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Kohli's 'Virat' show at Wankhede, Shami's lethal spell help India seal spot in final

MUMBAI: Kohli's 'Virat' show at the Wankhede Stadium followed by Mohammed Shami's lethal 7-wicket haul powered India to the final of ICC World Cup 2023, beating New Zealand by 70 runs in a mouth-watering semifinal clash on Wednesday.

Daryl Mitchell's vigilant knock of 134 runs came up short against Shami's lethal spell as the India pacer led India's effort in the field to help the hosts seal a place in Sunday's final.

The hosts, who have been unbeaten in the tournament so far, reached their first ODI World Cup final since 2011.

Kohli's superb 50th record century followed the Indian openers' scorching start, as the tournament hosts got off to a flying start in Mumbai.

To chase down 398, New Zealand needed something exceptional, and they got off to a good start with Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra going on the offensive in the powerplay overs.

However, Mohammad Shami gave India a big breakthrough as he removed Conway for 13 runs. Shami was at it again, this time sending Ravindra back to the hutch for 13.

Captain Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell spearheaded the reconstruction, with the Black Caps reaching 100 in the 17th over, with the required rate just shy of nine an over and eight wickets in hand. Mitchell's quietly superb campaign continued as he passed the half-century mark as tensions began to rise around the Wankhede.

And Williamson, who escaped a fright when he thought he was run out by KL Rahul, quickly followed with his half-century as the two forged a combination that keeps the game alive.

A strong combination between Daryl Mitchell and Kane Williamson offered the Black Caps hope of breaking the mark, with Mitchell getting a battling century and captain Williamson hitting 69 to lay the groundwork for his team.

The pair continued to build, adding 181 for the third wicket before Williamson fell for 69, once again to the returning Shami. And Shami picked up his fourth with the removal of Tom Latham for a two-ball duck.

Ravindra Jadeja's brilliant fielding placed India on the verge of victory, catching Phillips (41) off Jasprit Bumrah and Mark Chapman (2) off Kuldeep Yadav to leave New Zealand down by six wickets and requiring a miracle.

Any prospect of a comeback was dashed when Jadeja took a hat-trick of catches to end Mitchell's 119-ball 134, with Shami taking the wicket to pick up another five-for.

And Shami came for one final time to do the job, taking two more wickets to become the tournament's leading wicket-taker and ruthlessly seal the victory.

Earlier, Record-breaking centuries from Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer helped India post a Himalayan target of 397/4 against New Zealand in the semifinal.

Brief Scores: India: 397/4 (Virat Kohli 117, Shreyas Iyer 105, Tim Southee 3/100) vs New Zealand 327 (Daryl Mitchell 134, Kane Williamson 69; Mohammed Shami 7-57).

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