Unstoppable Force: Kohli and Shami’s Heroics Lead India to World Cup Title Clash

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Indian Team

Virat Kohli notches up his historic 50th ODI century, surpassing Sachin Tendulkar, while Mohammed Shami’s record-breaking 7 for 57 propels him to the first bowler with three five-wicket hauls in a single World Cup edition. India storms into the final with a commanding 70-run victory over determined Daryll Mitchell and company after posting a formidable 397/4 at Wankhede. Shami’s exceptional performance also sets a new standard for India’s ODI bowling figures, eclipsing Stuart Binny’s record.

Virat Kohli’s stellar innings of 117 off 113 balls showcased his batting prowess, supported by a brilliant team effort. The charge began with Rohit Sharma‘s aggressive approach, unsettling New Zealand’s bowlers and Mitchell Santner in the initial PowerPlay. Despite Rohit’s brief but impactful 47 off 22, the stage was set. Shubman Gill then accelerated the scoring while Kohli settled, taking on Lockie Ferguson’s deliveries. Gill reached a half-century but fell victim to the challenging Mumbai weather, retiring hurt just before a potential century. Enter Shreyas Iyer, who unleashed brutal strokes against New Zealand’s part-time spinners Glenn Phillips and Rachin Ravindra, further fortifying India’s commanding performance.

India displayed exceptional batting prowess after a solid start, scoring 84 runs in the first 10 overs. The momentum continued as they consolidated with 66 and 64 runs in the subsequent two sets of 10 overs. Shreyas Iyer and Virat Kohli then elevated the scoring, contributing 73 runs in the next 10 overs, propelling India to 287/1 in 40 overs. The stage was set for a formidable finish. Kohli reached his record century, an emotional milestone celebrated before his dismissal in the 44th over. Meanwhile, Iyer accelerated, reaching a blistering 67-ball century. KL Rahul’s late onslaught added to the onslaught, as India amassed an impressive 110 runs in the last 10 overs, setting a daunting target for the Kiwis.

Devon Conway initiated the chase with a boundary past point, securing another in the first over from Jasprit Bumrah, who surprisingly had an uncharacteristically rusty start. Mohammed Siraj also struggled initially, prompting Rohit Sharma to introduce Mohammed Shami in the sixth over to disrupt the opposition’s momentum. Employing a round-the-stumps angle to the left-handed Conway, Shami induced a chase and nick, resulting in a crucial wicket. KL Rahul showcased his wicketkeeping prowess with an excellent diving catch behind the stumps. In his next over, Shami continued to trouble New Zealand, claiming the wicket of Rachin Ravindra, who was also caught behind, adding to the challenges in an already daunting chase for the Kiwis.

New Zealand’s recovery, led by Daryl Mitchell and Kane Williamson, received a significant boost after the PowerPlay, as the duo accumulated 41 runs in the next five overs. India, however, experienced a lapse in the field, missing a run-out opportunity when KL Rahul attempted to dislodge the bails with his glove. Mitchell and Williamson adeptly negotiated India’s spinners, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja, maintaining a scoring rate slightly above six runs per over. Despite the effort, the required run rate remained challenging. Both batsmen reached half-centuries, with Mitchell taking on Jadeja, hitting two sixes to propel New Zealand to 180 for 2 in 28 overs. Sensing the need to break the partnership, Rohit Sharma reintroduced Jasprit Bumrah into the attack. Although Mitchell mistimed a shot off Bumrah, he managed to get enough on it to send the ball to the boundary. In the same over, Mohammed Shami missed a straightforward catch offered by Williamson at mid-on, adding to India’s challenges.

A hush fell over the Wankhede stadium as Daryl Mitchell showcased his mastery with one of the match’s standout shots—a resounding uppish drive that sailed over mid-off for a six on the first ball of the 31st over. With the asking rate hovering around 10 runs per over, Mitchell’s aggressive stroke raised the tension in the stadium. Kane Williamson added to the pressure by playing a classic punch through cover in the same over, leaving Rohit Sharma with much to contemplate as the chase approached its crucial phase. In the 33rd over, Mitchell etched his name in history, becoming only the second batsman, after Sourav Ganguly, to score two centuries against the same opposition in a single edition of the World Cup.

In a redemptive turn, Mohammed Shami made amends for his earlier dropped catch by dismissing the New Zealand captain, Kane Williamson, caught at deep square leg in the same over. Shami continued to rattle the Kiwis, trapping Tom Latham leg before just two balls later, dealing a significant blow to New Zealand’s aspirations. India tightened the grip with two consecutive tight overs from Ravindra Jadeja and Shami, escalating the required run rate for New Zealand. Daryl Mitchell, however, demonstrated resilience, smashing Shami for a big six in the 39th over and effectively countering Siraj’s wide yorkers from round the stumps. Mitchell’s daring scoop over fine leg for another six propelled New Zealand to 266/4 in 40 overs. Despite the challenging ask of 132 runs off the last 60 balls, the prevailing conditions and Mitchell’s unwavering intent set the stage for a riveting death-overs showdown.

In a remarkable turn, Mohammed Shami redeemed himself for the earlier dropped catch by dismissing the New Zealand captain, Kane Williamson, caught at deep square leg in the same over. Shami continued to deliver blows, trapping Tom Latham leg before just two balls later, significantly denting New Zealand’s chances. India tightened their grip with two consecutive tight overs from Ravindra Jadeja and Shami, escalating the required run rate for New Zealand. Undeterred, Daryl Mitchell showcased resilience, smashing Shami for a big six in the 39th over. He displayed excellent skills against Siraj’s wide yorkers from round the stumps and executed a scoop for another six over fine leg, propelling New Zealand to 266/4 in 40 overs. Although the target was a challenging 132 runs off the last 60 balls, the prevailing conditions and Mitchell’s unyielding intent set the stage for an intense death-overs showdown.

Mohammed Shami delivered the final blow to New Zealand’s hopes by dismissing Daryl Mitchell, caught in the deep, to complete a remarkable five-wicket haul. With this feat, Shami etched his name in history as the first bowler to achieve three five-wicket hauls in a single edition of the World Cup. He surpassed Ashish Nehra’s record of 6 for 23 against England in the 2003 World Cup, securing the best-ever bowling figures in a World Cup knockout fixture. Shami’s exceptional performance played a pivotal role in India’s victory, sealing their place in the final with a memorable display in the crucial stages of the match.

Match Summary: 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