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ICC World Cup: India beats New Zealand by 70 runs as Kohli, Shami break records; India enter finals 

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Virat Kohli scored his record-breaking 50th ODI century – going one over Sachin Tendulkar’s tally – and Mohammed Shami became the first bowler to pick three five-wicket hauls in a single edition of the 50-over World Cup to guide India to the final of the tournament. Shami’s 7 for 57 is also the best-ever ODI figures for an India bowler, surpassing Stuart Binny’s 6 for 4. For some parts of the chase, a determined Daryll Mitchell threatened to give Wankhede another mind-numbing chase a la Glenn Maxwell after India posted 397/4, but lack of support eventually resulted in the undoing of the 2019 finalists as they lost by 70 runs.

Kohli’s heroics – 117 off 113 – was flanked by some incredible batting all around. It started with Rohit Sharma’s gung-ho approach that saw him throw the New Zealand quicks and Mitchell Santner off in the first PowerPlay. He lived by the sword and died by it, but his 47 off 22 set the team up. Shubman Gill then took up the baton of scoring quickly while Kohli settled in, and went after Lockie Ferguson’s poor lengths. He got to a half-century and was primed to make a century, until the unforgiving Mumbai weather got the better of him and he had to retire hurt. That however, brought Shreyas Iyer to the middle, who was brutal against New Zealand’s part-time spinners Glenn Phillips and Rachin Ravindra.

After getting 84 runs in the first 10 overs, India consolidated well with 66 and 64 in the next two sets of 10, but Iyer and Kohli found a way to nudge it even further with 73 in the next 10. From 287/1 in 40 overs, India were set for a big finish. Kohli got the record century and reacted emotionally before falling in the 44th over. Iyer however, galloped to a 67-ball century. KL Rahul also swung for the fence right at the end as India amassed 110 runs in the last 10 overs to set the Kiwis a daunting target.

Devon Conway started the chase with a four past point, and got another in the first over from Jasprit Bumrah, who made an uncharacteristic rusty start. Mohammed Siraj too wasn’t on the money right away, which prompted Rohit Sharma to bring on Mohammed Shami in the sixth over and derail the chasing side early. He went round the stumps to left-handed Conway and got him to chase after and nick a ball that seamed away from him. KL Rahul took an excellent diving catch behind the stumps. In his next over, Shami had New Zealand in further trouble in an already daunting chase with the wicket of Rachin Ravindra – also caught behind.

New Zealand’s progress via Daryl Mitchell and Kane Williamson got a booster shot after the PowerPlay as the pair added 41 runs in the next five overs. India went through a phase where they were a touch lax on the field, as they missed a run out opportunity when Rahul took the bails off with his glove. The pair negotiated well against India’s two spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja and kept the scoring at slightly above six-an-over, which was still insufficient. The two batters got to half-centuries, with Mitchell taking on Jadeja with two sixes to drag New Zealand to 180 for 2 in 28 overs. The equation was still tough and Rohit brought back Bumrah to try and end the stand and derail the chase. Mitchell did not get behind the slower one from Bumrah but did just about enough on his miscue to send it to the fence. In the same over, Mohammed Shami dropped a simple catch offered to him by Williamson at mid-on.

Silence descended over the Wankhede stadium when Mitchell played one of the best shots of the match – a booming uppish drive to send a Bumrah delivery over mid-off for a six in the first ball of the 31st over with the asking rate now hovering around 10-an-over. Williamson played a classical punch through cover in the same over to leave Rohit with a lot to ponder heading into the business end of the chase. In the 33rd over, Mitchell became just the second batter – after Sourav Ganguly – to score two centuries against an opposition in the same edition of the World Cup.

But in that same over, Shami made up for his earlier dropped catch as he had the New Zealand captain caught at deep square leg and then trapped Tom Latham leg before two balls later to take the winds out of New Zealand’s sails. India twisted the knife further with two more tight overs – from Jadeja and Shami – that ramped up the asking rate further. Mitchell refused to give up, as he hit Shami for a big six in the 39th over and then did exceedingly well against Siraj’s wide yorkers from round the stumps. He then played a scoop for a six over fine leg, to take New Zealand to 266/4 in 40 overs. The ask was still 132 off the last 60 balls but the conditions and Mitchell’s undying intentions meant this was set up for a death-overs square-off.

Glenn Phillips got in on the act going after Siraj, taking 20 off the 41st. The see-sawing game then saw Kuldeep bowl an exceptional over where he nearly had Mitchell cleaned up, and conceded just two runs. Bumrah came back however, and put another dent with a slower one that Phillips miscued in search of another six. Ravindra Jadeja took a sharp catch at long off to leave Mitchell with all the work to do in the company of the lower-order. Mark Chapman walked in and out in a jiffy in another exceptional over at the death from Kuldeep, which fetched New Zealand just 4 runs and the wicket.

Shami then came back to sound the death knell for New Zealand as he had Mitchell caught in the deep to complete his fifer. With this Shami became the first bowler to pick the third five-wicket haul in a single edition of the World Cup. He added two more to his record tally, to beat Ashish Nehra’s 6 for 23 against England in the 2003 World Cup, and earn the best-ever bowling figures in a World Cup knockout fixture.

Brief Scores: India 397/4 in 50 overs (Virat Kohli 117, Shreyas Iyer 105, Shubman Gill 80; Tim Southee 3-100) beat New Zealand 327 in 48.5 overs (Daryl Mitchell 134, Kane Williamson 69; Mohammed Shami 7-57) by 70 runs

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