Iyer, Rahul’s centuries uphold India’s unbeaten streak while Kohli, Rohit add to their World Cup wicket count

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Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul’s centuries propelled India to a resounding 160-run victory over the Netherlands in the World Cup on Sunday, concluding the group stage with a perfect record of nine wins in nine matches.

Iyer remained unbeaten at 128, while Rahul scored 102, forming a partnership of 208 runs that guided India to a formidable total of 410-4.

India utilized a total of nine bowlers, including occasional bowlers Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, to dismiss the Dutch team for 250 in the final league match of the tournament held in Bengaluru.

The Indian team will now face New Zealand in the first semi-final in Mumbai on Wednesday, followed by the second semi-final clash between Australia and South Africa in Kolkata the next day.

Iyer achieved his first World Cup century in a match where all the top-five Indian batsmen crossed the fifty-run mark on a pitch favoring the batsmen. He reached his century, his fourth in ODI cricket, off 84 balls, ultimately accumulating 10 fours and five sixes.

Rahul reached his century in remarkable fashion, with two sixes, registering the fastest Indian hundred in World Cup history in just 62 balls. However, he was dismissed four balls later, and India fell just short of their highest-ever World Cup total of 413-5, achieved against Bermuda in 2007.

Kohli reached his half-century but was dismissed for 51, disappointing the crowd who had hoped to witness his 50th ODI century after he equaled Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 centuries in the team’s previous victory over South Africa.

Captain Rohit, who scored 61, and Shubman Gill laid a strong foundation for the total with an opening partnership of 100, consistently finding the boundaries. Gill also scored 51 before being dismissed by Paul van Meekeren, and Rohit departed after reaching his fourth score of 50 or more, which included a century in the tournament.

Bas de Leede, one of the quick bowlers for the Netherlands, claimed one more wicket in the match, surpassing his father Tim de Leede’s record of 14 wickets for the Dutch in the World Cup and becoming his nation’s highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 16 scalps.

Kohli continued his excellent form, becoming the leading run-scorer of the 2023 tournament with 594 runs, surpassing South Africa’s Quinton de Kock’s total of 591 runs.

Iyer maintained his blazing form, recording his fourth consecutive score of 50 or more in the tournament, with Rahul providing strong support.

In the Dutch team’s reply, they were never in contention and kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Kohli, surprisingly, took a wicket with his gentle medium-pace bowling, marking his first ODI wicket in nine years.

As the Dutch struggled in their chase, Rohit handed the ball to Kohli, who dismissed opposition captain Scott Edwards, caught behind in his second over with a delivery drifting down the leg side. This wicket marked Kohli’s fifth career ODI wicket with his gentle medium-pace and his first since 2014.

Sybrand Engelbrecht contributed 45 runs, and Teja Nidamanuru scored 54 for the Dutch before their innings folded in 47.5 overs. Rohit also took a wicket using his part-time off-spin, making it his first ODI wicket since 2012, and his 10th in his career.

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