India marched into the final of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, with a commanding 70-run win over New Zealand at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. Driven by exceptional performances from Virat Kohli and Mohammed Shami, India weathered a determined fightback from New Zealand to reach the final for the second time on home turf.
Kohli and Shreyas Iyer’s blazing tons powered the Men in Blue to 397-4 in 50 overs, making it the highest ever total in a World Cup Cup knockout. Their outstanding partnership, combined with a brisk start from captain Rohit Sharma, who scored 47 off just 29 balls alongside Shubman Gill, set a strong foundation. KL Rahul’s aggressive 39 off 20 deliveries further bolstered India’s imposing total.
Despite New Zealand’s glimmer of hope during a well calculated 181-run partnership between captain Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell, the match turned decisively when Mohammed Shami claimed two crucial wickets in the 33rd over. Shami’s exceptional performance, including dismissing Williamson for 69 and securing his career-best figures in ODIs by taking seven wickets, significantly dented New Zealand’s chase. His dismissals of key players like Tom Latham and the tailenders Mitchell, Southee, and Lockie Ferguson ultimately sealed India’s victory.
Rohit Sharma’s team is now set to face the winner of the second semi-final between Australia and South Africa, scheduled to take place at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens today.
India’s previous World Cup victory came in 2011 under the leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and after reaching the semi-finals in 2019 but falling short, the team is eyeing another shot at the coveted title.