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ICC World Cup: Kohli, Shami power India into final

ICC World Cup: India defeated New Zealand by 70 runs in a high-scoring encounter on Wednesday to advance to the ICC World Cup 2023 final. Former captain Virat Kohli scored a record 50th ODI century, while fast bowler Mohammed Shami claimed seven wickets.

After winning the toss, India amassed 397 for four wickets thanks to the explosive 105 from Shreyas Iyer and Kohli’s 117 at the Wankhede Stadium, the site of the hosts’ second and final 50-over World Cup victory in 2011.

In response, Daryl Mitchell’s outstanding 134 was for naught as New Zealand, who had defeated India at the similar stage of the 2019 tournament, were swept out for 327 in the 49th over.

The second semifinal between Australia and South Africa takes place on Thursday at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. The final takes place in Ahmedabad on Sunday.

Mitchell and Kane Williamson put up 181 for the third wicket to keep the Black Caps solidly in the chase, but Shami, who had earlier dismissed both openers, came back to dismiss Tom Latham and the captain of New Zealand in one over to put India ahead.

After reaching his hundred, right-handed batsman Mitchell experienced cramping, but he still amassed 75 runs in a partnership with Glenn Phillips until the latter was out for 41 off 33 balls.

But in the end, the goal proved to be too challenging as the Indian powerhouse continued to roll, winning the 50-over exhibition match for the tenth time in as many games.

Shami claimed his third five-wicket haul of the tournament with figures of 7/57.

With his innings, which came off 113 balls, Kohli surpassed Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar to become the player with the most hundreds in the game’s 50-over version. Tendulkar was present in the stands to witness the achievement.

Kohli removed his helmet and bowed to the crowd after making two quick runs off fast bowler Lockie Ferguson to reach his mark. Tendulkar and former England football captain David Beckham were shown on television clapping in appreciation.

Before holing out in the deep off fast bowler Tim Southee, who claimed three wickets for 100, the 35-year-old blasted nine fours and two sixes.

The late fireworks for India came from Iyer’s scorching 105, which came off 70 balls and had eight sixes and four fours.

India’s skipper, Rohit Sharma, scored 47 runs in the opening stand with Shubman Gill, giving the hosts a jolly start.

Leg cramps forced Gill to quit hurt, but he later came back to complete his innings and go undefeated at 80.