In a spectacular display of dominance, the Indian cricket team concluded the league stage with an impeccable 9-0 record by overwhelming the Netherlands in Bangalore with a resounding 160-run victory. Despite facing a mere two-day gap before their crucial semifinal against New Zealand, India exhibited unwavering focus. The top five batsmen collaborated seamlessly, propelling India to an imposing total of 410/4. While the top order fell short of converting their fifties, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul stole the spotlight with magnificent centuries, forging a formidable double-century partnership. The bowlers then efficiently sealed the victory, solidifying India’s formidable position in the tournament.
Opting to bat, Rohit Sharma wasted no time in asserting himself, showcasing his aggressive intent with two boundary hits in the initial three balls of the innings. However, it was Shubman Gill who left an early mark, launching a six that sailed beyond the Chinnaswamy Stadium. The opening duo swiftly reached a half-century within the first six overs, setting the tone for a relentless batting display. The onslaught continued, with the batsmen maintaining their dominance and achieving a century partnership. Despite a relatively subdued tournament for Gill, he quickly notched up his fifty in just 30 balls. Unfortunately, Gill couldn’t capitalize on his start, falling victim to a well-caught effort near the boundary while attempting a pull shot against a short-pitched delivery.
Rohit Sharma faced a similar fate, unable to capitalize on his fifty as he departed for 61 while attempting a ground shot. Following Rohit’s dismissal, Virat Kohli took charge, compensating for a slow start by scoring briskly. To the joy of the IPL home crowd, Kohli not only secured his seventh fifty-plus score of the tournament but also claimed the top spot on the run charts. However, mirroring his teammates, Kohli fell short of converting his fifty into a century. Roelof van der Merwe angled a delivery that found its way to knock the off stump, ending Kohli’s innings after a commendable contribution.
By the time Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul joined forces, India had firmly established a commanding position with a formidable 200 runs on the board and over 20 overs still to play. Iyer continued his impressive form, reaching fifty for the third consecutive time, while Rahul settled in for the final onslaught. The duo prepared for a grand finish, with Iyer showcasing his prowess by consistently launching massive sixes down the ground. Meanwhile, Rahul achieved a significant milestone, adding to the historic moment as, for the first time in India’s history, the top five batsmen all registered fifty-plus scores in an ODI game. This remarkable feat underscored the team’s dominance and batting prowess in the match.
As the 40th over concluded, India had amassed 284 runs on the board, presenting a realistic chance of reaching the coveted 400-run mark, especially with the likes of Suryakumar Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja yet to bat. However, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul had other plans, unleashing a spectacular batting display. Despite Iyer’s recent scores of 77 and 82 in the last two games, he reached a milestone by securing a World Cup hundred. Simultaneously, Rahul escalated his performance, eyeing his own century. In a breathtaking penultimate over, Iyer took on Logan van Beek, hammering three sixes and a four, leaving the bowler with figures of 0/107. With 11 runs needed for Rahul to achieve his century in the final over, he swiftly accomplished the feat in front of the home crowd, contributing to India’s massive final score.
Chasing the imposing total against the tournament’s most in-form bowling attack, Netherlands faced an uphill battle from the start. The early setback occurred when Mohammed Siraj induced movement away from Wesley Barresi, resulting in an outside edge and an early departure. Despite this setback, Netherlands displayed glimpses of resistance, notably through Colin Ackermann’s aggressive approach. Ackermann took on Mohammed Siraj, smashing three boundaries in a single over. Max O’Dowd also provided valuable support, contributing to Netherlands’ total as they managed to post 62 runs in the powerplay, showcasing a brief but spirited fight against the formidable Indian bowling attack.
After the boundary-laden phase, India’s spin duo made a significant impact. Kuldeep Yadav removed the aggressive Colin Ackermann, while Ravindra Jadeja bowled a skillful delivery that disturbed Max O’Dowd’s stumps. With Mohammed Siraj leaving the field due to an injury sustained while attempting a catch, captain Rohit Sharma turned to the part-time bowling options of Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, and Shubman Gill. Kohli, in particular, provided a moment of jubilation for the crowd by dismissing Scott Edwards, who was caught down the leg side. This wicket marked Kohli’s first in international cricket since 2016, adding to the success of India’s varied bowling attack.
Jasprit Bumrah showcased his skill with an inch-perfect yorker, dismissing Bas de Leede and sending him back to the pavilion. With Mohammed Siraj returning to the field, he quickly accounted for Sybrand Engelbrecht, leaving the Netherlands facing a daunting defeat. Teja Nidamanuru provided a brief moment of joy for the Dutch dugout by smashing the ball over the ropes and achieving a well-deserved fifty. Despite his resistance, the Netherlands fell short of batting out the full 50 overs. The night, however, belonged to the home side, as they maintained their unbeaten run and now enter the knockout stage with a surge of confidence.
Match Summary: India 410/4 in 50 overs (Shreyas Iyer 128*, KL Rahul 102, Rohit Sharma 61; Bas de Leede 2/82) beat Netherlands 250 in 47.5 overs (Teja Nidamanuru 54; Mohammed Siraj 2/29, Jasprit Bumrah 2/33) by 160 runs