In the ongoing ODI World Cup 2023, India and New Zealand faced off in the first semifinal, at the Wankhede Stadium, in Mumbai. After winning the toss, Indian captain Rohit Sharma chose to bat first. Coming to the match, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill produced a flying start in the first innings and managed a 50-plus run stand.
Tim Southee, on the other hand, broke the partnership as he dismissed Rohit for 47 runs. Thereafter, Shubman Gill scored a half-century and managed to produce another crucial partnership with Virat Kohli. The young opener had to retire hurt at 79 after suffering a groin injury.
The hosts thoroughly dominated the New Zealand bowling attack, with centuries from Kohli and Shreyas Iyer propelling the team to an imposing total of 397/4. Kohli amassed 117 off 113 deliveries, including nine boundaries and two maximums. After the first inning, Kohli revealed that the legendary ‘Master Blaster’ came to him personally and congratulated him on the historic moment.
“Well, feeling (pauses). Again, the great man just congratulated me. It feels like a dream. Too good to be true. Big game for us and I played the role so that the guys around me can come and express themselves,” Kohli said in the post-mid-innings interview.
“As I said, for me the most important thing is to make my team win. I’ve been given a role this tournament and I’m trying to dig deep. That’s the key to consistency – play according to the situation and play for the team. (On 50th century) It’s the stuff of dreams. Sachin paaji was there in the stands,” he added.
“It’s very difficult for me to express it. My life partner, my hero – he’s sitting there. And all these fans at the Wankhede. To get to 400 is amazing; a lot of credit needs to go to Shreyas. KL finished it with a flurry [of boundaries],” Kohli concluded.
Chasing the target, New Zealand struggled in their chase, making just 46 runs after the first power play. Then, Mitchell and Williamson fought hard, but it wasn’t enough as India won by 70 runs. Mohammed Shami was the best bowler, taking 7/57 in 9.5 overs. He helped India to take the revenge of 2019 loss and reach the final of the marquee event in 2023.