Daryl Mitchell hit a defiant century but it was not enough as Virat Kohli and Mohammed Shami guided India to the World Cup final with a 70-run win over New Zealand.
Kohli stole the limelight once again earlier in the day by making a record 50th one-day international century to move past his hero Sachin Tendulkar at the top of the all-time list, guiding India to a formidable total of 397 for four from their 50 overs.
It was a total that eventually proved beyond New Zealand, but they gave it an almighty go with Mitchell leading from the front with a gutsy 134 and captain Kane Williamson contributing a near run-a-ball 69.
The Black Caps finished on 327 – Shami the destroyer in chief with a brilliant 7-57 – but can leave proud that they pushed unbeaten India harder than any other team at the World Cup. Rohit Sharma’s side will now take on the winner of the second semi, between Australia and South Africa, in Sunday’s final.
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Shreyas Iyer also reached three figures as India’s batters fired on a day that started in controversial fashion with the news the Board of Control for Cricket in India had reportedly ordered a change of pitch at the Wankhede Stadium – without the ICC’s consent – to favour their spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav.
New Zealand’s spin options Mitchell Santner, Glenn Phillips and Rachin Ravindra went wicketless, although their quicks also failed to make much of an impact against an Indian onslaught.
Sharma and fellow opener Shubman Gill put on 71 inside nine overs before the former skied a Tim Southee delivery to Williamson having made a 29-ball 47.
Gill seemed destined to go on to three figures but had to retire hurt on 79 with what appeared to be leg cramps on a blisteringly hot day in Mumbai. He re-appeared for the final over to nudge his personal score to 80 not out.
Kohli wasn’t going to miss out though.
He survived a few edgy moments as he approached the milestone before eventually getting there with a flick on the leg side off Lockie Ferguson. Kohli sank to his knees while the crowd, which included Tendulkar and David Beckham, rose to their feet.
It wasn’t the only record he broke today.
In getting to 80, he also broke Tendulkar’s record of 673 runs made in a single World Cup.
He eventually departed for 117, made off 113 balls, picking out Devon Conway in the deep off Southee, but he had set a platform for Iyer to build on and he duly delivered with his fifth ODI century – 105 off just 70 balls.
With Mitchell and Williamson going well in tandem, New Zealand still had hope but a double blast from Shami in the 33rd over rocked their momentum.
Phillips’ 41 from 33 balls kept Indian nerves jangling but his departure signalled the beginning of the end.
Mitchell’s valiant effort then came to an end within another three innings as he picked out Jadeja, making his third catch of the day at deep midwicket. That brought up Shami’s third five-for of the tournament, but he was not done there as India closed out the win in style.
Southee and Ferguson fell late to Shami as he brought up his magnificent seven, both Black Caps nicking through to KL Rahul as Shami recorded the best bowling figures of the tournament.
1983 ➡️ 2011 ➡️ 2023❓
— ICC Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) November 15, 2023
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