Virat Kohli scored a record 50th ODI hundred before Mohammed Shami pulled off a sensational seven-wicket haul as India sealed a place in the World Cup final with a 70-run win over New Zealand in Mumbai on Wednesday. Kohli made 117, to surpass the record he had shared with India, fantastic Sachin Tendulkarand Shreyas Iyer a quick 105 in a commanding total of 397-4 that also featured Shubman Gill80 is not out.
New Zealand needed to break their own record for the highest total by a team batting second to win a World Cup semi-final – a DLS adjusted 299-6 against South Africa in Auckland in 2015.
But in-form paceman Shami then took a career-best 7-57 as New Zealand, the losing finalists at the last two World Cups, were dismissed for 327 despite Daryl Mitchell‘s 134, his highest score at this level.
India, who have won all 10 matches in the tournament so far as they bid for a third World Cup title and a second-place finish at home, will now face either Australia or South Africa, who play on Thursday in Sunday’s final in Ahmedabad.
First innings Shami struck twice early and took a wicket with his first ball to leave New Zealand 39-2.
But the Black Caps had hopes of an unlikely victory during a third-wicket partnership of 181 between the captain Kane Williamson and Mitchell.
However, Shami almost ended the chase with two wickets in three balls during the 33rd over.
Williamson fell for 69 when he flicked Shami – who had dropped him on 52 – straight to Suryakumar Yadav by deep square legs.
And 220-3 became 220-4 when Shami had Tom Latham lbw for a duck.
Glen Phillips (41) struck out while adding 75 with Mitchell.
Mitchell’s fine effort ended in similar fashion when he whipped Shami to Jadeja at deep midwicket before the paceman ended the game as he had last man Lockie Ferguson caught behind.
Kohli’s innings saw him surpass the mark of 49 hundreds he had shared with Tendulkar as his compatriot watched from the 33,000-capacity Wankhede Stadium stands with football star David Beckham.
Kohli put on 163 with Iyer, who made 105 off just 70 balls, including four fours and eight sixes.
“It feels like a dream. Too good to be true,” Kohli said during the innings break.
Tendulkar hailed Kohli’s “skill and passion”.
“I couldn’t be happier that an Indian broke my record,” Tendulkar, a teammate of Kohli’s when India beat Sri Lanka in the 2011 final at the Wankhede, wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
There was controversy at the start on Wednesday after revelations that the match was played on a used, rather than fresh, pitch.
Opener Rohit set the tone for the innings with a quickfire 47 before a cloudy drive off Tim Southee was well caught by Williamson running back from mid-off.
New Zealand thought they had new batsman Kohli out after a second-ball duck, lbw to Southee, but their review revealed an inside edge.
Kohli completed a fifty off 59 balls. A two-man fast bowler, Ferguson then took Kohli to his landmark hundred, his third of the tournament, as chants of “Kohli, Kohli” rang around the ground.
Kohli had then faced 106 balls and hit eight fours and a six in his 279th ODI innings. Tendulkar led the applause as Kohli bowed to his childhood hero.
Falling on 107, Kohli was eventually out when he pulled Southee low to deep square leg and the dynamic Iyer’s second consecutive hundred ended after he struck out Trent Boult.
Shami, who took his previous best of 5-18 under the Wankhede lights when Sri Lanka were dismissed for just 55 in pool play, was an instant success on Wednesday.
Conway’s left-handed opener Rachin Ravindrathe tournament’s breakout star with three hundreds in his first World Cup, was also caught behind Shami in the 13th over.
But then came New Zealand’s rally with the powerful Mitchell completing an 85-ball century with eight fours and five well-hit sixes.
(With the exception of the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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