India established a two-point lead at the top of the table and thus got one foot in the semi-finals with their fifth consecutive win of the tournament.
India roared to fifth consecutive win at the 2023 World Cup on Sunday and secured a two-point lead at the top of the group table. The hosts had cruised to comfortable wins in their previous games but the match on Sunday was touted as their toughest test. It turned out to be so and yet, they ended up chasing down the target of 274 with two overs to spare.
Mohammed Shami‘s five-wicket haul in his first match of the tournament stopped New Zealand from posting a total close to or more than 300 after which Virat Kohli anchored the chase. Kohli remained calm and focused to help India to lead India to victory despite them having lost a few wickets in the middle overs.
Pacer Shami’s splendid return of 5/54 in 10 overs undid the advantage the Black Caps had gained due to Daryl Mitchell scoring 130 off 127 balls, including nine fours and five sixes. Mitchell put on 159 runs off 152 balls for the third wicket with Rachin Ravindra, who contributed 75 runs. Virat Kohli hit 95, missing out on his century by five runs. He did try to get to three figures when it became clear that India had the win in their bags. Kohli went for a six to get the record – and clinch the victory – but was caught near the boundary. He now has 69 ODI half-centuries. A century would have helped him equal Sachin Tendulkar’s world record of 49 ODI tons.
The points table after India’s win
India are on 10 points and thus have a two-point lead at the top of the table. They have won all the matches they have played and their net run rate stands at +1.353. New Zealand are second with eight points in five matches and a net run rate of +1.481 while South Africa are third with six points in four matches and a net run rate of +2.212. Australia are fourth for now with four points in four matches and a net run rate of -0.193.
Australia could lose that spot on Monday if fifth-placed Pakistan beat Afghanistan. Pakistan are tied with Australia on four points, with their net run rate of -0.456 keeping them below the five-time champions. The rest of the teams are all on two points with their places being decided by their net run rate. Bangladesh (-0.784) are sixth while the impressive Netherlands (-0.790) are seventh. Sri Lanka (-1.048) are placed eighth while defending champions England (-1.248) are languishing in the ninth spot. Afghanistan (-1.250) are 10th but they could jump to sixth if they beat Pakistan on Monday.