Kohli shines in chase as India beat New Zealand despite Mitchell ton
Virat Kohli’s crafty 95 trumped Daryl Mitchell’s rapid 130 as India beat New Zealand by four wickets in a top-of-the-table clash in the 50-overs World Cup on Sunday.
Kohli could not complete the chase but his matured knock helped India to reach a victory target of 274 with two overs to spare to maintain their unbeaten run in the tournament.
Mitchell smashed a rapid hundred before New Zealand were all out for 273 in a clash of previously unbeaten sides.
Electing to field, India removed both the openers early but were sloppy on the field, dropping three catches to let New Zealand off the hook.
Mitchell forged a 159-run partnership with Rachin Ravindra (75) and New Zealand, sitting pretty at 205-3 in the 37th over, looked poised for a 300-plus total before Indian bowlers applied the brake.
Mohammed Shami led that effort, claiming 5-54 in his first match of the tournament.
Skipper Rohit Sharma (46) led India’s rollicking start but it was Kohli’s fourth 50-plus score in five innings that helped to inflict on New Zealand their first defeat of the tournament.
India made two changes after they lost star all-rounder Hardik Pandya due to an ankle injury and has not travelled with the team to the Himalayan venue.
Twenty20 batting sensation Suryakumar Yadav and fast bowler Mohammed Shami make the team in place of Pandya and Shardul Thakur.
The Kiwis come in unchanged from their previous win over Afghanistan. They have three seamers led by Trent Boult and two spinners.
Regular captain Kane Williamson is sidelined with a fractured thumb.
“We were here training yesterday and felt that a bit of dew comes in,” Rohit said at the toss. “Looks like a good pitch, we’ll back ourselves to chase.”
Stand-in New Zealand skipper Tom Latham said he also would have bowled first had he won the toss, but they are looking to keep the “momentum going”.
The Black Caps have an edge in World Cup match-ups with a 5-3 advantage and knocked out India in the semi-finals of the last edition in 2019.