Shami’s five-fer after Mitchell ton keeps NZ to 273

New Zealand scored 273 in their World Cup 2023 opener against India in Dharamsala, due to a career-high 130 from Daryl Mitchell and a 159-run partnership with Rachin Ravindra (75) at the third wicket. The late push, spearheaded by Mitchell and Ravindra, enabled New Zealand recover from a precarious 19/2 deficit. Nevertheless, with Mohammed Shami’s 5-54 leading the way in wicket-taking, the hosts amazingly rallied in the end.

After being put to bat, Mohammed Siraj and Shami’s early strikes in a superb PowerPlay upfront caused early concerns for New Zealand. Devon Conway was trying to flick a full ball on the pads when Shreyas Iyer dove and intercepted it, preventing Conway from scoring. Then, on his opening ball of the event, Shami struck, forcing Will Young to give his stumps an inside edge. While Siraj hit a string of wides in the tenth over, New Zealand managed a mere 34/2 during the Powerplay, the third-lowest total in that World Cup round.

Following that, Mitchell and Ravindra forged a strong alliance in an attempt to defend New Zealand. Ravindra forced India to pay after a few encounters with DRS and lifelines. Even before he had accessed his account, India had wasted a review early on an LBW call that was turned down on the field, defying Jasprit Bumrah’s instructions. Shami caught him off guard on a six, but he recovered with a review of his own. Later in the same over, he was given a respite when his namesake was unable to make a proper catch at knee-high backward point. Leg before wicket was declared after he reached a half-century off 56 balls, but replays reversed the decision.

The spinners had very little opportunity; Mitchell hit Kuldeep Yadav early, preventing him from settling in as he hammered two balls down the ground in his subsequent overs, while Jadeja struck out ten straight without missing a beat. He hit his second World Cup half-century in 60 balls while spearheading the counterattack in the middle overs. By the 41st over, he was turning it into a century of runs-a-ball. Additionally, he was fortunate because on 49, KL Rahul missed a tight call, and on 59, Bumrah missed another simple catch.

India was saved when Shami finally released his firm grip and caused the collapse around a strategically placed Mitchell. India successfully held onto one opportunity following three missed ones when Ravindra hit Shami cleanly with a long-on shot, ending their 159-run partnership. Following his return, Kuldeep performed better, and he was rewarded with trapping Tom Latham LBW. But Mitchell forced the captain of New Zealand to burn a review.

Then, without giving up a single boundary, the potent hitters from New Zealand forced the hosts to bat for forty balls. Glenn Phillips dutifully snapped the shackles with a six behind square so Siraj could finish the kill. His time was short lived, though, as Rohit Sharma top-edged a slog between three convergent fielders on 23.

In the final over of the day, Kohli produced a breathtaking catch that saw him dash in and use a low hold to dismiss Mark Chapman for just six runs, setting the stage for Bumrah’s debut. In the 48th over, Shami claimed three more wickets before the end with a masterful fielding display of two yorkers that took out Matt Henry’s leg stump and Mitchell Santner’s off stump on consecutive balls. In the final over, Mitchell smacked another ball onto the sightscreen, which somewhat hurt his stats. However, he was out of the game with the next delivery, giving Shami a five-wicket haul in his World Cup debut.

Brief scores:

 New Zealand 273 all out in 50 overs (Daryl Mitchell 130, Rachin Ravindra 75; Mohammed Shami 5-54, Kuldeep Yadav 2-73) vsIndia

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