Star Indian batter Virat Kohli played a memorable innings of 95 runs as India successfully chased down a target of 274, defeating New Zealand in an ICC event for the first time since the 2003 Cricket World Cup. With this thrilling victory, India is now the only unbeaten team in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.
After winning the toss in Dharamsala, Indian captain Rohit Sharma decided to field first.
Tom Latham and company started slowly, as the Indian trio of pacers applied immediate pressure on New Zealand. Mohammed Siraj got Devon Conway for a duck in the 4th over before Mohammed Shami announced his return to India’s playing XI with a first-ball wicket to dismiss Will Young. Jasprit Bumrah did not make any early breakthroughs, but he made sure that the Kiwis had to work hard for every run.
Daryl Mitchell and youngster Rachin Ravindra led New Zealand’s recovery and posed a tough challenge for the Indian bowlers. The duo put up a 159-run partnership for the 3rd wicket. Ravindra scored a gritty 75 runs off 87 balls, while Mitchell notched a dominating century, scoring 130 runs off 127 balls. His match-saving innings included nine fours and five sixes.
Just when it seemed like New Zealand might take control of the game, Mohammed Shami, playing his first game of the tournament, made a strong statement as he took a five-wicket haul, bowling New Zealand out for 273 in their allotted 50 overs.
Chasing a tricky 274, Captain Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill provided India with a strong start. They dealt in boundaries and added 71 runs for the first wicket before Lockie Ferguson removed Rohit and Gill in successive overs.
Virat Kohli was the standout performer in India’s run chase, but he fell just short of a well-deserved century, getting dismissed for 95 off 104 balls. However, by that time, New Zealand’s chances of a comeback were already over.
During his innings, Kohli was involved in three fifty-plus partnerships (52 with Shreyas Iyer, 54 with KL Rahul, and 78 with Ravindra Jadeja). Jadeja also played a crucial role with an unbeaten 39 off 44 balls.
Speedster Mohammed Shami was adjudged ‘Player of the Match’ for his 4/54.
India managed to beat New Zealand with two overs to spare, securing the top position on the points table.
Final scores: NZ 273 (50.0) | IND 274-6 (48.0)