Virat Kohli achieved a historic milestone by notching up his 50th one-day international (ODI) century, while Mohammed Shami’s remarkable seven-wicket haul played a pivotal role in India’s 70-run victory over New Zealand on Wednesday, securing their place in the Cricket World Cup final. Kohli’s brilliant innings of 117 surpassed the ODI century record he had shared with the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, while Shreyas Iyer contributed significantly with a quickfire 105, helping India post a commanding total of 397-4.
Despite Daryl Michell’s impressive innings of 134, New Zealand was eventually bowled out for 327, courtesy of a sensational career-best performance by paceman Shami, who claimed 7 wickets for 57 runs.
The Black Caps held onto hope for an unlikely victory as captain Kane Williamson and Mitchell forged a third-wicket partnership of 181 at the Wankhede Stadium. However, Shami virtually extinguished their chances with two wickets in three balls during the 33rd over.
Star batsman Williamson, who had been dropped by Shami on 52, succumbed for 69 as he flicked a delivery straight to Suryakumar Yadav at deep square leg. The score of 220-3 quickly turned to 220-4 when Shami dismissed Tom Latham, lbw for a duck.
Shami then surpassed his previous ODI best of 5-18, achieved against Sri Lanka earlier in the tournament at the Wankhede, by dismissing Mitchell, Southee, and the final batsman, Lockie Ferguson.
Looking ahead to Sunday’s final, India will square off against either Australia or South Africa, who are set to contest their semi-final on Thursday.