New Delhi: India continued their unbeaten run in the World Cup with a thrilling four-wicket victory over New Zealand at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Sunday. It was India’s first win over the Kiwis in the ICC tournament after 20 years, since the 2003 edition in South Africa.
The hosts chased down the target of 274 with 10 balls to spare, thanks to a masterful knock of 95 by captain Virat Kohli and some useful contributions from the middle order. Kohli, who has been in sublime form throughout the tournament, missed out on his century by a whisker as he holed out to Glenn Phillips off Matt Henry in the 46th over. He faced 104 balls and hit eight fours and two sixes in his innings.
India had a shaky start in their chase as they lost Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan cheaply to Trent Boult. However, Kohli and KL Rahul steadied the ship with a 97-run stand for the third wicket. Rahul scored 45 off 51 balls before he was dismissed by Mitchell Santner. Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya also chipped in with 28 and 24 runs respectively, while Ravindra Jadeja remained unbeaten on 23.
Earlier, New Zealand posted a competitive total of 273 for nine in their 50 overs after opting to bat first. The visitors were well placed at 205 for four in the 40th over but lost their way in the death overs as Mohammed Shami ran through their lower order. Shami, who was playing his first match of the tournament after being rested for four games, claimed five wickets for 51 runs in his 10 overs. He was well supported by Jasprit Bumrah, who took two wickets for 43 runs.
New Zealand’s top order failed to convert their starts as Martin Guptill (32), Kane Williamson (36), Ross Taylor (39) and Tom Latham (34) all got out after getting set. Phillips was the top scorer for the Kiwis with a quick-fire 59 off 43 balls, while Henry added some valuable runs with an unbeaten 22 off nine balls.
With this win, India have consolidated their position at the top of the points table with 10 points from five matches. They will face England in their next match on October 26 at Ahmedabad. New Zealand, on the other hand, have slipped to the fourth spot with six points from six matches. They will take on Afghanistan in their next match on October 28 at Lucknow.