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Dharamsala: Virat Kohli anchored another tricky chase with perfection after Mohammad Shami’s sizzling five-wicket haul as India defeated New Zealand by four wickets in the World Cup here on Sunday, their first win over Black Caps in an ICC event after 20 years. Shami (5/54) starred with the ball to restrict New Zealand to 273 all out despite Daryl Mitchell’s gutsy 130 off 127 balls. Kohli (95 off 104) later anchored India’s chase with a near blemish-free knock and shared three crucial 50-run stands with Shreyas Iyer (33), KL Rahul (27) and Ravindra Jadeja (39 not out) to guide his side home in 48 overs.
With India on the cusp of victory, Kohli went for the record equalling 49th ODI hundred but much to the disappointment of a packed crowd at the HPCA stadium, he was caught in the deep. Chasing 274, Shubman Gill (26) relied on his exquisite timing to find boundaries, while Rohit Sharma (46) played the power game. Gill drove Trent Boult through extra cover and square to pick up back-to-back boundaries in the seventh over. He then flicked Matt Henry through mid-on and midwicket to bring up India’s 50 in just 7.4 overs. Rohit looked in ominous touch as he just planted his foot forward and lap-swept Henry to the backward square leg boundary and then followed it up with a six over mid-off two balls later. Rohit was lucky as he was dropped by New Zealand skipper Tom Latham behind the stumps off Mitchell Santner in the next over and he punished the left-arm spinner by tonking him over deep midwicket for a six the very next ball. But Rohit failed to cash in as he dragged a Lockie Ferguson delivery onto the stumps in the next over to end the dangerous-looking 71-run opening stand.
Ferguson dealt another blow to India in his next over in the form of Gill, who was caught by Mitchell at deep third-man boundary. Kohli then took the innings forward with the help of Iyer (33 off 29) and K L Rahul (27 off 35). However, two quick wickets of Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav made things little difficult for India before Kohli bailed out the hosts with a 78-run sixth-wicket stand with Jadeja (39 not out).
While Rahul fell LBW to Mitchell Santner, Surya was a victim of an unnecessary mix up with Kohli as India slumped to 191 for 5.
Kohli, however, failed to match Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 centuries as he departed in the 48th over while going for a six. His knock was studded with eight fours and two sixes.
India, though, had a rare ordinary day in the field and were guilty of dropping three catches. Kuldeep Yadav (2/73) was the most expensive bowler but got the important wickets of Tom Lathan and Glenn Phillips.
Sent into bat, Mitchell and Rachin Ravindra (75 off 87 balls) rescued New Zealand after a poor start, sharing 159 runs off 152 balls for the third wicket.
Jasprit Bumrah (1/45) and Mohammed Siraj (1/45), also played their part well.
The start was far from rosy for New Zealand who lost Devon Conway early. The left-hander flicked a Mohammed Siraj delivery straight to Shreyas Iyer at forward square leg in the fourth over.
Introduced into the attack in the ninth over, Shami struck with his first ball of the tournament by removing Will Young, who played on to an incoming delivery. Regarded as one of India’s best fielders, Ravindra Jadeja dropped a sitter at point of Shami’s bowling to hand Ravindra a life.
Ravindra cashed in on the chance with both hands and together with Mitchell forged a much needed partnership to stabilise the innings.
The duo was particularly severe against Kuldeep Yadav, clobbering the left-arm spinner for three huge sixes straight over his head.
Ravindra brought up his fifty off 56 balls, while Mitchell’s half-century came in 60 deliveries.
The Indians were sloppy on the field as Mitchell also got a reprieve on 69 in the 33rd over when Jasprit Bumrah dropped an easy chance at the long-off boundary.
Shami finally broke the partnership in the next over when Ravindra failed to clear the long-on boundary, handing a simple catch to Shubman Gill. Ravindra’s wicket hardly bothered Mitchell who continued to play aggressively, smashing the Indian bowlers with disdain as New Zealand brought up their 200 in 36.1 overs.
Kuldeep, who was put under pressure for the first time in the competition, finally tasted success when he had New skipper Tom Latham LBW with a wrong one.
India pulled things back significantly by picking up six wickets in the last six overs for only 30 runs.
PTI

Kohli, Shami star as India end 20-year wait for win over New Zealand in ICC event added by on
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