India Storm Into World Cup Final As Shami’s Super 7/47 Destroys Plucky NZ

Mumbai: Team India were tested, but in the end the men in blue overcame some anxious moments to march into the ODI World Cup final.

The home team will face the winner of Thursday’s Australia versus South Africa semifinal at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium on November 19.

Chasing a massive target of 398, New Zealand looked to be in business as Daryl Mitchell (134 off 119 balls) and skipper Kane Williamson (69) joined forces at a shaky 39/2. Their 181-run partnership had Rohit Sharma and the capacity crowd at Wankhede Stadium worried.

But once those two were separated, India regained the initiative.

It was that man Shami again. He took a wicket with his first ball and sent back both openers Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra in his first two overs.

He then dropped a sitter at mid-off to reprieve Williamson off Jasprit Bumrah. However, Shami made amends in his second and third spells to break New Zealand’s back.

The batters — spearheaded by Virat Kohli’s record-breaking 50th ODI century, Shreyas Iyer’s second straight hundred, Shubman Gill’s 80* and skipper Rohit’s typically blistering opening gambit (47 off 29 balls) – set it up by piling a record 397/4.

The bowling and fielding went awry for the first time in the tournament, but it was the brilliant Shami who turned the tide back in India’s favour.

It was sweet revenge for India, who had been eliminated in semis of the 2019 World Cup in England.

The swing expert is now top wicket-taker in the tournament with 23 scalps, after having been ignored in the first 4 games.

In 6 games, Shami has taken 5-wicket hauls three times.

Brief scores: India 397/4 in 50 overs (Virat Kohli 117, Shreyas Iyer 105, Shubman Gill 80*, Rohit Sharma 47; Tim Southee 3/100). New Zealand 3xx/y in 50 overs (Daryl Mitchell 134, Kane Williamson 69, Glenn Phillips 41; Md Shami 7/57).

Result: India won by 70 runs.

Man of the Match: Md Shami

Final: India vs Australia-South Africa final on Nov 19 (Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad).

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