Images from the ICC World Cup match between India and the Netherlands, at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru, on Sunday.
K L Rahul produced the fastest hundred by an Indian in a World Cup while Shreyas Iyer also lit up the Bengaluru skyline with an unbeaten 128 as India put up a mammoth 410 for 4 against the Netherlands in their concluding World Cup 2023 league match, in Bengaluru, Sunday.
Rahul’s blitzkrieg and Iyer’s stylish 94-ball knock combined well with fifties by Shubman Gill (51), Rohit Sharma (61) and Virat Kohli (51), leaving the Dutch to make a steepling chase after India batted by choice.
Collecting 122 runs in the last 10 overs, India also became the third team to post 400 in this tournament, after South Africa and New Zealand.
By the time Iyer, who scored his fourth One-day ton and the first in the showpiece, arrived at the crease, India were well-positioned to make a charge after Gill and Rohit plundered 100 runs off 71 balls for the opening wicket.
The 28-year-old right-hander played his part to perfection, exploiting that cushion in the company of Rahul, milking 208 runs for a devastating fourth-wicket stand.
Iyer’s was the kind of ODI innings one can actually include in coaching archives as a model for budding cricketers.
The biggest highlight of his batting is his ability to avoid risks – the awareness of bowlers and areas to target to keep the run-flow steady.
Usually a fine player of spin, Iyer does have a weakness against the left-armers, evidenced by a reduced strike-rate of 90 against that type as compared to other exponents of slow bowling.
In line with that, he played out Roelof van der Merwe for singles and twos while targeting offie Aryan Dutt and pacers Paul van Meekeren and Logan van Beek.
Van Meekeren felt the heat in particular as Iyer lofted him for two 80m sixes over long-on and cover as the Dutch pacer gave too much width to free his hands.
They were not manufactured shots but the balls were begging to be hit, and Iyer just obliged.
Soon, he notched his hundred with a single to mid-off off pacer Bas de Leede, and it took him just 84 balls.
Rahul played the perfect foil role to a nicety in the early part of his innings, rotating the strike effortlessly and that signature swat-flick six off Van Meekeren over mid-wicket drew wows from the crowd.
Rahul also soon carved his own space in that alliance with graceful yet damaging shots to run the Dutch side ragged, bringing up his seventh ODI hundred.
It came in bright style as well, two successive sixes of pacer De Leede over the mid-wicket region, and all he took was just 62 balls. It was also the fastest hundred by an Indian batter in the ODI World Cup.
Iyer and Rahul’s journey was made easier by the early onslaught of Rohit and Gill and the pragmatism of Kohli.
Gill did the early running for India on a Chinnaswamy pitch that offered a hint of bounce, unbundling his almost nil-follow through pulls and other range of shots predominantly on the leg-side.
The 24-year-old began the carnage slamming a six each off pacer Van Beek and Dutt, with the second maximum hitting the roof of the venue over mid-wicket.
As Gill was super smooth at the other end, Rohit took a few minutes to settle down, particularly against Van Beek who gave the Indian skipper a couple of tough moments with bouncy nip-backers.
However, soon Rohit slipped into overdrive to punish the Netherlands bowlers. But the ambition to accelerate led to the downfall of both Rohit and Gill, giving catches to the deep. But Kohli and Shreyas added 71 runs off 66 balls to keep India chugging.
Just as Kohli looked primed for that much-anticipated 50-ODI hundred landmark, Van der Merwe castled him with a skidder that rushed under his bat.
- World Cup 2023
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