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IND Vs NZ, ICC Cricket World Cup 2023: India One Win Away From Semi-final Berth?

After their four-wicket win over New Zealand in Dharamsala, India are on the top of the points table with 10 points from their five wins, and another victory would take them to 12 points, which should most likely be enough to take the hosts into the last-four stage of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023

Virat Kohli bats against New Zealand in Dharamsala.
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With their thrilling four-wicket victory against New Zealand in Dharamsala on Sunday night, India have notched up their fifth consecutive win in ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 and are now just one win away from most likely confirming a place in the semi-finals of the showpiece tournament. India are on the top of the points table now with 10 points from their five wins, and another victory would take them to 12 points, which will in all likelihood be enough to take the hosts into the last-four stage. (Highlights | Scorecard | Full Coverage)

If India do make the semis cut, it will their fourth successive semi-finals appearance in the 50-over World Cup. India famously won the 2011 World Cup at home, and qualified for the knock-out stages in 2015 and 2019 as well.

In their previous WC appearance in 2019, India claimed the group stage honours with seven wins and one no result out of 10 (15 points). The  Kiwis made the cut with five wins and one no result (11 points), while England and Australia finished second and third with seven and six wins, respectively.

Unlike their previous wins in the 2023 ODI World Cup, India had to fight hard to secure Sunday's triumph. After India won the toss and opted to bowl first, New Zealand were looking good to mount a 300-plus score before the Indian bowlers, led by Mohammed Shami, pulled things back admirably to restrict the Kiwis to a gettable total of 273. In response, Indian openers Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma started aggressively, but India kept losing wickets at regular intervals. 

In the end, it was down to the chase-master Virat Kohli again to bail the team out and score a match-winning 95 that anchored the run chase and brought India on the doorstep of victory. Virat fell agonizingly close to his second consecutive ODI century, but made sure that just the finishing touches remained for the job. All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja sealed the deal with a pull to the square-leg fence.

India will next play defending champions England on Sunday, October 28. While it will be a do-or-die game for England, for the home team, it will be an opportunity to march into the knock-out stage with elan.    

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