India have put forward another foot towards the ultimate prize in World Cricket with a win against New Zealand on Wednesday by 70 runs. In a closely contested match until the very last, India triumped as New Zealand put up a brave fight, albeit in a losing cause.
The match several several feats broken with Virat Kohli setting the record for the most centuries in the One Day International (ODI) format as he scored his 50th ton in the format.
Buoyed by another century from an in-form Shreyas Iyer and a good start provided by captain Rohit Sharma and fellow opener Shubman Gill, India reached a mammoth total of 397 for the loss of four wickets in the first International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup 2023 semifinal against New Zealand.
In the match, that was played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, India had won the toss and elected to bat first. The decision seemed to pay off as Rohit powered the team to another good start bashing the ball at his will before departing.
With Rohit Sharma gone, in came Virat Kohli, who steadied the innings first alongside Shubman Gill and later with Shreyas Iyer as the former went off retired hurt.
While Kohli inched towards a landmark century, Shreyas Iyer kept the fireworks on from the other end. After Kohli's dismissal, Iyer powered the innings and went on to record his second ton of the World Cup.
The Kiwi bowlers were hit all over the park as India posted a huge total, which at first glance looked enough to get them an easy win. However, the New Zealand players had other plans.
They took the match to the death with Daryl Mitchell standing out with his ton, while Kane Williamson also accompanied him in fostering a partnership that had the Indian players and fans worried alike.
However, New Zealand were hit by Shami storm. The experienced Indian pacer took seven wickets in the match, to move top of the wicket taking charts.
After dismissing the explosive opening pair of Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra cheaply, India were looking for a wicket as New Zealand gained a foothold in the match. A 179-run partnership between Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell was again broken by the magician again as he got the Kiwi skipper out.
In that very over, Tom Latham was also sent packing by Mohammed Shami, who dragged the team back into the game. Mitchell looked dangerous still and alongside Glenn Phillips looked to pick the scoring rate back up.
However, this time, Jasprit Bumrah struck to dismiss Phillips, leaving the Kiwis on the brink. They still had Mitchell on the pitch, though that was not the case for much longer as Shami came back again to ensure a repeat of Maxell-like heroics does not take place.
From then on, it was more of a when rather than if, as the others came in on the act. Mohammed Siraj got one, Kuldeep Yadav also got his wicket, as Shami rounded things off with two more wickets to end the match with seven and move top of the wicket-taking charts.
India are now just a step away from glory having ensure their participation in the final. They will face the winner of the South Africa vs Australia match which takes place tomorrow.