Published on: Oct 23, 2023
Mohammed Shami claimed 5/54 in his comeback match, while Virat Kohli hit 95 off 104 as India beat New Zealand by four wickets in match number 21 of the 2023 World Cup at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala on Sunday, October 22. With the win, the Men in Blue also ended their losing streak against the Kiwis in ICC events, which dated back to 2003 and also moved to the top of the points table.
India won the toss and opted to bowl first in the clash of unbeaten sides in World Cup 2023. Mohammed Siraj got the hosts off to a good start as Devon Conway (0) was brilliantly caught by Shreyas Iyer at forward square leg. Shami then bowled Will Young (17) with his first ball in the competition to leave the Kiwis in slight trouble at 19/2.
New Zealand, however, fought back courtesy of a brilliant third-wicket stand of 159 between Daryl Mitchell (130 off 127) and Rachin Ravindra (75 off 87). They were aided by a few dropped catches from the Indian fielders including one from the mostly reliable Ravindra Jadeja. To their credit, though, Mitchell and Ravindra capitalized on the chances. The duo was very severe on India’s spinners, especially Kuldeep Yadav (2/73).
Mitchell struck nine fours and five sixes in his innings, while Ravindra hit six fours and one maximum. The partnership ended when Ravindra lofted Shami to long-on. Kuldeep then trapped Tom Latham (5) leg before. While Mitchell went on to complete his hundred, New Zealand’s run rate slowed down significantly in the last 10 overs.
Kuldeep also had Glenn Phillips (23) caught off a full and wide delivery. Mark Chapman fell to Jasprit Bumrah for 6 after which Shami knocked over Mitchell Santner (1) and Matt Henry (0) off consecutive balls. He completed a five-fer by having Mitchell caught in the last over as New Zealand were all out for 273.
India got off to a solid start in the chase as Rohit Sharma (46) and Shubman Gill (26) added 71 for the opening wicket. Both perished in quick succession. However, Shreyas Iyer (33) and KL Rahul (27) played good support acts even as Kohli anchored the chase from one end in his usual manner.
There was a slight hiccup when Suryakumar Yadav (2) was run out following a mix-up with Kohli. However, Jadeja (39*) proved to be an able ally for Kohli. The duo added 78 for the sixth wicket to kill any faint hopes of a Kiwi fightback. Kohli fell while looking for the glory short to reach his hundred. However, Jadeja pulled Matt Henry for four to confirm victory for India – their fifth in as many games.
–By A Cricket Correspondent