India continued their flawless performance at their home Cricket World Cup, securing a spot in Sunday’s final with a 70-run victory over New Zealand in Mumbai.
Virat Kohli achieved a milestone by scoring his 50th one-day international century, while Mohammed Shami took seven wickets. This marked India’s 10th consecutive win in the competition, setting the stage for a final showdown in Ahmedabad against the winner of the second semi-final between Australia and South Africa on Thursday.
Prior to the toss, much discussion revolved around the decision by the home curator to switch the pitch a day before the game. Instead of a fresh surface, the match was played on one that had already been used twice in the tournament. The International Cricket Council (ICC) addressed the situation, stating that changes to pitch rotations are common towards the end of such events.
Despite the pitch controversy, it proved to be a paradise for batsmen. Rohit Sharma set the tone with a quick 47 off 29 balls, followed by Shubman Gill, who retired hurt at 79 off 65 deliveries. Kohli played a pivotal role, achieving his first century in a knockout match for India after 24 attempts. Battling through cramps, he reached a historic century, acknowledging his wife Anushka Sharma and paying tribute to Sachin Tendulkar.
Shreyas Iyer provided strong support, reaching his century in just 67 balls, marking his second consecutive century. India posted a formidable total of 397 for four in 50 overs.
During the break, Kohli emphasized the remaining task at hand and urged the bowlers to approach it professionally. Despite New Zealand’s resilient efforts, especially from Daryl Mitchell, who scored 134, they fell short, bringing an end to their campaign.