India reach Cricket World Cup final as Kohli, Shami and Iyer star
Kohli became the first man in the history of One Day International cricket to score 50 centuries in the format as India’s relentless number three helped the team put together a first-innings score of 397/4 - enough to earn India a place in a World Cup final for the first time since 2014.
The imperious Shami led India's efforts with the ball, holding off a defiant New Zealand reply that was led by Daryl Mitchell’s 134 – the right-hander's second century against India in the tournament.
Shami finished with supreme figures of 7/57, making him the tournament’s highest wicket-taker, with 24 from six games at a breathtaking average of 9.13.
Earlier, Kohli’s classy century built on a blistering start from the Indian openers, as the tournament hosts got off to a flier in Mumbai.
With wickets in hand and plenty of power to come, India were eyeing a huge score even once Kohli departed for 117.
And Shreyas Iyer's own stunning hundred helped them set the biggest-ever total in a Men's Cricket World Cup semi-final, bringing up his ton off 67 balls.
Mitchell Santner’s 1/51 were the pick of the returns for the Kiwis, with Tim Southee taking three of the four wickets to fall but finishing with expensive figures of 3/100.
Shubman Gill returned after going off hurt to finish unbeaten on 80* from 66, with Rohit Sharma’s 29-ball 47 and KL Rahul’s 20-ball 39* bookending the innings in style.
Semi-final 1: India beat New Zealand by 70 runs
New Zealand required something special to chase down 398, and got off to a strong start as Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra went on the attack in the powerplay.
But first-change Shami made the breakthrough once again for India, having Conway caught behind for 13.
Shami was at it again to send Ravindra back to the dugout, with the youngster also departing for 13.
Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell led the rebuild, bringing up the 100 for the Black Caps in the 17th over, with the required rate just shy of nine an over with eight wickets in hand.
Mitchell’s quietly impressive tournament continued as he reached a half-century as nerves started to build around the Wankhede.
And Williamson - who survived a scare when he thought he was run out by KL Rahul - also brought up his half-century shortly after as the pair built a partnership that keeps the game alive.
The pair continued to build, adding 181 for the third wicket before Williamson fell for 69, once again to the returning Shami.
And Shami picked up his fourth with the removal of Tom Latham for a two-ball duck.
With the required scoring rate at more than ten an over following the captain’s departure, New Zealand needed Mitchell and Glenn Phillips to produce an all-time great display of hitting to deny India a spot in Sunday’s final.
But Ravindra Jadeja's excellence in the field put India on the cusp of victory as he caught Phillips (41) off Jasprit Bumrah and Mark Chapman (2) off Kuldeep Yadav to leave New Zealand six down and requiring a miracle.
And any hope disappeared when Jadeja made it a hat-trick of catches to end Mitchell’s 119-ball 134, with Shami taking the wicket to pick up yet another five-for.
And Shami returned for one final time to finish the job, picking up two more wickets to become the tournament's leading wicket-taker and wrap up the win in ruthless fashion.
How India reached 397/4
Rohit Sharma had won the toss and elected to bat first in Mumbai, with both sides unchanged.
And Rohit backed his own call by putting his foot on the pedal early on in the innings. He took on Trent Boult in the very first over with a couple of streaky fours. There wasn't much wrong with Boult's lines in his opening over, but Rohit went in with the intent of taking quick runs.
This continued in the following overs, as Rohit kept going for his shots even as Shubman Gill gave him decent support. With his third six of the innings, Rohit crossed Chris Gayle as the batter with the most sixes in the history of the Cricket World Cup.
India kept going at an aggressive pace in the first 10 overs, before Rohit lofted a slower ball from Tim Southee high in the air over mid-off, where his opposite number, Kane Williamson, ran backward and took a stunning catch.
Gill found good support in Virat Kohli and the duo kept going at a brisk pace. After Rohit's fall, Gill unleashed some exquisite shots to keep the run rate going.
India had already reached 150 by the end of the 20th over. During this stand, Kohli became the third-highest run-getter in the history of ODIs. New Zealand seemed to be without answers, till Gill picked up cramps in the 23rd over and had to leave the pitch, unbeaten on 79.
However, functioning like an automaton, the India batting lineup kept churning out runs. Newcomer Shreyas Iyer was soon among the runs. He unleashed a couple of big hits against Rachin Ravindra in the 27th over. Kohli reached his half-century, a first-ever for him in a World Cup knockout game, in the same over.
The batter opened his arms with an exceptional bottom-handed lofted six against Tim Southee over the leg-side in the 30th over. During the 34th over, he reached 674 runs in this edition of the World Cup. This helped him go one better over Sachin Tendulkar's 673 at the 2003 World Cup, which was the record for the most runs in a single edition of the tournament.
The duo added 100 runs off merely 79 balls. After taking 17 runs off Boult in the 36th over, India's innings slowed down a bit. A contributing factor was that Kohli was beginning to suffer from hamstring cramp.
The slower period of scoring continued as Kohli recovered and accumulated his way towards three figures. And the historic moment came with a two of Lockie Ferguson, with Kohli celebrating his record-breaking moment in style.
Kohli opened his arms after reaching three figures, racing through the gears before departing to Southee for 117 from 113 balls to a standing ovation.
But, the excellent Iyer continued the momentum into the death overs as India turned their focus to a big-scoring finish.
Iyer's hundred came off 67 balls, the third quickest by an Indian man at a Cricket World Cup, with eight of his 12 boundaries being sixes before he departed for 105 to Boult.
And a late flurry from KL Rahul helped India to just shy of 400, leaving New Zealand requiring a formidable 398 - a target that proved out of reach.
India will now face the winner of Thursday's second semi-final between South Africa and Australia.
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj.
New Zealand: Devon Conway, Rachin Ravindra, Kane Williamson (c), Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham (wk), Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult.