DHARAMSHALA — A remarkable performance by Mohammed Shami with a five-wicket haul and Virat Kohli's masterclass guided India to break a 20-year-old losing streak against New Zealand in ICC events. In a thrilling match at Dharamshala, India achieved a four-wicket victory, bringing joy to their fans.
India, with this win, extended their winning streak to five matches and now leads the table with 10 points. New Zealand, currently at number two, boasts four wins and a single loss, accumulating eight points.
The chase for 274 runs began with a flying start as Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill showcased their batting prowess, reminiscent of their early dominance in the 2019 World Cup semifinals.
Rohit Sharma's brilliant 46 in 40 balls, complemented by Gill's 26 off 31 balls, set the stage for a thrilling encounter.
The pairing of Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer took over, rebuilding the Indian innings and bringing up the 100-run mark in 15.4 overs. Iyer played with aggressive intent, while Virat demonstrated his class with boundaries.
Iyer's departure at 33 off 29 balls marked a brief halt in their partnership, but KL Rahul joined Kohli to steer India past the 150-run mark.
Suryakumar Yadav's dismissal and Ravindra Jadeja's presence led India beyond 200 in 35.4 overs. The Men in Blue reached 250 runs in 45.2 overs.
In the closing moments, India needed seven runs with Virat Kohli eight runs away from his 49th ODI century, aiming to match the great Sachin Tendulkar. However, Kohli's departure for 95 in 104 balls added tension. Yet, Jadeja sealed the win with a winning four, ending at 39*, while Mohammed Shami remained unbeaten at the other end.
Lockie Ferguson, with 2/63, shone as the top bowler for New Zealand. Mitchell Santner, Trent Boult, and Matt Henry each contributed with a wicket.
Before this thrilling run chase, New Zealand posted a competitive total of 273. Daryl Mitchell's maiden ODI century powered the Kiwis, setting up an exciting clash.
The Men in Blue, led by Rohit Sharma, chose to field first after winning the toss. The early dismissals of Devon Conway and Will Young by Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami, respectively, set the stage for a tense first powerplay.
However, a resilient partnership between Rachin Ravindra and Daryl Mitchell helped New Zealand cross the 100-run mark in 20.5 overs. Shami's brilliance in dismissing Ravindra at 75 runs in the 33.3 overs was a turning point.
Despite the Kiwis crossing the 200-run mark, Indian bowlers continued to make breakthroughs. Kuldeep Yadav's wicket of Tom Latham and Shami's consecutive dismissals of Mitchell Santner and Matt Henry added to the excitement.
In the end, Shami's five-wicket haul, along with contributions from other bowlers, restricted New Zealand to 273.
This thrilling match in Dharamshala was a testament to the excitement and skill showcased in the CWC 2023. Cricket fans worldwide are eagerly awaiting the next thrilling encounter in this prestigious tournament.