Mumbai is famous for having one of the most knowledgeable fanbases for Indian cricket in the country and it was on full display at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday when the Men in Blue took on New Zealand in the first semi-final of the ICC World Cup 2023.
The iconic venue witnessed another World Cup classic as Team India continued its dominating run to register their 10th win on the bounce and make its way into the final for the fourth time in history.
Wankhede crowd appreciates good cricket
The high-profile match almost went right down to the wire thanks to some amazing performances from both India and New Zealand.
And unlike some of the other famous venues in the country, fans at the Wankhede cheered and applauded players from both teams even though there were only a handful of Kiwi fans among the 35,000 present in the stadium on November 15.
Team India gives fans plenty to cheer for
The crowd went mad when Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill got India off to another flying start and the noise levels only went up when Virat Kohli smashed his world record 50th ODI hundred to go past Sachin Tendulkar's tally of 49.
Tendulkar himself was present at the stadium and stood up to applaud Kohli, who bowed down in front of the Master Blaster after reaching the landmark century.
Then came Shreyas Iyer's destructive hundred off 67 balls which provided the much-needed fireworks at the stadium as the batter smashed a record 8 sixes during his knock.
Daryl Mitchell wins hearts at Wankhede
But the entertainment didn't stop with the Indian batters. New Zealand made a fist of the mammoth 398-run chase thanks to Daryl Mitchell's 6th ODI hundred which kept his team in the hunt until the very end.
Mitchell top-scored with 134 in the match which included 9 fours and 7 sixes. His 181-run partnership with crowd favourite Kane Williamson (69) made the Indian fans nervous all over the world but the ones present in the stadium still clapped for every boundary and six scored by the Kiwi batters as they appreciated the fight from the opposition team.
New Zealand players' popularity in India thanks to the IPL also helped their case in Mumbai which can turn hostile towards opposing teams that they don't like.
7-star Shami bowls over fans
But the biggest cheers of the night came for Mohammed Shami, who stole the limelight once again with his seven-wicket haul in the match that turned the tide in India's favour and eventually helped them register a comfortable victory.
Shami bagged career-best figures of 7 for 57 to become the first Indian to take a seven-for in a World Cup game. He also became the first Indian and fastest overall to take 50 ODI World Cup wickets and bagged the Player of the Match for his exploits.
The win helped India avenge their 2019 World Cup semi-final defeat against New Zealand while the 22 players on the field gave the capacity crowd exactly what they came to see on the last game of this World Cup at the Wankhede Stadium.