Kohli’s 95 helps India overcome NZ jinx

Following Mohammed Shami’s 5-54 in his first World Cup 2023 match, Virat Kohli’s 95 helped India defeat New Zealand by four wickets to top the points standings. Despite Daryl Mitchell’s career-best 130, a late collapse set off by Shami limited the then-table-toppers to 273. Despite the ups and downs, India’s pursuit was maintained thanks to Kohli’s knock, which was built upon the foundation Rohit Sharma laid in the Powerplay.

India’s success has been largely attributed to Rohit’s unreserved attitude, as the captain always launched an offensive early on. In his 40 balls, he slog-swept Mitchell Santner, lofted Trent Boult straight down the ground, and skipped down to Matt Henry twice. He also hit four sixes. But Lockie Ferguson’s introduction promised more than one problem.

The bowler dismissed both of India’s well-set openers with two strikes in his opening eight balls, undermining their impressive start. While Shubman Gill uppercut a short one straight to third man, Rohit pulled an inside edge onto his middle stump. But Shreyas Iyer didn’t stop hitting boundaries off the pacer, helping India pass the hundred mark. Shortly after, an 11-minute break was brought on by a dense layer of fog covering the stadium.

On the other side of the forced break, Ferguson spilled more boundaries, with Kohli flicking one to the legside and stroking another through covers in the same over. But just after the fifty-run mark, Boult took advantage of Iyer’s weaknesses with the short ball and removed India’s number-four on 33. Rachin Ravindra bowled some tight overs during his opening stint, but Kohli duly punished a rare overpitched slot ball for six runs to help New Zealand rally. KK After a calm start, Rahul was almost catching up when the partnership was dissolved shortly after the fifty mark due to a well-planned review by New Zealand. Santner took the LBW call against Rahul upstairs after it was turned down on the pitch, and the three reds gave him his first wicket. After a mix-up with Kohli, he made an unfortunate run out of Suryakumar Yadav in the very next over with a crisp diving effort.

Despite this setback, Kohli persisted, teaming up with Jadeja when India required an additional 83 runs in the final 16 overs. The all-rounder started strong, hitting back-to-back boundaries from Ferguson and even surviving an early LBW scare. However, he was Kohli’s perfect second fiddle, frequently relieving pressure with a boundary at the right moment. Together, they chipped away at Santner with some deft running between the wickets. When the score was down to a tight 26 off 30, Kohli made up ground with a four and a six off a resurgent Boult to put India well ahead, but an unnecessary slog cost him his second century of the competition. But with only five minutes remaining, Jadeja completed the paperwork to enable India to win five out of five.


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