(CTN News) – It has been a long time since India broke the “New Zealand Jinx” by defeating the Black Caps by 70 runs in the first semi-final of the 2023 ICC World Cup at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday.
A winner from the second semi-final between South Africa and Australia will be drawn to face the Blues in India’s Ahmedabad on November 19 in the final.
Mohammad Shami has been part of the playing XI for the first time this season, and the Pakistani batsman has taken a seven-wicket haul since he joined the team. That effort helped his team break the vital partnership that had been enabling the Kiwis to win the World Cup.
The Indian team began their defence of a 398-run target with Shami removing both openers in his first two overs.
Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell, after losing two early wickets, formed a 184-run partnership that put the 2019 World Cup runner-ups back in the game and looked set to remain there for some time.
Despite dropping Williamson on 52 in the 29th over, Shami made up for his mistake by removing the Kiwis’ skipper shortly after he was given the ball in the 33rd over.
Shami continued to strike and removed Tom Latham from the lineup as well. It was only a matter of time before the wickets began to fall for the Williamson-led unit, and soon they were all out for 327 runs.
For the losing side, Mitchell top-scored with 134 off 119 deliveries, which included nine fours and seven sixes.
When batting first, India were off to a strong start as Rohit Sharma’s power-hitting in the powerplay enabled him to score 47 off 29 deliveries with eight boundaries, including four maximums.
Shubman Gill capitalized on the 36-year-old’s rapid start to continue his charge against the New Zealand pacers. He formed an impressive partnership with Virat Kohli as he neared his century, but cramps forced him to return to the pavilion, leaving India 164-1 in 22.4 overs.
There was no intention of stopping the Blues and it appeared that they had come with the mindset of scoring almost 400 runs, which is exactly what they did. During the game, Kohli and Shreyas Iyer formed a 163-run partnership to secure a dominant position for their team.
In the 42nd over, the Wankhede Stadium erupted with fans screaming at the top of their lungs when India Kohli played a shot to the deep back square leg and ran twice between the wickets, creating history. In making his 50th ODI century, the 35-year-old surpassed Sachin Tendulkar for the most centuries scored in 50-over cricket.
Iyer contributed 105 runs off just 70 balls to his second ton in the World Cup after Kohli departed after scoring 117 off 113.
KL Rahul scored 39 runs off 29 deliveries with seven boundaries at the end to take his side’s total to 397 in the allotted overs.