T20 World Cup: Unbeaten India sails into semis with a 24-run win over Australia

Aussies failed in the second half of their run chase.

A jaw-dropping Rohit Sharma knock. / X/@T20WorldCup

Invincible India marched into the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup in style, defeating Australia by 24 runs in its third and final game of Super 8 on June.24. The loss came as a big heartbreak for the Aussies who fought gamely and tried to match India’s highest total in the tournament but failed in the second half of their run chase.

It was a sweet revenge for India, though in a different format, as it had lost the ODI World Cup title game to the Aussies in Ahmedabad last year. India has been desperately looking for an ICC Trophy in its cabinet for a long time.

A comprehensive win for the Men in Blue was mainly made possible by skipper Rohit Sharma who made 92 from 41 balls after his opening partner Virat Kohli was dismissed for a blob and other batters – Surya Kumar Yadav (31 from 16 balls), Shivam Dube (28 from 22 balls) and Hardik Pandya (27 not out from 17 balls) before bowlers – Arshdeep Singh (3/37),  Kuldeep Yadav (2/24), Jasprit Bumrah ((1/29), Axar Patel (1/21) – did their job in restricting the Aussies 24 runs of the target of 206.

It was a must-win game for Australia to stay in the hunt for a place in the semis. Now it must wait till the outcome of the last Super 8 game between two Asian teams – Afghanistan and Bangladesh. In an earlier game, Afghanistan caused a major upset defeating Australia by 21 runs.

Put to bat first, India accepted the challenge of keeping its unbeaten record. Though Virat Kohli was gone in the second over with only six runs on the board, skipper Rohit Sharma came to his element. He exhibited his great batting skills by hitting all around the wicket. His dominance was so great that in the second wicket partnership with Rishabh Pant for 87 runs, Rishabh scored only 15 of 14 balls.

Rohit hit eight sixes and seven boundaries in his innings of 41 balls. It was a superb stroke play that the cricket fans had been missing since the start of this marquee event. India was sitting pretty when he left at 127 made from 11.2 overs. Surya Kumar Yadav and Shivam Dube picked up from where Rohit left and helped India get past the 200-mark for the first time in the tournament.

Indian pacers responded well to the challenge set by batters. Arshdeep claimed dangerous-looking David Warner in the opening over to make Australia 6 for one. But once skipper Mitchell Marsh joined Travis Head, things looked like slipping out of the hands of India as the two hit all Indian bowlers, including Jasprit Bumrah, freely. Travis Head took three fours in one over from Bumrah.

It was spinner Kuldeep Yadav, introduced a little late in the innings, who brought cheers to the Indian camp by dismissing Mitchell Marsh for 37, getting him caught by Axar Patel. Kuldeep kept the batters under check and got Glen Maxwell (20) to make Australia 128 for 3. Axar Patel took the wicket of Marcus Stoinis before Arshdeep struck twice in the death overs to pull India back into the game. Arshdeep claimed the wickets of Tim David (15) and Mathew Wade.

Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc were held in control by Hardik Pandya who came to bowl the last over and conceded only four runs. It was a sweet revenge, though in a different format of the game to the title game loss in the ODI World Cup held in India last year.









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