Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul hit hundreds as Cricket World Cup hosts India geared up for the semifinals with a crushing 160-run victory over the Netherlands to keep their 100 percent record intact with nine group wins.
After their colleagues had departed following breezy fifties on a good M Chinnaswamy Stadium track, Iyer (128 not out) struck his fourth one-day international (ODI) ton before Rahul (102) exploded as the duo lit up the stage on the Hindu festival of Diwali to get India to 410-4 on Sunday.
Keep readinglist of 4 items
Requiring a record World Cup chase to win, the bottom-placed Dutch side got good starts from Max O’Dowd (30), Colin Ackermann (35), Sybrand Engelbrecht (45) and Teja Nidamanuru (54), but they never threatened and were dismissed for 250 in 47.5 overs.
Mohammed Siraj (2-29) overcame a throat injury suffered in a dropped catch to dazzle alongside Kuldeep Yadav (2-41), Jasprit Bumrah (2-33) and Ravindra Jadeja (2-49) to secure victory for India, who face New Zealand in the semifinals on Wednesday.
Iyer reached his century in 84 balls and finished with 10 fours and five sixes while Rahul needed only 62 balls for his ton, getting there with two huge sixes in the last over that took India past 400.
The duo forged a 208-run partnership – the highest fourth-wicket stand in World Cups – as India scored 126 runs in their final 10 overs to post the third total above 400 in the event.
India put the Netherlands to the sword after winning the toss and opting to bat as skipper Rohit Sharma (61) and Shubman Gill (51) smashed boundaries at will to give them a superb platform with 91 runs in the powerplay.
Gill was severe on the bowlers with three fours and four sixes, but the world’s top-ranked batsman found the man in the deep while taking on a short one from Paul van Meekeren after reaching his 12th half-century.
The Netherlands chipped away and were rewarded when Bas de Leede had Rohit caught at wide long-on, but Virat Kohli (51) and Iyer took India past 200 runs in the 29th over with a 71-run stand.
Kohli delighted the crowd with a wide array of shots after a shaky start to his quest to reach 50 ODI tons and eclipse Sachin Tendulkar’s record, but Roelof van der Merwe briefly silenced fans by breaking his stumps with a flatter one.
Still, Kohli surpassed South Africa’s Quinton de Kock (591) as the leading batsman of the 2023 tournament with 594 runs.
In reply, the Dutch were never in the chase and kept losing regular wickets including Kohli striking with his gentle medium-pace to claim a first ODI wicket in nine years.
With the Dutch crawling in their reply, Rohit threw the ball to Kohli who sent back opposition captain Scott Edwards, caught behind in his second over off a ball drifting down the leg side.
It was only Kohli’s fifth career ODI wicket and first since 2014.
The innings folded in 47.5 overs with Rohit ending using his part-time off spin to send back Nidamanuru.
Rohit last picked an ODI wicket in 2012 and this was only his 10th career wicket.