India broke New Zealand’s jinx to qualify for the finale of the World Cup 2023, inflicting a 70-run defeat on the Kiwis in a semi-final at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday.
The Blues will now lock horns with the winner of the second semi-final between South Africa and Australia on November 19 in Ahmedabad.
Virat Kohli scored a record-breaking 50th one-day international hundred and Mohammed Shami took seven wickets.
Kohli made 117 to surpass the ODI century record he had shared with India great Sachin Tendulkar, and Shreyas Iyer clubbed a rapid 105 in a commanding total of 397-4.
New Zealand were then dismissed for 327 despite Daryl Michell’s 134 with paceman Shami taking a sensational career-best 7-57.
In Sunday’s final, India will face either Australia or South Africa who play their semi-final on Thursday.
As of Shami, he has taken the World Cup by storm ever since he was included in the playing XI and took a seven-wicket haul today that helped his side break the crucial partnership that was taking the Kiwis to victory.
India started off brilliantly as they began their defence of a 398-run target with Shami removing both the openers in his first two overs.
However, after losing two early wickets skipper Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell formed a 184-run partnership and brought the 2019 World Cup runner-ups back in the game and were looking all set to stay at the crease for long.
Williamson was dropped on 52 by Shami in the 29th over but the right-handed pacer covered up for his mistake and removed the Kiwis’ skipper just after he was given the ball in the 33rd over.
Shami continued to strike and removed the new batter Tom Latham as well. The wickets continued to fall for the Williamson-led unit and soon they were all-out for 327 runs.
Mitchell top-scored for the losing side with a valiant knock of 134 off 119 deliveries that included nine fours and seven sixes.
Batting first, India were off to a powerful start, as usual, courtesy of Rohit Sharma’s power-hitting in the powerplay as The Hitman scored 47 off 29 deliveries with eight boundaries which included four maximums.
Shubman Gill capitalised on the rapid start provided by the 36-year-old as he continued the charge against New Zealand pacers. The youngster built a formidable partnership with Virat Kohli as he was on his to completing a century but he had to walk back to the pavilion due to cramps leaving India 164-1 in 22.4 overs.
The Blues had no intention to stop and it looked like they came with the mindset of scoring almost 400 runs and that is exactly what they did. Kohli and Shreyas Iyer formed a 163-run partnership and cruised their side to a dominant position in the game.
The Wankhede Stadium roared with fans screaming at the top of their lungs in the 42nd when Kohli played a shot towards the deep back square leg and ran twice between the wicket creating history. The 35-year-old scored his 50th ODI century, overtaking the legendary Sachin Tendulkar for most centuries scored in 50-over cricket.
Kohli departed after scoring 117 off 113 but Iyer continued to score big and eventually ended up scoring his successive ton in the World Cup, he contributed 105 runs off just 70 balls.
KL Rahul played a rapid knock scoring 39 off 29 with seven boundaries at the end and took his side’s total to 397 in the allocated overs.