India’s win run in ICC World Cup 2023 continued as they triumphed over New Zealand in a high-stakes, top-of-the-table clash on Sunday.
Chasing a challenging target of 274, India displayed grit and skill, securing a hard-fought victory by a margin of four wickets.
The standout performance came from none other than chasing master Virat Kohli, who anchored the innings with a masterful 95. Fans are claiming this win as revenge for the heart-wrenching loss suffered in the semi-final four years ago on the same stage.
Kohli once again demonstrated his class by building a match-winning inning. He had already showcased his brilliance with a century against Bangladesh in the previous match, and this time, he nearly scripted history by inching closer to his 49th ODI century.
The quest for his century saw him attempt a boundary to secure both his personal milestone and the team’s victory. However, he was caught near the boundary, falling just short of the record held by the legendary Sachin Tendulkar.
Ravindra Jadeja (39*) was the perfect partner for Kohli in the final stages of the chase, reaffirming his prowess with the bat. He silenced his critics by steering India to victory, reminding everyone of his value in the 50-over format.
India’s pursuit of the World Cup title had a powerful start, with Rohit Sharma’s aggressive innings putting New Zealand’s bowlers on the backfoot during the initial powerplay.
However, a resurgent Lockie Ferguson dismissed Sharma, who had scored a brisk 46 from 39 balls. Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer quickly fell, making the chase more precarious.
Earlier, New Zealand, put into bat on a tricky pitch, encountered early setbacks as Devon Conway departed without opening his account, and Will Young was bowled by the returning Mohammed Shami.
They were reeling at 19/2 within the first 10 overs. However, with Rachin Ravindra and Daryl Mitchell taking the fight back to the Indians.
Despite some dropped catches and loose overthrows by the Indian fielders, Mitchell, who notched his fifth ODI century, and Ravindra, who crafted a well-earned half-century, orchestrated a commendable revival.
At one point, it seemed that New Zealand might set a 300+ total, but Mohammed Shami orchestrated a brilliant comeback for India in the final 10 overs, finishing with figures of 5-54 in his tournament debut.
The Indian bowlers, led by Shami, denied New Zealand the chance to push past 300 runs, eventually restricting them to 273. In the end, India’s impressive victory propelled them to the top of the points table, a position previously occupied by New Zealand.
With one foot in the semifinals, India has continued their march to World Cup glory, while New Zealand remains well-poised to advance to the knockout stage despite slipping to second place in the standings.