India 274 for 6 (Kohli 95, Rohit 46, Jadeja 39*, Ferguson 2-63) beat New Zealand 273 (Mitchell 130, Ravindra 75, Shami 5-54, Kuldeep 2-73) by four wickets
They were without their most irreplaceable player ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/hardik-pandya-625371) in a top-of-the-table clash against a New Zealand side that’s had the wood over them in recent global-tournament meetings, and this New Zealand side put them under severe pressure on multiple occasions. But in the end, India continued to typify the 2023 World Cup equivalent of Gary Lineker’s famous quote on a superteam from a different sport: “Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and in the end, the Germans always win.”
We’re still only halfway through the league stage, and knockouts are knockouts, but India have looked so hard to beat that even this game, their most intense tussle yet in this tournament, ended with Virat Kohli ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/virat-kohli-253802) trying to repeat what he did against Bangladesh on Thursday, and refuse singles with India in sight of victory in order to try and reach his hundred.
It didn’t quite happen this time, with the attempted winning six on 95 ending up as a catch on the midwicket boundary, but India sauntered home nonetheless, with Ravindra Jadeja ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/ravindra-jadeja-234675) pulling Matt Henry for four to complete the job with two overs to spare. Jadeja made an unbeaten 39, a vital innings given that he came in at No. 7 with India still 83 away from victory.
With Hardik Pandya out injured, India replaced him with two players, a specialist batter in Suryakumar Yadav and a specialist fast bowler in Mohammed Shami ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/mohammed-shami-481896), which meant India’s batting effectively ended with Jadeja at No. 7.
The lack of batting depth was counterbalanced, however, by the increased menace of India’s pace attack, who played a starring role in bowling New Zealand out for 273 after they had been 178 for 2 at one stage. Shami, playing his first game of the tournament, led the way with his second five-wicket haul in World Cups, his bullying of New Zealand’s lower order the centerpiece of a superlative effort by India in the last 10 overs, where they took six wickets while conceding just 54.