India kept their unbeaten run intact at the ongoing 2023 World Cup as Rohit Sharma and Co. defeated Netherlands by 160 runs in their final league stage fixture, in Bengaluru on Sunday. The win was perfect way for the country to celebrate Diwali, and it also received a reaction from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on X, formerly called Twitter.
“Diwali becomes even more special thanks to our cricket team! Congratulations to Team India on their fantastic victory against the Netherlands! Such an impressive display of skill and teamwork. Best wishes for the Semis! India is elated”, PM Modi tweeted.
Chasing a target of 411 runs, the Dutch were bowled out for 250 in 47.5 overs, courtesy of two-wicket hauls from Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja. Meanwhile, Virat Kohli and Rohit took a dismissal each. For the Dutch, Teja Nidamanuru got a half-century, registering 54 off 39 balls.
Initially, India won the toss and opted to bat. India had a bright start as openers Rohit (61) and Shubman Gill (51) got half-centuries, followed by a fifty for no. 3 batter Kohli (51). They set the platform for Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul, who smacked tons to take India to 410/4 in 50 overs. Iyer remained unbeaten, with a knock of 128 off 94 balls, packed with 10 fours and five sixes. Meanwhile, Rahul was dismissed in the final over of the innings, with a knock of 102 off 64 balls, including 11 fours and four sixes. Bas de Leede took two wickets for the visitors, who failed to qualify for the Champions Trophy.
India will now face New Zealand in the first semi-final in Mumbai on Wednesday. They faced each other in the semis of the 2019 World Cup, where New Zealand came out on top. The Black Caps eventually lost to England in the final. Speaking after the match, India skipper Rohit said, “Since we started the tournament, for us, it was all about thinking about one game at a time. We never wanted to look too far ahead because it’s a long tournament. It was important to focus on one game. Different venues and we had to adapt, that’s exactly what we did. Very pleased with how we have played in these nine games.”
“Very clinical from game one till today. That’s because different individuals have stepped up at different times. That’s a good sign for the team. We know the conditions, but when you play different opponents, that’s a different challenge. We adapted really well. We started four games in a row and then we had to bat first, seamers did the rest along with the spinners. It’s important, results do matter to keep the dressing room environment lively. There’s going to be a lot of expectations, we wanted to keep everything aside and focus on the job at hand,” he further added.