Bengaluru: Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul hit hundreds while India’s top-order batsmen all sparkled as the World Cup hosts, already bound for the semi-finals, posted a mammoth 410-4 from 50 overs against the Netherlands in their final group-stage game on Sunday.
After their colleagues had perished following quick-fire fifties on a good batting track at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Iyer (128 not out) hit his fourth ton before Rahul (102) joined the party as the duo lit up the stage on the Hindu festival of Diwali with a 208-run stand.
India put the Netherlands to the sword after winning the toss and opting to bat as skipper Rohit Sharma (61) and fellow opener Shubman Gill (51) picked off boundaries at will to give them a superb platform with 91 runs in the powerplay.
Gill was particularly severe on the bowlers with three fours and four huge sixes, but the world’s top-ranked batsman found the fielder in the deep while taking on a short delivery from Paul van Meekeren after reaching his 12th half-century.
The Netherlands kept chipping away and were rewarded when seamer Bas de Leede had Rohit caught at wide long-on, but Kohli (51) and Iyer took India past 200 runs in the 29th over with a brisk 71-run stand that kept them on track for a huge total.
Kohli delighted the crowd with a wide array of shots after a wobbly start to his quest to reach 50 one-day international tons and eclipse Sachin Tendulkar, but spinner Roelof van der Merwe silenced fans by breaking his stumps with a flatter one.
India are seeking a ninth straight victory to maintain their 100% record ahead of their semi-final meeting with fourth-placed New Zealand in Mumbai on Wednesday, while a win for the Dutch could secure 2025 Champions Trophy qualification.
(Published 12 November 2023, 12:20 IST)