Cricket World Cup 2023: India beat Netherlands to complete perfect group stage

By Sam DruryBBC Sport
ICC Men's World Cup, Bangalore
India 410-4 (50 overs): Shreyas 128* (94), Rahul 102 (64), Rohit 61 (54)
Netherlands 250 (47.5 overs): Nidamanuru 54 (39), Engelbrecht 45 (80); Siraj 2-29
India won by 160 runs
Scorecard. Table.

Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul hit centuries as India made it nine wins from nine group-stage games with a 160-run victory over the Netherlands.

After the top three all made fifties, Shreyas and Rahul put on 208 in Bengaluru to take India to 410-4 - their second highest World Cup total.

Shreyas ended unbeaten on 128, while Rahul's 62-ball ton is the hosts' fastest at a World Cup.

In reply, the Netherlands started well but fell away to be bowled out for 250.

With qualification long since assured and a semi-final booked against New Zealand in Mumbai on Wednesday, much of the pre-game focus was on Virat Kohli and whether he could make a 50th one-day international century to surpass Sachin Tendulkar's record.

India batting first gave him a chance but he was made to wait as openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill shared a stand of 100, doing so in quick time.

Gill made a 30-ball half-century but there were cheers when he departed for 51 as it brought Kohli to the crease.

Rohit went for 61 and Kohli, after a slightly tentative start, settled into his innings. He looked assured at the crease, making the moment he was bowled by Roelof van der Merwe for 51 from 56 balls all the more shocking to those in attendance at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Shreyas and Rahul moved them past that surprise with a boundary-laden partnership that helped India score 126 runs in the last 10 overs.

Shreyas reached his first World Cup ton from 84 balls in the 46th over and was joined on three figures by Rahul, who hit back-to-back sixes to help reach the milestone.

Despite losing Wesley Barresi early, the Netherlands started well with a number of eye-catching shots from Max O'Dowd and Colin Ackermann in the powerplay.

But Ackerman was dismissed in the 13th over and, while there was never any sort of collapse, wickets fell at regular intervals. With the chase long since abandoned, Teja Nidamanuru holed out in the 48th over after a battling 54 to bring the match to a close.

Dominant India set for knockout challenge

No Kohli century means this was not quite the dream day for India but it was another very comfortable success.

So much so that Kohli was one of four part-time - at best - bowlers given a chance once the Netherlands' hopes went from slim to fractionally-more-than-nil. He was even able to take his first ODI wicket since 2014 as Dutch captain Scott Edwards departed for 17.

The damage had been done with the bat and that the top five all passed 50 and Rahul made his first score of note for a month only adds to the increasingly long list of positives for India.

However, impressive as they have been, their real test starts now. No-one even contemplated a scenario in which they failed to make the last four.

This tournament has always been about whether they can get over the line in an ICC event for the first time since 2011.

New Zealand, who sent them packing at the same stage four years ago, stand in their way again.

India look to have all the tools to make this another home World Cup to remember and have two more games to prove it.

'We've been very clinical from game one' - what they said

India captain Rohit Sharma: "We're very pleased with how we played in these nine games. We've been very clinical from game one. That's because different individuals have stepped up at different points.

"This is a good sign for a team when everybody wants to take the responsibility and get the job done."

Player of the Match, India's Shreyas Iyer: "It was a bit like deja vu when I was getting nearer to the century, because when I got close against Australia I threw my wicket away, so I wanted to kick on.

"I hurt my arm on 95 so I had to settle down and take a bit more time. My last few innings have given me a lot of confidence."

Netherlands skipper Scott Edwards: "We played two really good games of cricket in the tournament and gave ourselves opportunities in other games. It's tricky to say where we were compared to where we wanted to be.

"We are a young side still and it's about growth for us."


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