Dharamshala, Oct 22: Playing in his first match of the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup, fast-bowler Mohammed Shami spearheaded an Indian fightback in the last 10 overs to pick a superb 5-54 as the hosts bowled out New Zealand for 273 in 50 overs at the HPCA Stadium on Sunday.
On a two-paced pitch, New Zealand were in early trouble at 19/2, before Daryl Mitchell slammed a fantastic century, 130 off 127 balls, laced with nine fours and five sixes, to bring New Zealand’s innings on track.
He was in a crucial 159-run stand with Rachin Ravindra, who made a fine 75 off 87 balls, hitting six fours and a six, while taking 43 runs off Kuldeep Yadav, as New Zealand won the middle-overs phase.
Despite some luck going in their favour, New Zealand failed to get the acceleration they were looking for, as their last six wickets fell in the final 10 overs. Kuldeep and then Shami led the fightback, as the latter became the first Indian bowler to pick two five-wicket hauls in Men’s ODI World Cups.
Electing to bowl first, Mohammed Siraj gave India its first breakthrough by enticing Devon Conway to flick straight to square leg, who moved to his right to take a very sharp catch. The pressure built up by the Indian bowlers, despite burning an lbw review against Ravindra off Jasprit Bumrah, yielded another Power-play wicket when Will Young chopped onto his stumps on Shami’s first ball of the match.
Ravindra and Mitchell weren’t given much boundaries, though the latter proactively moved across the crease to rattle Siraj’s rhythm in the last over of Power-play. Ravindra had luck on his side when he used review to reverse a caught-behind decision and three balls later, Ravindra Jadeja dropped his catch on 12.
Ravindra and Mitchell hit some crisp along-the-ground boundaries, before upping their rearguard act against Kuldeep. With the ball not providing much turn, Ravindra merrily danced down the pitch to hit a six over the bowler’s head, before Mitchell smacked two big maximums off Kuldeep in the same fashion.
Ravindra continued to be impressive and brought up his fifty as well as the century of his partnership with Mitchell, who also reached his half-century by the 27th over. Mitchell was in no mood to slow down against spinners, stepping out to hit Jadeja for a six, before taking a six and four off Kuldeep, the second of which saw Bumrah dropping a sitter at long-off.
India finally managed to break the 159-run three-wicket partnership off 152 balls when Ravindra picked out long-off against Shami, falling for 75. Mitchell lofted and clipped Bumrah for two fours before employing the paddle-sweep against Kuldeep for another boundary.
But the wrist-spinner bounced back by beating Tom Latham on the flick and trapped him lbw. Though Mitchell got his fifth ODI hundred, India continued to pull things back as Glenn Phillips mistimed a slog to cover off Kuldeep.
Mark Chapman fell in a bid to go big against Bumrah, as Virat Kohli dived forward to complete a low catch. Shami returned in the 48th over to castle Mitchell Santner and Matt Henry on successive deliveries.
Though Mitchell smacked him for six and four in the final over, Shami had him caught at deep mid-wicket, followed by Lockie Ferguson's run-out on the last ball as India gave away 54 runs while taking six wickets in the last ten overs.
New Zealand 273 all out in 50 overs (Daryl Mitchell 130, Rachin Ravindra 75; Mohammed Shami 5-54, Kuldeep Yadav 2-73) against India