India are on the cusp of history. One more win and the Rohit Sharma-led Indian cricket team will win the the ODI World Cup 2023. If India win the final on Sunday, it will be the third ODI Cricket World Cup for the side. Following a 70-run win over New Zealand in the semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma said his side was a little sloppy on the field. He also lauded Kiwi batters Daryl Mitchell and skipper Kane Williamson for their 181-run partnership.

Mohammed Shami’s seven-wicket haul and Virat Kohli’s record 50th ODI century were the highlights as India secured a 70-wicket win over New Zealand in the semifinals of the Cricket World Cup at Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday.

“I have played a lot of cricket here, any score on this ground, you cannot relax. Got to get the job done quickly and stay at it. We knew there would be pressure on us. We were very calm, even though we were a bit sloppy on the field. These things are bound to happen (the partnership between Mitchell and Kane) but glad we could get the job done,” said Rohit in the post-match presentation.

“It is hard to say if we would have been in trouble [had India scored 30-40 less]. They would not have taken those risks. Williamson and Mitchell batted brilliantly. Was important for us to stay calm. The crowd went silent, but we knew we needed a catch or run out. Shami was brilliant. The form all the guys are in, top five-six batters, whenever they have gotten an opportunity, they have made it count. Very pleased to see what Iyer has done for us this tournament. Gill, the way he has batted for us has been brilliant. Unfortunately, he had to go off with cramps.”

“Kohli did what he does, also got to his landmark century as well. England game we got 230 on the board, way bowlers bowled with the new ball was amazing. Today obviously being the semifinal, would not say there was no pressure, whenever you play there is pressure. Semifinal adds a bit extra, we wanted to not think too much about it, just do what we’ve been doing like in the first nine games. Things came off for us nicely in the second half,” he concluded.

Earlier in the day, India opted to bat first and scored 397/4 in their 50 overs. Skipper Rohit Sharma (47 in 29 balls, with four boundaries and four sixes) and Shubman Gill (80 in 66 balls, with eight fours and three sixes) delivered a fine start with a 71-run opening stand.

Virat Kohli (117 in 113 balls, nine fours, and two sixes) posted his 50th ODI ton, while Shreyas Iyer (105 in 70 balls, with four boundaries and eight sixes) scored his second-successive WC century, helping India post a massive score. KL Rahul also delivered a 20-ball cameo of 39 runs, with five fours and two sixes.

Tim Southee (3/100) was the pick of the bowlers for the Kiwis. Trent Boult (1/86) also got a wicket.

In the chase of 398, Kiwis lost two early wickets. But an 181-run partnership between Daryl Mitchell (134 in 119 balls, with nine fours and six sixes) and skipper Kane Williamson (69 in 73 balls, with eight centuries and a six) kept Kiwis alive and Indian bowlers sweating for answers. Glenn Phillips also played a valuable knock of 41. However, a two-wicket over by Shami changed the game and Men in Blue bowled exceptionally in the death overs to restrict NZ to 327 in 48.5 overs.

Besides Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj got a wicket each.

Shami was adjudged as the ‘Player of the Match’ for his dream spell.

With ANI inputs

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