ICC Cricket World Cup 2023

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India storm into semifinals after record-breaking victory in Mumbai

02 Nov 2023

India vs Sri Lanka, World Cup 2023: India handed Sri Lanka a 302-run defeat in Mumbai to become the first team to reach the semifinals of the 2023 World Cup. India's sensational victory was headlined by Mohammed Shami's second five-wicket haul of the tournament after brilliant innings from Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer.

India became the first team to storm into the semifinals of the 2023 World Cup when they defeated Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday. India are the only undefeated team in the tournament so far and are currently on top of the points table with 14 points from 7 matches.

Shubman Gill (92), Virat Kohli (88) and Shreyas Iyer (82) headlined India's 357 for 8 after Sri Lanka captain Kusal Mendis. And then, Mohammed Shami led a spectacular performance from India's pace attack to blow Sri Lanka away for 55. Shami went past Zaheer Khan and Javagal Srinath to become the leading wicket-taker for India in ODI World Cups and equaled Mitchell Starc's tally for most five-wicket hauls in World Cups. Shami needed just 14 matches to reach 45 wickets while Zaheer and Srinath had finished with 44 wickets in World Cups.

Shami needed just 5 overs to pick his second five-wicket haul of the tournament after Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah had rocked the Sri Lankan top-order. India's 302-run victory is now their biggest win in one-day internationals.

India have now reached the semifinals of ODI World Cups for the fourth successive time after a disastrous campaign in 2007 which ended in the group stages following shock defeats to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Four years later, India defeated Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium to win the World Cup and in 2015, they remained undefeated in 6 matches to top the group, beat Bangladesh in the quarter-finals before a crushing defeat to Australia in the semifinals. In 2019, once again, India were table-toppers but lost a thriller to New Zealand in the semifinals.

India have been just as clinical in 2023. They defeated Australia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, New Zealand and England before travelling to Mumbai to take on Sri Lanka. After a superb batting performance, India's pacers were ruthless and destroyed the Sri Lankan chase inside the first two overs of their innings.

India were asked to bat by Kusal Mendis on a pitch which has already offered plenty of runs and there was no way the in-form home batters would miss out on filling their boots. Rohit Sharma was dismissed cheaply by Dilshan Madushanka, who would become the first Sri Lankan bowler to take a World Cup five-wicket haul since 2011 but before that feat was accomplished, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer got India to an impregnable position.

Shubman Gill, the highest run-scorer in ODIs this year, has had a quiet World Cup. He joined the tournament late because he was suffering from dengue and got to his maiden fifty in a World Cup against Bangladesh. On Thursday, in the company of Virat Kohli, Gill was at his best and the two added a mammoth 189 for the second wicket after a tentative start.

Shubman Gill was delightful to watch. A punch on the off-side fetched him a boundary and Virat Kohli's unmasked adulation. It was the perfect stage for the King of India's batting line-up to draw level with his hero while a young successor set the tone for his own milestone. Virat Kohli was hunting for a record-equaling 49th ODI hundred which would have put him on joint top with Sachin Tendulkar for most hundreds in the format. That wasn't to happen on Thursday.

Shubman Gill was on the cusp of his maiden World Cup hundred but he fell for 92. It was the first time that he was dismissed in the 90s in an ODI. Two overs later, the Wankhede Stadium was silenced again when Virat Kohli was outfoxed by a slower ball from Dilshan Madushanka. Kohli was sent back for 88, just 12 runs short of that magical No.49.

Shreyas Iyer, whose form at No.4 was perhaps the only chink in the armour for India in this World Cup, came out and played a gem. His 82 off 56 put India on the road to a commanding total and Ravindra Jadeja's finishing touches helped the hosts to a daunting 357 for 8.

The Sri Lankan chase was completely crushed by India's pace trio. Jasprit Bumrah struck with the first ball of the innings, Mohammed Siraj picked three wickets in his first two overs while Mohammed Shami continued his sensational run, picking his fourth wicket in just his third over. It was one of the worst performances in a World Cup match by a full-member nation. Sri Lanka had reached the World Cup after winning the Cricket World Cup qualifiers but their abject display on Thursday was utterly disappointing.

Sri Lanka had shown promise in the lead-up to the World Cup. They had defeated Pakistan in the Super 4s of the Asia Cup and ran India close before that. In the final, they were blown away by Mohammed Siraj who was at it again in Mumbai. To make matters more difficult, India also had Mohammed Shami in their ranks and he has been unplayable in the three games he has played so far for India.

India, now assured of a semifinal berth, will take on South Africa at the Eden Gardens on November 5.


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