODI World Cups, meanwhile, Shreyas Iyer reached the landmark in 84 balls.

Rahul got out on the penultimate ball of the innings as he was caught by Sybrand Engelbrecht at deep square-leg after playing a blistering knock of 102 runs off 64 balls, featuring 11 boundaries and four sixes.

Suryakumar Yadav took the strike on the final ball of the innings and added two runs as the Indian innings ended at 410-4 from their allocated 50 overs.

Iyer remained unbeaten at 128 runs from 94 deliveries with the help of 10 boundaries and five sixes.

This was the fourth instance in ODI cricket where five batters from the same crossed the 50-run mark in an innings and the first time in a World Cup game.

Bas de Leede picked two wickets for the Netherlands, while Roelof van der Merwe and Paul van Meekeren picked one wicket each.

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