India pacer Mohammed Shami celebrates the dismissal of New Zealand’s Daryl Mitchell during their match in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, India, on Wednesday, November 15, 2023. (ANI Photo)
DOUBLE centuries from Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer and a seven-fer bowling performance from seamer Mohammed Shami saw hosts India defeat a spirited New Zealand by 70 runs in the semifinal to make the final of the ICC Men’s World Cup 2023 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday (15).
Electing to bat after winning the toss, India posted a total of 397 for 4 wickets in 50 overs, thanks Kohli’s record 50th one-day international century (117) and an energetic ton from Shreyas Iyer (105). Kohli’s knock eclipsed the legendary Indian batter Sachin Tendulkar who has 49 one-day international hundreds. Earlier, India openers Rohit Sharma (47) and Shubman Gill (80 not out) gave the Men in Blue a flying start which laid the foundation for a robust total.
For the Black Caps, pacer Tim Southee was the most successful bowler with three wickets but he went for 100 runs in his 10 overs. His opening partner Trent Boult took the remaining wicket for 86 runs.
New Zealand lost two wickets early as both their openers Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra fell for identical scores (13) off the bowling of Shami. But captain Kane Williamson (69) and Daryl Mitchell (134) took the battle to the Indian camp by adding 181 runs for the third wicket. Just when the home team was beginning to look nervous, Shami came back to pick Williamson and Tom Latham (0) in quick succession to rattle the Kiwis’ chase.
Mitchell, who scored against India in the league stage of the tournament in Dharamsala, then added 75 runs with Glenn Phillips (41) but once the latter was picked by Jasprit Bumrah, the Black Caps ran out of steam and their last five wickets fell for just 32 runs. Mitchell was also picked by Shami who also polished off the New Zealand tail to finish with seven scalps for 57 runs, registering the best-ever bowling figures by an Indian bowler in a 50-over game. Mohammed Siraj and spinner Kuldeep Yadav picked one wicket each.
New Zealand were bowled out for 327 in the penultimate over.
Shami was adjudged the player of the match.
India will meet the winners of the second semi-final between Australia and South Africa which will be played at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday (16).
This is India’s fourth World Cup final after 1983, 2003 and 2011. They won in 1983 and 2011, defeating the West Indies and Sri Lanka, respectively, but lost the 2003 edition to Australia.