India batted first after winning the toss against New Zealand and put up a huge total of 397/4 on the board. Apart from Kohli breaking Sachin Tendulkar’s record for most one-day hundreds, Shreyas Iyer also slammed a century, hitting 105 off 70 balls. Shami then ran New Zealand’s batting line-up as the Kiwis finished on 327. Daryl Mitchell (134 off 119) hit another hundred, but this innings also went in vain.
India were provided another blazing start by captain Rohit Sharma (47 off 29 balls). Kohli and Shubman Gill then 93 runs for the second wicket. However, Gill had to retire hurt when he was batting nicely 79 off 65 balls. Following his return to the pavilion, Kohli and Shreyas joined forces and added 163 runs in a dominant partnership.
Kohli struck nine fours and two sixes in his wonderful innings, which came to an end when he tried to go after Tim Southee. Shreyas needed only 67 balls to reach his hundred, his second successive century in the World Cup. His magnificent knock was punctuated with four fours and eight sixes. Gill (80*) returned towards the end, but it was KL Rahul (39* off 20 balls) who did the damage, slamming five fours and two sixes.
Chasing 398, New Zealand lost both their openers Devon Conway (13) and Rachin Ravindra (13) to Shami as they flirted at danger outside off without moving their feet. Mitchell and captain Kane Williamson (69 off 73) then added 181 runs for the third wicket. In the latter half of the partnership, New Zealand seemed to be dominating India.
Under pressure, Shami even dropped a simple catch offered by Williamson. Luckily, India did not have to pay heavily for the let off. The Indian pacer dismissed the Kiwi skipper, who whipped one into the hands of a fielder. Tom Latham (0) was trapped lbw in the same over.
Glenn Phillips (41 off 33) tried to take on the Indian attack, but the asking rate was well beyond control by then. Mitchell’s resistance ended in the 46th over, when he too fell to Shami, bringing the curtains down on a fighting knock, which featured nine fours and seven sixes. Shami also ran through the tail without much trouble.
--By A Cricket Correspondent