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Mohammad Shami announced his return to the Indian team with a five-wicket haul while Virat Kohli fell agonisingly close to another century in their win over New Zealand at the 2023 World Cup.
In a match that was stopped for sighting issues because of fog, India clinched a four-wicket win over their table-topping opponent with two overs to spare.
While New Zealand chipped in with wickets throughout their chase, India always looked like they were on top. Guided by the calm head of Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja’s first outing with the bat, India got to 274 for six in 48 overs.
This was after New Zealand had posted 273 in their 50 overs thanks to a Glenn Mitchell special. Coming in to bat at 19 for two in the ninth over, Mitchell not only stonewalled the Indian pacers at the top of the innings, he went on to add 159 runs for the third wicket with Rachin Ravindra.
While Ravindra’s demise at the hands of Shami broke the New Zealand rhythm, Mitchell went on to complete his century and finished with 130 to his name. He took 127 balls for his effort.
— ICC Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) October 22, 2023
Unfortunately for New Zealand, they failed to get the final momentum scoring 68 for seven in the final 80 balls of their innings.
Shami finished with five for 54 while there were able contributions from Kuldeep Yadav – who shrugged off a poor start to finish with two wickets – and the Jasprit Bumrah-Mohammad Siraj combination who both had one for 45 to their names.
In response, Rohit Sharma was off to a blazing start as has been his wont all tournament. He slammed four sixes in his 40-ball 46 and added 71 for the first wickets with Shubman Gill.
Both the openers were out in quick succession but Kohli’s clinical chasing capabilities ensured none of that was ever going to be a bother.
He stitched together a 52-run stand with Shreyas Iyer, added 54 with KL Rahul before his most vital partnership came with for the sixth wickets with Ravindra Jadeja.
Coming together with India still needing 83 for a win and with no frontline batsmen left to bat after them, Kohli and Jadeja absorbed the pressure well to begin with.
As their confidence grew, so did the run-scoring rhythm and by the time Kohli was dismissed – aiming to reach his century with a boundary – India were only five away from the win. Jadeja (39*) finished things off with a pulled four.
Shami won the man-of-the-match award for his match-turning spell.
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