Virat Kohli scored a record 50th one-day international before Mohammed Shami pulled off a seven-wicket haul as India booked their place in the World Cup final with a 70-run win over New Zealand in Mumbai on Wednesday . Kohli made 117, to surpass the record he shared with India great Sachin Tendulkar, and Shreyas Iyer made a quick 105 for a commanding total of 397-4 that also featured Shubman Gill’s 80 not out.
New Zealand were left to break their own record for the highest total by a runner-up team to win a World Cup semi-final – a DLS-adjusted 299-6 against South Africa at Auckland in 2015.
But in-form paceman Shami then took a career-best 7-57 as New Zealand, the losing rivals at the last two World Cups, were dismissed for 327 despite Daryl Mitchell’s 134, his highest score at the level this.
India, who have won all 10 matches at the tournament as they bid for a third World Cup title and second at home, will now face either Australia or South Africa, who play on Thursday , in Sunday’s final in Ahmedabad. .
First-change Shami struck twice early, taking a wicket with his first ball to leave New Zealand 39-2.
But the Black Caps hoped for an incredible victory during a third wicket partnership of 181 between captain Kane Williamson and Mitchell.
Shami, however, all but ended the chase with two wickets in three balls during the 33rd over.
Williamson fell for 69 when he flicked Shami – who fell for 52 – straight to Suryakumar Yadav at deep square leg.
And 220-3 became 220-4 when Shami had Tom Latham lbw for a duck.
Glenn Phillips (41) struck out as he added 75 to Mitchell.
But with the current rate against New Zealand, both Phillips and Mark Chapman were lost to Ravindra Jadeja.
Mitchell’s fine effort ended in a similar fashion when he hit Shami to Jadeja at deep midwicket before the season ended the match when last man Lockie Ferguson was behind.
Kohli’s innings took him past the mark of 49 centuries he had shared with Tendulkar as his teammate watched in the stands of the Wankhede Stadium in a crowd of 33,000 that included football star David Beckham.
Kohli put on 163 with Iyer, who made 105 off just 70 balls, including four fours and eight sixes.
“It feels like a dream. Too good to be true,” Kohli said at the innings break.
Tendulkar praised Kohli’s “skill and passion”.
“Couldn’t be happier that an Indian has broken my record,” Tendulkar, Kohli’s teammate when India beat Sri Lanka in the 2011 final at the Wankhede, wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
There was controversy at the start on Wednesday after it was revealed that the game was being played on a used pitch, rather than a new one.
Opener Rohit set the tone for the innings with a quickfire 47 before his skyed drive off Tim Southee was well caught by Williamson running back from mid-on.
New Zealand thought they had new batsman Kohli out for a second-ball duck, lbw to Southee but their review showed an inside edge.
Kohli completed a 59 ball fifty. Two-time fast bowler Ferguson then brought Kohli to his first notable, the third of the tournament, and chants of “Kohli, Kohli” rang out around the ground.
Kohli then faced 106 balls, hitting eight fours and a six in his 279th ODI innings. Tendulkar led the applause as Kohli bowed to his childhood hero.
Falling on 107, Kohli was eventually out when he pulled Southee low to deep square leg and the dynamic Iyer’s second consecutive hundred ended after he was holed out by Trent Boult.
Shami, who had taken his previous best of 5-18 under the Wankhede lights when Sri Lanka were dismissed for just 55 in pool play, had immediate success on Wednesday.
Devon Conway could only ease off his first ball which was moving late, although wicketkeeper KL Rahul was still required to take a superb diving catch.
Conway’s other left-arm opener, Rachin Ravindra, the tournament’s opening star with three hundreds in his first World Cup, was also caught behind Shami for 13.
But then New Zealand rallied as the mighty Mitchell completed an 85-ball century that featured eight fours and five well-hit sixes.
(Other than the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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