ISLAMABAD: India beat New Zealand by 70 runs in a high-scoring semi-final match of the ICC World Cup played at Wankhede Stadium, India, on Wednesday. First Indian batters, including Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, and Shubman Gill, helped the side to set a huge total. Pacer Muhammad Shami then performed well with the ball, getting 7 wickets to lead India to the final of the mega event.
While chasing a massive target of 398, New Zealand openers remained under pressure from the start. They managed to save wickets against Bumrah and Siraj in the first 5 overs. However, Rohit’s smart move to bring Shami soon did the job. Shami first dismissed Devon Conway on 13 and then in his next over, got rid of Rachin Ravindra who also added just 13 runs to the total. In 7.4 overs, New Zealand were 39 for 2, far away from a huge total.
Both the openers were replaced by Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell. Both the batters not only managed to stay on the crease but took their side back in the game. Both completed their half-centuries and pushed the run-rate above 6 runs per over. In the 31st over, they managed to take the team’s total to 200, while both were there on the crease. Sharma utilized all his bowlers to break the partnership.
Meanwhile, Darly Mitchel also completed his brilliant hundred on 85 balls, including 5 sixes and 8 fours. However, the tactics of bowling finally worked when the only wicket-taker, Muhammad Shami, was reintroduced. He dismissed Williamson on 69, when the total reached 220 in the 33rd over. Both batters contributed 139 runs in partnership for the team. But Shami was even more lethal. He dismissed Tom Latham on a duck in the same over bringing Kiwis batters under pressure again. After losing 2 quick wickets in the middle, India dominated the game once again.
Latham was replaced by Glenn Phillips who along with Mitchel, moved towards the target. Both batters became cautious to stop losing further dismissals. However, the required run-rate was ascending. After 40 overs, New Zealand reached 266 for 4 as Kiwis required 132 runs on just 60 balls.
In the 41st over, Phillips accelerated the innings and smashed 2 sixes and a boundary and got 20 runs against Siraj to create some hope for the team. However, to push the scoreboard with more pace, Phillips was finally lost his wicket on 41 on 33 balls. His innings included 4 fours and 2 sixes. At the stage New Zealand were 295 for 5 in 43 overs and required 103 runs on just 42 balls. In the next over Kiwis lost their 6th wickets when Kuldeep removed Mark Chapman on just 2 runs.
It seemed very difficult for New Zealand to get about 100 runs in just 6 overs despite Mitchel standing on the crease. In last 5 overs (30 balls) New Zealand required 92 runs to win with 4 wickets in hand. In the next over Shami strike again got red of Darly Mitchel who was caught by Jadeja at Mid-wicket boundary. Darly Mitchel scored 134 on 119 balls including 7 sixes and 9 fours.
However, at this stage India almost took the game away from the Kiwis. The tail added few runs to the total but these were not enough. New Zealand scored 327 all out in 48.5 overs. India won the match by 50 runs and reached to the final of the mega event. Final would be played on 19th of this month at Ahmedabad.
From India Muhammad Shami was the most successful and decisive bowler taking 7 for 57 in his 9.5 over spill. Bumrah, Siraj and Kuldeep took 1 wicket each.
India Batting New Zealand
Earlier, after winning the toss, India decided to bat first on a flat pitch. Both the openers, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, took a flying start for the team with a run-rate of over 8 runs per over. Sharma was even more lethal who played a quick fire of 47 on 29 balls, including 4 fours and 4 sixes.
In the 9th over, Southee managed to get rid of Sharma when the total reached 71. Sharma was replaced by Virat Kohli, who along with Shubman Gill managed to take the innings ahead with the same face. The team completed the first 100 runs in the 13th over. Later both completed their half-centuries and kept the Kiwis bowling line under pressure. Reaching 79 of just 65 balls Gill left the crease as retired hurt and was replaced by Shreyas Iyer.
Meanwhile, Kohli was eyeing on his 50th hundred to break the record of the great Sachin Tendulkar with 49 centuries. In the 37th over, when India reached 267, Shreyas Iyer completed his half-century.
Meanwhile, Kohli approached to his hundred. In the 42nd over when Kohli pushed the ball towards long leg for a double, jumped in the air to celebrate the historic achievement and completed his 50th hundred to become the first batter. He also broke the record of Sachin Tendulkar of 49th century. Tendulkar also applauded him from the stands after achieving the landmark.
In the 44th over the tiring New Zealand managed to dismiss Kohli on 117 when the total reached 327. However, on the other hand, Shreyas Iyer showed his class and completed his brilliant century. His hundred included 8 sixes and 4 boundaries. He was dismissed by Boult on 105 in the 49th over. After Iyer, Shubman Gill came back for the play and remained unbeaten on 80. KL Rahul also added some crucial runs (39) at the end. India scored 397 for the loss of 4 in 50 overs.
From New Zealand, Tim Southee took 3 wickets while Trend Boult got 1 wicket.
India Team: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav and Mohammed Siraj
New Zealand Team: Devon Conway, Rachin Ravindra, Kane Williamson (c), Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult