Ten down, one to go. All that remains for India’s World Cup finalists is to turn it up to 11 at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday. But this was at least a game that ran nearly to the end as Daryl Mitchell played the innings of his life in Mumbai, a luminous feat of stamina, invention and muscular orthodox hitting as New Zealand chased hard in pursuit of 397 but still fell 70 short.
And so India roll on to a final that has always sounded to be the windup in this most home of home World Mugs. maybe when the International Cricket Council has finished looking into Team India’s part in pitch selection at this event it could also launch an disquisition into the preternatural run- scoring appetite of Virat Kohli and the jagging, snaking craft of Mohammed Shami, who ended with a seven- gate haul then to go with two former five- fers. Not to mention the feeling through those 10 successive triumphs of a gathering ineluctability to India’s march back to its new justice-artificial power centre in Gujarat.
On a still, heavy day at the Wankhede colosseum, India closed this game out despite briefly rasping in the middle of New Zealand’s chase as Mitchell and Kane Williamson put together a high- grade cooperation. Indeed also this was a game that was heading only one way either side of that interim, right from the opening over sailed in clear white light by Trent Boult, as Rohit Sharma set about New Zealand’s pace attack like a man unbuckling his belt and taking out the cleaver.
Kohli will be framed formerly again as the crucial promoter. In a sporting nation obsessed with mileposts and idol ? figures, this will be flashed back as the occasion Kohli reached his 50th one ? day transnational hundred, thereby surpassing the record of Sachin Tendulkar, in front of not just Sachin Tendulkar himself but the huge statue of Sachin Tendulkar brewing over his Mumbai vicinity a definitive interpretation of the iconography- of- greatness tableau that Indian justice finds so infectious.
Kohli maundered with controlled, low- throttle brilliance, walking out after another fast launch and simply running through his scales, driving with perfection through the off- side, reaching a chanceless century from 106 balls.
There was a rolling surge of white noise around the colosseum as that hundred came up, cut with shots on the big screen of David Beckham stood in the VVIP boxes looking slightly thwarted( in fairness, unless specifically stated else Beckham always looks slight thwarted). Beckham had appeared on the outfield before the launch to raise mindfulness of, in no particular order, child poverty and David Beckham. That nexus of celebrity, star wattage, players as cartoon gods, really is in full bloom at this World Cup.
An eighth score of 50- plus in 10 games took Kohli’s normal to101.57 in the event, and long hauls out on his own as top run- arranger. Odd to suppose that in the buildup this was billed as a career- definer for Kohli, a moment to deliver home under the most annihilating pressure.
Sharma had won the toss and chosen to club, in the process condemning New Zealand’s players to three hours in the part of heat- spoiled abidance athletes under a heavy white Mumbai sky.
There's always a shemozzle over pitches nearly. It arrived then with the suggestion that the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the public platoon scale had had a say-so in which strip to use and how to prepare it. Is this a surprise, if it’s true? Obviously not. Is it the right thing at an ICC event, where the( for form’s sake) “ governing body ” is supposed to insure neutral conditions? Obviously not, again.
New Zealand had an occasion with the new ball. Full lengths, seek out the pads. Boult’s third ball was exactly this, but was whipped thrillingly over midwicket. His fourth was monstered through cover. With the ground bathed in deep unheroic sun Tim Southee came running in to coliseum his fifth ball of the day formerly braking like a quaint minister hack jolting up a Mumbai hostel ramp.
New Zealand didn't drift well early on, going short or too full. Sharma was caught trying to hit the ball to the sun for 47 off 28. At which point enter Virat, there in time to watch Lockie Ferguson explore at length Shubman Gill’s capability to play the short- arm swivel pull for four. The hundred came up in12.2 overs. Rachin Ravindra was driven with similar poise and grace through cover by Kohli that for a alternate everyone forgot to cheer and simply purred and murmured and peered.
Mitchell Santner, a languid, scholarly figure, strolling in like a man with a small volume of poetry folded into his fund, transferred down a steady spell. Gill began to hobble, bringing Shreyas Iyer out to club at 164 for one. And it was Iyer who gave the innings a rev, hitting the baits straight with disarming ease. Kohli eventually departed for 117, just before Iyer went to his hundred off 67 balls with eight sixes, capless and fur like a youthful god. At the halfway stage New Zealand needed their loftiest total fur second, in order to claim surely the topmost platoon fur feat in ODI history.
The Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai previous to Wednesday’s World Cup semi-final
The reply began with some puckish aggression from Devon Conway, at which point the ball began to veer and vault and nip in the legendary evening ocean breath. Jasprit Bumrah gave way to the destroyer, and Shami’s first ball was impeccably pitched, drawing Conway into a air and an edge.
Shami has great crinkle- craft, too. He jumped wider, also came in six elevation to home in on at Ravindra’s off refuse, drawing another edge.
The game looked to be dying on its bases, but Mitchell had begun to play with real bounce as he passed 50. A brilliant hard flat reverse reach off Kuldeep Yadav took him into the 90s off 77 balls, a man out there fur with his cricketing third eye wide open. The century came up off 85 balls to leg- drop silence. But Williamson was out coming ball, dicing Shami to the fielder on the hedge, Suryakumar Yadav. Shami had Tom Latham out lbw for a duck two balls latterly and the world had begun to slide back into its interdicted shape.