Mohammed Shami claimed his third five-wicket haul of the tournament in a brilliant 7-57 as India overcame a valiant century by Daryl Mitchell (134) to defeat New Zealand by 70 runs and storm into the final of the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023 on Wednesday.
Shami, who came into the team after Hardik Pandya was injured and claimed 5-54 against New Zealand at Dharamsala and then picked 5-18 against Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium here, struck when India needed the most as he bagged 7-57 in 9.5 overs.
After Virat Kohli (117) had struck a record-breaking 50th century and Shreyas Iyer blazed to a second successive ton to help India post a massive 397/4 in 40 overs, Shami came to India’s rescue as he inspired the team to fight back and restrict New Zealand to 327 all out in 48.5 overs to script a memorable triumph.
India will next meet the winner of the second semifinal between Australia and South Africa to be played at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday. The final will be played in Ahmedabad on Sunday (Nov 19).
Providing vital breakthroughs when India needed the most, Shami prised out openers Devon Conway (13) and Rachin Ravindra (13) to give India a good start and then returned to dismiss Kane Williamson (69) and Tom Latham (0) in one brilliant over to pull India back into the game after the New Zealand skipper and Daryl Mitchell had raised 183 runs for the third-wicket partnership and were looking dangerous for India.
Shami, who bowled in five spells, sent back Mitchell, Tim Southee and Lockie Ferguson in the final few overs to complete his best haul in ODIs.
India made early breakthroughs with Shami sending back both Devon Conway (13) and RAchin Ravindra (13) in a similar fashion, caught behind by KL Rahul as New Zealand slumped to 39/2 in the eighth over.
Conway was the first to go when he edged a delivery that moved in off the seam and Rahul took a blinder down the legside. Ravindra was done in by one that moved away a bit and kissed his bat on its way into Rahul’s gloves.
Williamson and Mitchell then rebuilt the New Zealand innings, negotiating the initial period with care and then going after the Indian spinners. New Zealand managed 46/2 in the first 10 overs.
Both completed their half-centuries in quick succession — Mitchell reaching his fifty off 49 balls, hitting five fours and two sixes while Williamson reached the milestone off 58 deliveries, hitting five boundaries and one maximum. They added 100 runs for the third wicket partnership off 87 balls.
Though Bumrah conceded two fours in his opening over he did trouble the batters with some incisive deliveries as the pitch offered plenty of swing and seam.
But it was Shami who provided India with the early breaks. With the spinners getting a good turn, there were a couple of close calls, an lbw appeal which went in favour of the batter as DRS decided to stick to the umpire’s call, a run-out chance gone abegging as KL Rahul disturbed the stumps
just before he landed into his gloves. However, New Zealand dominated the next 10 overs, scoring 78 runs without losing any wickets.
Williamson got a life when Mohammed Shami dropped a regulation catch at mid-on off Bumrah with the New Zealand captain on 52 and the team at 187/2 in the 29th over.
Williamson and Mitchell reached 150 runs in their partnership and soon propelled New Zealand past the 200-run mark, off 182 balls. New Zealand scored 75 runs from 21 to 30 overs.
Mitchell slog-swept and then reverse-swept Kuldeep Yadav to the boundaries in the same over as he blazed to his second century of this World Cup, off 85 balls, hitting eight boundaries and five maximums. Earlier, Mitchell, who had scored 130 against India at Dharamsala, struck Siraj for two boundaries in the 11th over and hit his first six off Shami, down the ground over the bowler’s head.
A ball later, Mitchell belted the ball to the mid-off boundary. He hammered Jadeja for three sixes in all and handed also clobbered Bumrah for a six to bring New Zealand’s 200. He was lucky on more than a couple of occasions as his shots flew over the fielder’s head or fell short while one Shami delivery sailed just over the stumps.
Shami provided India the much-needed breakthrough when he claimed two wickets in three deliveries in the 33rd over (his fifth over of the day), giving away only 1 run.
He got Williamson holing out to Suryaklumar Yadav at deep square, just short of the boundary ropes. It was not a great delivery but a tad slower and hit the bottom of Williamson’s bat. Williamson, who returned from injury and had a difficult World Cup suffering from a broken thumb after a couple of matches, scored 69 off 73 balls, interspersed with eight fours and one six. He and Mitchell added 181 runs off 149 balls for the third-wicket partnership.
A ball later, Shami trapped Tom Latham (0) with one skid back to hit the front foot, New Zealand were down to 220/4 and the Indians had their tails up in the air.
With the packed Wankhede Stadium singing ‘Vande Mataram’ in one voice, the Indian bowlers went in search of more wickets, bowling some incisive overs. At the end of 35 overs, the Black Caps were 224/4 while at the same stage, India were 248/1.
Mitchell continued to hold the fort and got a willing partner in Glenn Phillips as they tried to repair the innings again. However, the going was slow and the run rate kept mounting.
In the 41st over, Siraj conceded 20 runs with Glenn Phillips carting him for two big sixes off successive deliveries. A wide ball later, Phillips struck him for a boundary at deep third and could have got another four if Shubman Gill had not pulled off a fine save in the deep.
With New Zealand needing 103 runs off 44 balls, Bumrah struck a vital blow when he sent back Phillips, who holed out to Ravindra Jadeja left off wide long-on. Mark Chapman (2 off 5) tried to look for a boundary and was caught by Jadeja off Kuldeep Yadav as New Zealand slumped to 298/5, needing 100 runs in 37 deliveries.
Mitchell’s vigil came to an end in the 46th over for 134 runs, caught by Jadeja off Mohd Shami, giving him his third five-wicket haul in this World Cup and the writing was clear on the wall.
India 397/4 in 50 overs (Virat Kohli 117, Shreyas Iyer 105, Shubman Gill 80 not out; Rohit Sharma 47; KL Rahul 39 not out; Tim Southee 3-100) beat New Zealand 327 all out in 48.5 overs (Kane Williamson 69, Daryl Mitchell 134, Glenn Phillips 41; Mohammed Shami 7-57) by 70 runs.