India’s Iyer and Rahul both scored centuries, leading their team to a dominant 160-run victory over the Netherlands.
On Sunday, India, the host of the World Cup, maintained their perfect record of nine group wins by defeating the Netherlands with a dominant 160-run victory. Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul both scored centuries in the match, preparing their team for the upcoming semi-finals.
Following impressive half-centuries from Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, and Virat Kohli on a favorable M Chinnaswamy Stadium surface, Iyer (128 not out) achieved his fourth century in One Day Internationals before Rahul (102) unleashed a powerful performance. Together, they sparkled on the festive occasion of Diwali and propelled India to a score of 410 for four.
The last-ranked Dutch team needed an impressive performance in the World Cup to secure a victory. Max O’Dowd (30), Colin Ackermann (35), Sybrand Engelbrecht (45), and Teja Nidamanuru (54) all made promising starts, but they were ultimately unable to pose a threat and were all out for 250 runs in 47.5 overs.
Mohammed Siraj, despite suffering from a throat injury after dropping a catch, was able to shine alongside Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, and Ravindra Jadeja. Together, they took two wickets each and helped India secure a win. India will now face New Zealand in the semi-finals on Wednesday.
Sharma, the captain of India’s team, stated that their focus throughout the tournament has been on playing each game to the best of their ability. He expressed satisfaction with their performance in the nine games, noting that they have approached each game with precision since the beginning. He also highlighted the importance of individuals stepping up at crucial moments and taking responsibility for achieving success as a team. This level of teamwork and determination is a positive indicator for the team’s future.
Iyer achieved a score of 100 runs in 84 balls and had a total of 10 fours and five sixes. Rahul, on the other hand, reached his hundred in just 62 balls and sealed it with two massive sixes in the final over, helping India surpass 400 runs. Together, they formed a partnership of 208 runs – the highest fourth-wicket partnership in World Cup history. India scored 126 runs in their last 10 overs, resulting in their third total above 400 in the tournament.
“I injured my arm while playing on 95, so I had to calm down and take some time,” stated the player of the match, Iyer. “My recent innings have boosted my confidence greatly. The pitch was not easy to begin with, as it was sticky and had uneven pace. Therefore, I was determined to capitalize on a good start.”
India dominated the Netherlands in their match after choosing to bat first, with Sharma and Gill easily hitting boundaries and gaining 91 runs in the powerplay. Gill was particularly tough on the bowlers, scoring three fours and four sixes, but unfortunately got caught out by a fielder while attempting a short ball from Paul van Meekeren after reaching his 12th half-century.
The Netherlands chipped away and were rewarded when Bas de Leede had Sharma caught at wide long-on, but Kohli (51) and Iyer took India past 200 runs in the 29th over with a 71-run stand. Kohli delighted the crowd with a wide array of shots after a shaky start to his quest to reach 50 ODI centuries and eclipse Sachin Tendulkar’s record, but Roelof van der Merwe briefly silenced fans by breaking his stumps with a flatter delivery.
The Dutch captain, Scott Edwards, praised India’s impressive batting skills and acknowledged that his team performed well in certain periods while bowling. He also recognized India’s ability to handle pressure and predicted that they will be a difficult team to defeat in the remaining matches of the tournament. Edwards also mentioned that his own team is still young and has room for growth.