Bengaluru: Scintillating centuries by Shreyas Iyer (128* off 94) and KL Rahul (102 off 64) helped India to register their 9th consecutive victory by defeating Netherlands by 160 runs in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup at Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Sunday.
Batting first, India posted a massive 410/4 and in reply Netherlands could manage 250 all out in 47.5 overs, with Teja Nidamanuru top-scoring with 54 off 39 balls with one boundary and 6 sixes.
Among the wicket-takers for India were Virat Kohli, who struck with his medium pace in the 25th over, and Rohit Sharma, who dismissed Nidamanuru, scalped his first wicket in 11 years.
Other wicket-takers were Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja, who bagged two wickets each.
The fans had flocked to the iconic stadium to witness Kohli (51 off 56) to get to the record-breaking 50th ODI century at his IPL home, but managed to get a well-crafted half-century instead.
However, Bengaluru boy Rahul filled the shoes of Kohli as he belted the fastest century for India in World Cups. He reached the milestone in 62 balls, a ball less faced by Rohit Sharma.
Iyer and Rahul added 208 runs for the 4th wicket as India went about scoring 7 runs an over for the majority of their innings, before stepping up in the final Powerplay and plundering 126 runs in the final 10 overs.
Dropping their anchors, the duo laboured through in the middle overs, but cut loose in the death and accelerated the run rate even further. The 44th over became the nemesis for the Netherlands as Iyer and Rahul clobbered huge sixes.
Iyer reached his fifty with a classic cover drive in the 34th over and Rahul reached the milestone in the 43rd over, helping India to register a record of 5 top batsmen cracking half-centuries in an innings at the World Cup.
The Mumbaikar cracked his maiden World Cup ton in the 46th over and Rahul did so by smoking two back-to-back sixes in the final over.
Rohit won the toss and elected to bat first. India teed off in their usual fashion on a good batting track. Rohit (61 off 54) and Shubman Gill (51 off 32) smoked as many as 15 boundaries in the first Powerplay.
Gill was stunning of the two as he clobbered 4 sixes in the first 10 overs as compared to Rohit’s one. However, the skipper pounded 7 boundaries in that phase, and in the process guided India to 100 runs in the 12th over.
Gill looked ominous, but fell to a fantastic catch off Teja Nidamanuru. Virat was trying to get his feets on the ground as the Netherland bowlers were getting variations, but Rohit was in his usual flow and reached his fifty in the 14th over.
Unfortunately, he fell to Bas de Leede caught by Wesley Barresi at long-on, trying to play an ambitious shot. This wicket fetched him his 15th scalp in the World Cup, surpassing his father Tim de Leede’s achievement.
After getting his feets in, Kohli opened up and took Netherland bowlers to cleaners and smoked some exhilarating shots including a bottom-handed six off Logan van Beek. When he appeared all set to get to his record-breaking 50th ODI ton, the star batsman was cleaned up by Roelof van der Merwe’s left-arm spinner.
Despite the stupendous target, the Netherlands kicked off the chase with a positive intent. They lost Wesley Barresi who nicked one to Rahul behind the stumps off Mohammad Siraj.
However, Colin Ackermann dug in and played some delectable strokes down the ground with the help of Max O’Dowald at the other end.
Ten boundaries came by in this phase, and the Netherlands were chugging along nicely, but the joy was short-lived as Kuldeep Yadav struck soon after introduction, trapping Ackermann leg before.
As the Netherlands batsmen were finding it difficult to score off Kuldeep, Ravindra Jadeja also proved to be a thorn in their flesh.
Rohit introduced Kohli to give much-needed rest to the strike bowlers before the semifinals, and the former captain struck and scalped his fifth ODI wicket by snapping up the Netherlands skipper Scott Edwards.
The game was all but over, but Rohit employed a couple of irregular bowlers like Gill and Suryakumar Yadav. UNI