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India dances into the World Cup final because to centuries from Iyer and Kohli and a seven-for from Shami

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New Zealand 327 (Mitchell 134, Williamson 69, Shami 7-57) lost to India 397 for 4 (Kohli 117, Iyer 105, Gill 80*, Southee 3-100) by 70 runs.

India had no business giving New Zealand the anxiety it did during their 397-run defense, but in the end, they waltzed into the final and made light of the alleged knockout pressure. They are now just one victory away from potentially having the most successful World Cup campaign ever. They are currently leading by an average of 175 runs with 64.4 balls left and 6.4 wickets taken. With 89.2 balls left, eight wickets, and 147.67 runs, Australia emerged victorious in 2007.

By achieving this, Virat Kohli reached an incredible milestone—his 50th ODI century—in front of his spouse, Sachin Tendulkar, the man he passed, and the location of the symbolic torch-passing that took place 12 years ago when he carried Tendulkar on his shoulders. With three World Cups under his belt, Shreyas Iyer achieved the third-fastest century by an Indian player at 67 balls, marking his second consecutive century.

Rohit Sharma, who is selfless, is credited with one of those three centuries. He started India’s innings with a brilliant 47 off 29, marking the ninth occasion this year that he has scored in the 40s, 80s, or 90s—the joint-highest total for a calendar year.

India’s highest total in a World Cup knockout match is hardly surprising, since the pitch has showed the most variation in bowling friendliness from afternoon to evening this year. There was always going to be plenty of room for scoring. As anticipated, there was no swing or seam in the afternoon but significant movement in the air and off the surface, a surprising prodigious turn, and no dew. However, Daryl Mitchell hit an almost unthinkable 134 off 119, only to be stopped by Mohammed Shami’s 7 for 57.

You can’t blame India for taking advantage of the circumstances, considering this was only their second successful toss in nine limited-overs World Cup knockout games, dating back to their 2011 semi-final match against Pakistan in Mohali. That advantage was somewhat offset on a used pitch, where it would mean somewhat less support for the quicks in the evening and slightly more support for the slower bowlers.

Even before the crowd had gathered, Rohit turned this little smaller edge into a legitimate lead. In the powerplays this World Cup, he already has the most runs, strikeout percentage, average, sixes, and fours. It wouldn’t be surprising if he had a few sighters in a slow-pitch semi-final, but he got things rolling in the opening over, showboating a length ball over midwicket to build his own momentum for the shot.

“Shreyas is a handful because of his strength and magical wrists.”

Trent Boult was near the wicket as early as the third over, indicating that the fast bowlers should not move. Rohit danced down the wicket and lofted his first six of the day over mid-off in response to Boult’s opening ball from that angle. In his short innings, he would add three more to break Chris Gayle’s records for the most World Cup sixes (49) and most in a single World Cup (26).

India’s top five currently average more in a World Cup than any other team, but their greatest achievement has been adhering to their duties. It has been Rohit’s responsibility to maximize; Shuman Gill and Kohli can handle accumulation. Rohit’s individual score is irrelevant. As he attempted to knock a fifth six on 47, a slower ball from Tim Southee brought him down.

Gill, Kohli’s likely successor, assumed the role of aggressor to give the captain more time to focus on his duties, twelve years after Kohli had hoisted Tendulkar on his shoulders as a sign of gratitude for carrying the team. Given how quickly Kohli can accelerate, 29 off 39 is not a bad start, but Gill also added 59 from 45 at the same moment, so these are merely relative terms at this point. But with a century up for grabs, Gill pulled out, apparently due to cramping, in order to avoid risking his spot in the championship match.

However, for New Zealand, this retirement amounted to throwing caution to the wind. After just six sighters, Iyer defeated Rachin Ravindra with a fierce and deft bat. Now that the innings was in its second half, Kohli also started to step up his game. He pursued Southee and Boult, the two quicks who were returning. Iyer ensured that they had to remove the part-timers from the assault.

Mitchell Santner’s maiden wicket in the 35th over was the only reason Iyer failed to record the fastest World Cup century for India. The only bowler who was able to compete was Santner, who only scored 51 in his ten innings.

Hayden: Kohli is a fantastic example of professionalism and resiliency.

With KL Rahul’s 39 off 20 adding the final touches, India took 110 off the final 10 overs. It was unexpected that India would require so many runs at that stage, which emphasizes the significance of Rohit’s every start and the new team management’s emphasis on it.

If the bowlers have a half-bad day, those extra runs act as a buffer. Jasprit Bumrah’s beginnings are precisely what demonstrate his humanity: Three overs, 22 runs, lots of width, and five wides. first-alteration But Shami turned out to be the batters’ worst nightmare. He played with the two left-hand openers right around the wicket, nipping it just enough to have them caught at the wicket in his opening two overs.

India was somewhat relieved by it and was able to debut Ravindra Jadeja at an early age in case there was a delay. Amazingly, Mitchell continued to hit them down the ground, including the biggest six of the competition, even after both of the spinners found turn off the pitch. Meetings grew longer, faces were strained, a catch went down, a potential run-out was missed when Rahul broke the wicket too soon, and Mitchell and Kane Williamson added 181 for the third wicket. You could tell things had gotten bad when Mitchell drove the returning Bumrah off-road for six.

However, Shami came back with a double-strike: first a slower ball that Williamson grabbed at deep square leg, and then a brilliant seam to hit Tom Latham’s kneeroll with the second ball. India could return to using spinners and increase the asking rate pressure now that Glenn Phillips is aboard. By the 37th over, it was past 12 and New Zealand was losing the battle because Mitchell was cramping and India was cleverly keeping the ball out of his reach.

In the end, Shami returned to take three well-deserved wickets, making history by being the fastest player to reach 50 wickets in a World Cup, reaching the most five-fors, and recording India’s highest stats in the competition.

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