A repeat encounter of the 2019 World Cup, but not the result. This time India cleared the hurdles and marched into the finals with a massive 70-run win. The home team's 10th successive win in the tournament and they clearly deserve one more on November 19 for the kind of game they have played so far. India outclassed New Zealand in both departments at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday.
After electing to bat first, the Men in Blue set a mammoth target of 398 runs on the back of collective batting efforts from their top 5 batters. The Kane Williamson-Daryl Mitchell partnership gave the hosts a scare at one stage but Mohammed Shami's magic demolished the Kiwi line-up in the second innings.
Captain Rohit Sharma once again set the tone upfront with a blazing start. The skipper may have missed his half-century by 3 runs, but he didn't let the Kiwi pacers do any damage in the initial overs. Rohit fell in 8.2 overs but he put India in command as the scoreboard read 71/1. Shubman Gill then accelerated the innings while Virat Kohli took time to settle in the middle as usual.
Gill (80 off 66) was looking good to score his maiden World Cup century but had to leave the crease due to cramps. Kohli and Shreyas Iyer then took over the scoring responsibility and neither allowed the New Zealand bowlers to smile. The former Indian captain scored his third century of the tournament and broke Sachin Tendulkar's double records - most runs in a single World Cup edition and the most number of ODI centuries (50).
Meanwhile, Iyer went on to smash back-to-back centuries. His 105 came at a strike rate of 150 and a much-needed striking for India in the last 10 overs. KL Rahul (39 off 20 balls) also played some aggressive shots in the end to set a highly challenging score for New Zealand.
New Zealand fell like a pack of cards as Shami turned destructive
India needed early breakthroughs and it was Shami who got off to a flying start by sending back both openers. However, Williamson and Mitchell played sensibly without taking any kind of risks to put India under pressure again. An 181-run stand provided tense moments in the Indian camp, but Shami broke the deadlock by dismissing NZ skipper and Tom Latham in the same over.
With Mitchell and Glenn Phillips at the crease, New Zealand had some hope. But the required run rate was too high and the Indian bowlers kept it tight. Jasprit Bumrah got rid of Phillips, while Shami removed centurion Mitchell to dash their hopes. The right-arm pacer was adjudged Player of the Match for his sensational 7/57. The man, who was benched in the initial matches, became the first bowler to bag three five-fors in a single World Cup edition.
Here's how fans reacted to India's win over New Zealand in the semi-final of the 2023 ODI World Cup:
The scars of 2019 have healed 🔥— Thums Up (@ThumsUpOfficial) November 15, 2023
Just one day away from glory now. Surely after 10 years of disappointment God won’t let us down this Sunday. 🙏🛐— Prantik (@Pran__07) November 15, 2023
WE ARE LIVING IN ROHIT SHARMA’s ERA— Useer45 (@140of113) November 15, 2023
This indian team is something else 🔥🔥🔥— nav_97 (@MMalik002) November 15, 2023
It's not Semifinal, Its Shamis Final😍🔥— आदेश कुमार (@wokeindian14) November 15, 2023
Shami is the man for the india....7 wicket— Hriday Singh (@hridaysingh16) November 15, 2023
Hamesha ki tarah mehnat mein chamakte raho!— Ammad Alvi (@ammadalvi__) November 15, 2023