MUMBAI: Batting maestro Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer’s magnificent hundreds, followed by Mohammed Shami’s seven-fer propelled India to defeat New Zealand by 70 runs and qualify for the ICC World Cup 2023 final.
Set to chase a daunting 398-run target, New Zealand’s batting lineup unfolded in the penultimate over and could score 327 in response despite Daryl Mitchell’s 134.
New Zealand got off to an unwanted start to a daunting pursuit as they lost both their openers Devon Conway (13) and Rachin Ravindra (13) inside eight overs with just 39 runs on the board.
Daryl Mitchell and skipper Kane Williamson kept the Blackcaps in the run chase despite the early debacle as the pair put together a 181-run partnership for the third wicket.
The third-wicket partnership put the Indian bowlers under pressure before Mohammed Shami returned to the attack and removed the New Zealand captain in the 33rd over.
He scored 69 in 73 deliveries, hitting eight boundaries and a six.
New Zealand then suffered another blow to their pursuit when Shami struck again to remove Tom Latham for a two-ball duck in the same over.
Mitchell then joined forces with Glenn Phillips to add 75 runs for the fifth wicket but Jasprit Bumrah broke the threatening partnership by dismissing the latter, who scored a brisk 41.
Phillips’ 33-ball knock featured four boundaries and two sixes.
Mohammed Shami then put New Zealand further to the backfoot by getting rid of Mark Chapman (2) before putting a final nail in the coffin by claiming the prized scalp of Mitchell.
Daryl Mitchell top-scored for New Zealand with a gutsy 134 in 119 deliveries, laced up with nine boundaries and seven sixes.
Indian bowlers then ran through New Zealand’s lower order and bundled out the former runners-up for 327 in 48.5 overs.
Mohammed Shami led the bowling attack for India with brilliant figures of 7/57 in 9.5 overs while Kuldeep Yadav, Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj made one scalp each.
Rohit Sharma once again provided India with a blistering start after winning the toss scoring 47 runs off 29 balls featuring four boundaries and as many sixes.
He departed in the ninth over, bowled by Tim Southee with 71 runs on the board as Kane Williamson took a magnificent catch to dismiss his Indian counterpart.
Virat Kohli joined Shubman Gill and together they knitted a solid 93-run partnership from 86 balls before Gill was retired hurt due to cramps.
Shreyas Iyer then joined Virat Kohli and they ran riot against New Zealand bowlers, adding 163 runs from 128 balls for the second wicket.
Watch ICC World Cup 2023 Live on ARY ZAP
Virat Kohli broke two records during the partnership as went past Sachin Tendulkar’s 673 runs in the 2003 World Cup to score the most runs in a single edition of the World Cup with 701 runs.
Virat Kohli also became the first batter to score 50 centuries in ODI cricket leaving behind Sachin Tendulkar with 49 centuries.
Virat Kohli’s record-breaking innings ended on the final ball of the 44th over by Tim Southee as Devon Conway pocketed a low catch at deep square leg.
He scored a total of 117 runs off 113 balls, featuring nine boundaries and two sixes.
Shreyas Iyer also scored a century, scoring a brisk 105 runs from 70 balls, with the help of four boundaries and eight sixes.
KL Rahul remained not out at 39 off 20, to see India reach a mammoth 397 runs in their allocated 50 overs.
Tim Southee topped the wickets chart for New Zealand with three wickets, however, he conceded 100 runs from his ten overs, while Trent Boult picked one wicket for 86 runs.