In a crucial top-of-the-table clash against India in Dharamsala on Sunday, October 22, Daryl Mitchell showcased his reliability as New Zealand’s middle-order lynchpin by notching up his maiden ODI World Cup century. He guided the BlackCaps out of a tricky situation after they lost the toss at the picturesque HPCA Stadium.
Daryl Mitchell reached his century in 100 balls, setting New Zealand on course to post a competitive total. Notably, he became only the second New Zealand batsman to score a World Cup century against India, with Glenn Turner achieving the feat back in 1975 in Manchester breaking a 48-year-long drought.
This was also Daryl Mitchell’s first ODI World Cup century and his fifth in the format. The Rajasthan Royals player had been in splendid form in the 2023 World Cup, scoring 48 against the Netherlands in Hyderabad and a vital unbeaten 89 against Bangladesh on a spin-friendly pitch in Chennai.
Acknowledging his achievement, Mitchell removed his helmet and gestured towards the dressing room, where his teammates applauded his stellar performance. Over the last two years, he has consistently been New Zealand’s standout middle-order batsman.
Coming in at No. 4, Daryl Mitchell partnered with Rachin Ravindra when New Zealand was struggling at 19 for 2 in the 8th over. With the Indian bowling unit, missing Hardik Pandya, gaining momentum, thanks to early wickets by Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami, Mitchell and Ravindra took their time before counterattacking and putting pressure back on the Indian bowlers.
Together, they built a solid 100-run partnership in 102 balls, ultimately achieving a 159-run third-wicket stand, the highest for New Zealand in a World Cup match against India.
The duo’s approach didn’t allow the Indian spinners to find their rhythm, especially against Kuldeep Yadav. Mitchell took the attack to Kuldeep, hitting two sixes in the left-arm spinner’s first three overs, employing a well-thought-out strategy to counter India’s spin threat in the middle overs.
Mitchell’s century included four sixes and seven boundaries. However, Rachin Ravindra, who had previously scored a century against England on his World Cup debut in Ahmedabad on October 5, narrowly missed his second hundred, falling for 75 to Mohammed Shami.
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