- Kohli hits record breaking century as India make final
- Hosts are strong favourites to lift trophy
- India to face South Africa or Australia
Hosts and favourites India secured a spot in the World Cup final by overcoming a spirited challenge from New Zealand in their semi-final clash at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.
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Kohli hits 50th ODI ton as India march on
The match featured a record-breaking performance by Indian captain Virat Kohli, who notched up his 50th one-day international century, surpassing the legendary Sachin Tendulkar’s century tally.
India set a formidable total of 397-4, propelled by Kohli’s effortless innings of 117 runs from 113 balls. Adding to the spectacle, Shreyas Iyer played a blistering knock, scoring the game’s fastest century with a 70-ball 105, including eight sixes.
New Zealand, in response, showcased resilience, with Daryl Mitchell’s sublime century and a partnership of 181 runs with skipper Kane Williamson, momentarily silencing the home crowd. However, the turning point came when Mohammed Shami removed Williamson for 69 and Tom Latham for a two-ball duck in the 33rd over, putting India back in control.
Despite Glenn Phillips’ valiant effort with 41 runs from 33 balls, New Zealand’s hopes dwindled as Mitchell departed for an impressive 134, falling victim to Shami. The fast bowler ended with exceptional figures of 7-57, the best for India in ODIs.
In the end, New Zealand was bowled out for 327, falling short by 70 runs. India secured their place in the World Cup final, where they will face either Australia or South Africa in what promises to be a remarkable showdown in Ahmedabad. The stage is set for an enthralling conclusion to India’s quest for their first World Cup title since 2011.
As cricket enthusiasts eagerly await the final, the focus now shifts to the second semi-final scheduled in Kolkata on Thursday at 08:30 GMT.
India remain huge favourites to secure the World Cup after a flawless campaign so far. At the time of writing Betway have India priced at 17/40 with Thursday’s semi finalists Australia and South Africa priced at 7/2 and 5/1 respectively.
Given India’s form and current odds bettors might find greater value in betting on player props. Before the New Zealand match Kohli was priced at 11/2 to hit a century. He duly obliged with a record breaking 50th hundred in ODI cricket. He could well be a similar price to ht his 51st ton in the final once India’s opponents are known and the match is priced up.
While India have been in fantastic form and are huge favourites, the final is not a foregone conclusion and whoever they end up facing will be determined to cause an upset and lift the trophy. South Africa or Australia will obviously go into the final as underdogs but both are good sides and given their odds could be worth a punt if the bettor understands that, the result is unlikely to come in but could provide a good payout.
Check out our guide to South Africa vs Australia.
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