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12-Nov-2023 16:15:00 GMT
India vs Netherlands - 45th Match, Bangalore

Twin tons set up India to end perfect group stage

India 410 for 4 (Shreyas 128*, Rahul 102, Rohit 61, de Leede 2-82) beat Netherlands 250 (Nidamanuru 54, Siraj 2-29) by 160 runs

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

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

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 against New Zealand, in Mumbai on Wednesday, much of the pre-game focus was on Virat Kohli and whether he could surpass Sachin Tendulkar's record and make his 50th one-day international century.

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 as it brought Kohli to the crease.

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

Shreyas and Rahul helped them move 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 start the last to 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 before, with the chase long since abandoned, Teja Nidamanuru holed out in the 48th over to bring the match to a close.

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

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

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.

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

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