Kiwis chase 398 after Kohli and Iyer heroics
Virat Kohli notched his 50th ODI century while Shreyas Iyer played a good supporting role with 105 as India set a challenging total of 397 for 4 wickets in 50 overs in the first World Cup semi-final against New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai yesterday.
Skipper Rohit Sharma’s decision to bat after winning the toss first paid off won the toss, executing their plan well to reach a total of 397 for the loss of only four wickets. The innings featured impressive centuries by Kholi and Iyer, showcasing a superb batting display that came close to touching the 400-run mark.
Openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill got India off to a fiery start, adding 71 runs in just 8.2 overs. Sharma, the more aggressive of the two, scored 47 in 29 balls with 4 fours and 4 sixes. However, Tim Southee made a breakthrough, dismissing Sharma just three runs short of his half-century.
Run machine Virat Kohli joined forces with Shubman Gill to build the innings more comfortably. Gill reached a fluent half-century but retired hurt on 80 in 66 balls with 8 fours and 3 sixes due to a cramp in the 23rd over.
Top-order batsmen Kohli and Shreyas Iyer entertained the Wankhede Stadium crowd with stylish and entertaining innings, each completing a century.
Kohli’s innings of 117 runs off 113 balls, including 9 fours and 2 sixes, marked his 50th ODI century, surpassing Sachin Tendulkar’s record (49).
He departed in the 44th over with India in a strong position at 327 for 2 wickets. Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar was present to witness Kohli’s milestone.
Shreyas Iyer, who had struggled for runs in earlier matches, came back strongly with his second century. His 105 off just 70 balls, including 4 fours and 8 sixes, came to an end in the 49th over, dismissed by paceman Trent Boult.
K.L. Rahul the wicketkeeper scored an unbeaten 39 in 20 balls with 5 fours and 2 sixes, guiding the team with a useful contribution.
Tim Southee was the only successful bowler for New Zealand, taking 3 wickets but conceding 100 runs in his ten-over spell, while Trent Boult took 1 for 86.
India: 397 for 4 wickets in 50 overs (Rohit Sharma 47, Subman Gill 80 (retired hurt), Virat Kohli 117, Shreyas Iyer 105, K.L. Rahul 39*, Tim Southee 3/100) vs. New Zealand.