In the electrifying showdown of Match 21 at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, India clinched a stunning four-wicket win against New Zealand at the picturesque HPCA Stadium in Dharamshala on Sunday, October 22. The Rohit Sharma-led side executed a successful chase, surmounting the target of 274, set by the Blackcaps.
Battle of Dharamshala: Clash of the titans
Winning the toss, India’s decision to bowl first paid off as they restricted New Zealand to 273, despite Daryl Mitchell‘s outstanding 130 and Rachin Ravindra‘s brisk 75. Mohammed Shami, making his first appearance in the tournament, claimed an impressive 5/54, causing New Zealand’s batting collapse.
In response, India’s opening pair consisting of Rohit and Shubman Gill, provided a solid start with a 71-run partnership for the first wicket. Virat Kohli‘s masterful knock of 95 runs and valuable contributions from Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul guided India towards their target. The Men in Blue clinched the win with 12 balls to spare and 4 wickets in hand, thanks to Ravindra Jadeja‘s crucial 39-run not out knock.
After the match, New Zealand skipper Tom Latham opened up on the reasons behind his team’s first defeat in the ongoing edition of the marquee event.
Tom Latham’s acknowledgment of his side’s sudden batting collapse
Latham acknowledged India’s strong performance, highlighting that his team played well overall but lost momentum in the last 10 overs. He felt that they fell short by 30-40 runs due to India’s excellent bowling performance in the death overs.
“Yeah, I thought we played reasonably well. Maybe in the last 10 overs, we lost our way. India bowled really well in that phase. We couldn’t stitch many partnerships in the last ten and hence failed to get the par score. Probably 30-40 short,” Latham said during the post–match presentation ceremony.
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Latham’s praise for India’s performance and Virat’s stunning knock
Latham also praised India’s batting and specifically commended Virat’s outstanding knock, which allowed the rest of the team to bat around him. The Christchurch-born cricketer also mentioned the challenge of playing under fog, a rare situation for his team, and expressed they need to regroup and address the details before their next match.
“Again Virat Kohli played an excellent innings, chasing a total. A fantastic knock. He controlled the tempo of the innings, and the rest were allowed to bat around him. As a captain, you have to be proactive but also work to your plans. Think about match-ups. Virat has a response to most plans. We never played under fog. A rare situation for us. But sometimes, you find yourselves in those. It was a new challenge for us. Yeah, we have our next match coming in a week’s time. We need to get back into the drawing room and get the little things sorted,” Latham added.