Iyer and Rahul Centuries Propel India to a 160-Run Victory Against the Netherlands, Securing the Bottom Spot in Group Standings for the Opponent.
Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul showcased their batting prowess, both scoring centuries as hosts India dominated the Netherlands in a commanding 160-run victory, maintaining their flawless record with nine consecutive wins in the group stage, setting the stage for the upcoming semifinals.
On the auspicious occasion of Diwali, Iyer, unbeaten at 128, secured his fourth ODI century, while Rahul, with a dynamic 102, added to the spectacle at M Chinnaswamy Stadium. The duo’s stellar performance propelled India to a formidable total of 410-4 after their teammates contributed breezy fifties.
Facing the daunting task of a record World Cup chase, the Netherlands, positioned at the bottom of the group standings, saw promising starts from Max O’Dowd (30), Colin Ackermann (35), Sybrand Engelbrecht (45), and Teja Nidamanuru (54). However, they couldn’t mount a serious threat and were eventually dismissed for 250 in 47.5 overs.
Despite a throat injury suffered during a dropped catch, Mohammed Siraj (2-29) joined forces with Kuldeep Yadav (2-41), Jasprit Bumrah (2-33), and Ravindra Jadeja (2-49) to secure India’s victory. The win sets India on a collision course with New Zealand in the upcoming semifinals.
Iyer achieved his century in 84 balls, showcasing an impressive array of strokes with 10 fours and five sixes. Rahul reached his ton in just 62 balls, including two massive sixes in the last over that propelled India past the 400-run mark. Their remarkable partnership of 208 runs marked the highest fourth-wicket stand in World Cup history, contributing to India’s total of 126 runs in the final 10 overs, marking the third instance of a total above 400 in the tournament.
Opting to bat after winning the toss, captain Rohit Sharma (61) and Shubman Gill (51) set the stage early on, accumulating boundaries at will and providing a solid platform with a commanding 91 runs in the powerplay. Gill’s aggressive innings included three fours and four sixes, but he fell victim to a short delivery from Paul van Meekeren after reaching his 12th half-century.
The Netherlands made steady progress, earning a breakthrough when Bas de Leede dismissed Rohit, caught at wide long-on. However, Virat Kohli (51) and Iyer steadied India, surpassing the 200-run mark in the 29th over with a collaborative 71-run partnership.
Kohli, aiming for his 50th ODI century to surpass Sachin Tendulkar’s record, showcased an impressive array of shots after an initial struggle. Roelof van der Merwe briefly interrupted Kohli’s quest by breaking his stumps with a flatter delivery. Despite this, Kohli became the leading run-scorer of the 2023 tournament, surpassing South Africa’s Quinton de Kock (591) with 594 runs.
In the Netherlands’ reply, their pursuit never gained momentum as they continued to lose wickets at regular intervals. Kohli, showcasing his gentle medium-pace, claimed his first ODI wicket in nine years. With the Dutch struggling, Rohit turned to Kohli, who dismissed opposition captain Scott Edwards caught behind in his second over with a ball drifting down the leg side.
This marked Kohli’s fifth career ODI wicket and his first since 2014. The innings concluded in 47.5 overs, with Rohit contributing to the bowling attack, using his part-time off-spin to dismiss Nidamanuru. Rohit, whose last ODI wicket came in 2012, secured only his 10th career wicket.