How Kohli’s historic ton and 7-star Shami powered India to 4th World Cup final

NEW DELHI: Batting great Virat Kohli conjured a magical record 50th ODI century while middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer fired a second consecutive World Cup hundred as India blew away New Zealand by 70 runs to enter fourth final of the cricketing extravaganza in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Continuing with their unbeaten juggernaut in the semi-final, India put together yet another clinical performance as Rohit Sharmaand co.avenged their 2019 semis heartbreak against the Men in Black in the tournament.
After Kohli and Iyer dazzling tons helped India amass a towering 397 for four, Mohammed Shami starred with the ball, picking up his third five-wicket haul as the Kiwis folded for 327 in their chase and exited the tournament.
After reaching the final in 1983 (winner), 2003 and 2011 (winner), this is now the fourth time India will be in the summit clash of the competition.
The win against the Kiwis is India’s 10th straight victory in a row after the team finished the group stage unbeaten. The win also extended India’s previous record of most straight wins at the World Cup.
Here’s a look at the key moments of the India vs New Zealand first semi-final at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Rohit’s blazing start
As India won the toss and opted to bat, local boy Rohit Sharma went hammer and tongs from the word go alongside Shubman Gill. Rohit set the tone on the first over itself, collecting 10 runs in the first Trent Boult over. Taking on the Kiwi quicks, Rohit in particular was in destructive mode as boundaries rained at the Wankhede. As India reached the 50-mark inside six overs, Rohit looked in sublime touch. Providing India with a perfect start, Rohit raced to 29-ball 47 before getting dismissed in the 9th over. The Rohit blitz helped India collect 84 runs in the first powerplay.
Gill-Kohli crucial stand
While Rohit’s initial attack took the Kiwis by surprise, Gill played a subdued role but after the fall of the skipper the youngster took over and started going after the bowlers. As the new man in Virat Kohli settled in, Gill’s onslaught ensured that the India runs rate wasn’t affected. As India raced to the 100 mark in the 13th over, runs continued to flow for India. Slamming his 13th ODI fifty, Gill looked in superb touch, hitting the bowlers to the fence at will. As the Gill-Kohli partnership soared, it laid a solid platform for a big total. However, in an unfortunate turn of events, Gill had to retire hurt in the 23rd over due to cramps as a strong 93-run stand came to an end.
Kohli record ton and Shreyas fireworks
The return of Gill brought in-form and last-match centurion Shreyas Iyer to the middle as Kiwi headache piled on. As Kohli picked up pace, Iyer, at the other end, launched another round of attack on the Black Caps after settling in quickly. As Kohli brought up his first fifty in a World Cup knockout game, India were flying high, reaching 200 inside 29 overs. As Shreyas got to his 4th consecutive 50-plus score this World Cup, Kohli inched closer to his record ton. With Iyer, hammering the bowlers at the other end, Kohli brought up the historic 50th century in the 42nd over amid a huge cheer from the fans. With the monkey off his back, both Kohli and Iyer were now in fifth gear as boundaries rained at the Wankhede. But as Tim Southee ended Kohli’s stay for 117, it also brought a sensational 163-run stand to an end. Iyer, who was dealing in sixes then brought up his ton off 67 balls — fastest ever in a World Cup knockout game. KL Rahul’s late cameo provided the finishing touches as India raised a mammoth 397 for four.
Shami’s early damage and Williamson-Mitchell massive stand
In pursuit of a monster total, the Kiwis got off to a poor start, losing openers Devon Conway (13) and Rachin Ravindra (13) cheaply. After a watchful start as both Conway and Rachin looked to take off, Mohammed Shami struck twice in two overs, rattling New Zealand early. But skipper Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell then dug in and helped their side recover. Both the batters showed great courage and determination in the tall chase and bailed their side out of early trouble. After settling in both put up a terrific show as runs started to come freely for New Zealand. However as both players got their individual fifties around the halfway mark, the asking rate kept on climbing for the Kiwis.
7-star Shami
With Williamson and Mitchell set, runs started flowing for the Kiwis as India lost a bit of control in the middle overs. As both racked up a 150-plus stand, the tensions were seemingly visible on the faces of the Indian fielders and skipper Rohit. But as Mitchell got to his ton in the 32nd over and things had started to look good, New Zealand lost Williamson for 69 against the run of play with Shami ending a big 181-run stand. A ball later Tom Latham too departed for a duck as India bounced right back with Shami’s another two-wicket burst. Mitchell and Glenn Phillips then added a crucial 75 runs but the asking rate kept going out of hands. Crumbling under the scoreboard pressure, the Kiwi chase nosedived in the final phase. With the wicket of Mitchell in the 46th over, Shami grabbed his third five-wicket haul and ended all the Black Caps hopes. Finishing with sensational figures of 7 for 57 Shami helped India bundle out Kiwis for 327 in the penultimate over.
Watch Breaking: India enter World Cup 2023 final, beat New Zealand by 70 runs

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