Virat Kohli hit 95 to lead India to a four-wicket victory over New Zealand and a fifth win in five matches at the ICC Men’s World Cup 2023 on Sunday although the superstar batter just missed equalling Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 One-Day International centuries.
Fast bowler Mohammed Shami returned figures of 5/54 to help bowl out New Zealand for 273, a total India overhauled with 12 balls to spare in Dharamshala.
The Kiwis, who rode on Daryl Mitchell’s 130 to post 273, suffered their first loss in five matches and are second behind leaders India in the 10-team table.
An in-form Kohli, who hit 103 not out in the previous victory over Bangladesh, put on key partnerships including a 78-run stand with Ravindra Jadeja, who hit the winning four in his unbeaten 39.
Kohli fell to Matt Henry in an attempt for the glory shot which would have given him another century.
He leads the tournament batting charts with 340 runs.
Skipper Rohit Sharma (46) and Shubman Gill (26) provided a strong start in a stand of 71 before fast bowler Lockie Ferguson struck in his first two overs to remove the openers.
Kohli and Shreyas Iyer, who made 33, attempted to rebuild and did a good job despite fog halting play for about 10 minutes.
Left-arm quick Trent Boult sent back Iyer in his second spell, coming around the wicket with a bouncer and having the batter caught out in the deep.
Kohli and KL Rahul, who made 27, then ploughed on before left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner broke through and had Rahul trapped lbw.
Suryakumar Yadav was run out for two in his maiden World Cup appearance after a mix up with Kohli and New Zealand sensed a turnaround.
But Kohli kept his calm and along with the left-handed Jadeja saw the team home.
Shami set up victory with his second five-wicket haul in World Cups after he helped restrict New Zealand despite Mitchell’s fifth ODI ton.
New Zealand lost their openers early after being invited to bat first but Mitchell and Rachin Ravindra (75) put on 159 to get the innings back on track.
Shami helped India pull things back in the final 10 overs in his first appearance at the tournament.
Fellow paceman Mohammed Siraj and Shami took down Devon Conway, for a duck, and Will Young, for 17, as New Zealand slipped to 19-2.
Ravindra, who was dropped on 12 by Jadeja off Shami, made the most of the reprieve to reach his third fifty in his 17th ODI.
Both Ravindra and Mitchell tackled the Indian spinners with aplomb by using their feet to perfection and Jadeja went wicketless in his 10 overs.
Mitchell, who survived dropped catches on 59 and 69, stood firm despite losing Ravindra and then skipper Tom Latham for five off Kuldeep Yadav, the left-arm wrist spinner who took two wickets.
(With inputs from AFP)
Here are some of the reactions from India’s win against New Zealand: