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Rediff.com  » Cricket » T20 WC PIX: India rout Australia, enter semis unbeaten

T20 WC PIX: India rout Australia, enter semis unbeaten

Last updated on: June 25, 2024 00:35 IST
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Images from the T20 World Cup Super Eight Group 1 match between India and Australia, at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, in Gros Islet, St Lucia, on Monday.

India's captain Rohit Sharma bats during the T20 World Cup Super Eight match against Australia in St. Lucia on Monday

IMAGE: Skipper Rohit Sharma led India's demolition of Australia with a sublime knock in the T20 World Cup Super Eight Group 1 match in St. Lucia on Monday. Photograph: BCCI/X

India rode on skipper Rohit Sharma's scintillating 41-ball 92 to beat Australia by 24 runs in their concluding Super Eights fixture and qualify for the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup unbeaten, in St Lucia on Monday.

Batting first, Rohit fired on all cylinders, hitting as many as eight sixes and seven fours during his sparkling knock, which powered India to an imposing 205 for 5.

 

In reply, Australia were restricted to 181 for 7, their total built around Travis Head's 76 off 43 balls.

Arshdeep Singh was India's leading wicket-taker with figures of 3 for 37 while Kuldeep Yadav took 2 for 24 and Jasprit Bumrah 1 for 29.

India's third win in as many games in the Super Eights set up a meeting with defending champions England in the second semi-final in Guyana on Thursday.

After their second defeat in three games, Australia have their fate in the hands of Afghanistan, who take on Bangladesh later on Monday and are also in running for the second semi-final spot from Group 1.

The scenarios for the last semi-final spot following Australia's defeat to India:

If Afghanistan beat Bangladesh in the last match of the Super 8 on Tuesday, they advance to the first semi-final against South Africa.

Arshdeep Singh celebrates the wicket of David Warner

IMAGE: Arshdeep Singh celebrates the wicket of Australia opener David Warner. Photograph: ANI

If Bangladesh beat Afghanistan by 62 runs (after scoring 150 or more) then Bangladesh will advance to the semis ahead of Australia.

If Bangladesh beat Afghanistan by less than 62 runs (after scoring 150 or more) Australia will go through.

If the match is washed out, Afghanistan will be through with three points.

Travis Head hits a boundary.

IMAGE: Travis Head hits a boundary. Photograph: ICC/X

Australia showed their familiar fighting spirit in the run-chase with skipper Mitchell Marsh (37 off 28) and India's nemesis Head, who played a blinder in the ODI World Cup final last year, scoring freely after David Warner's exit.

The highlight of their 86-run partnership was their exemplary ball-striking ability. While Marsh enthralled with short-arm pulls into the stands, Head targeted the straight boundary. The southpaw smoked Hardik Pandya for a flat six down the ground, reminiscent of his ruthlessness in Ahmedabad on the ill-fated night of November 19.

Axar Patel takes a stunning catch to dismiss Mitchell Marsh off the bowling of Kuldeep Yadav.

IMAGE: Axar Patel takes a stunning catch to dismiss Mitchell Marsh off the bowling of Kuldeep Yadav. Photograph: BCCI/X

Amid the high-quality hitting from Marsh and Head, Kuldeep's bowling stood out. One of his wickets, though, was purely down to the brilliance of Axar Patel, who took a one-handed stunner on the jump at deep square leg to send back Marsh.

With 65 needed off 30 balls and Head in the middle, the match hung in balance before MVP Jasprit Bumrah returned to remove the opener with a slower delivery and Australia could not press on thereafter.

Kuldeep Yadav celebrates after dismissing Glenn Maxwell.

IMAGE: Kuldeep Yadav celebrates after dismissing Glenn Maxwell. Photograph: BCCI/X

Earlier, on the best batting surface of the tournament, Australia put India in to bat and Rohit made most of the conditions with a sublime knock comprising seven fours and eight sixes, including a recording extending 200th in the format.

Unperturbed by Virat Kohli's early dismissal, he went after pacer Mitchell Starc and bludgeoned him for 29 runs in his second over, setting the tone for India's innings at the Darren Sammy Stadium.

Starc, who was taken to the cleaners by Rohit, returned to dismiss the India captain late and bring some relief to the Australian camp.

Josh Hazlewood and his Australia teammates celebrate the wicket of Virat Kohli.

IMAGE: Josh Hazlewood and his Australia teammates celebrate the wicket of Virat Kohli. Photograph: ANI

Suryakumar Yadav (31 off 16 balls) and Shivam Dube (28 off 22) then maintained the tempo with big hits before Hardik Pandya (27 off 17) finished the India innings in style.

It was the start of something special when Rohit flicked Starc for four in the first over of the game.

Virat Kohli (0) at the other end mistimed a pull off Josh Hazlewood in the following over to be caught in the deep.

Rohit Sharma hits one of India's 15 sixes today, the most by them in an innings in T20 World Cups

IMAGE: Rohit Sharma hits one of India's 15 sixes today, the most by the team in an innings in T20 World Cups. Photograph: BCCI/X

Walking the talk once again, Rohit never took the foot off the pedal and went hammer and tongs against Starc, whose second over yielded as many as 29 runs, his most expensive in the format.

The first two sixes in the over came via delightful aerial drive over extra cover before he smashed one in the cow corner region. The fourth maximum of the over came via a mishit that went all the way behind the stumps.

Rohit did bulk of the damage in his 87-run stand with number three Rishabh Pant (15 off 14), who welcomed leg-spinner Adam Zampa into the attack with a six over long-on.

Australia's trump card went wicket-less.

Suryakumar Yadav bats during his 16-ball 31, which included 3 fours and 2 sixes

IMAGE: Suryakumar Yadav bats during his 16-ball 31, which included 3 fours and 2 sixes. Photograph: ANI

Another memorable shot of Rohit's innings was the down-on-one-knee six over deep mid-wicket off Pat Cummins in the latter's opening over.

Credit must go to India for not allowing any other bowler to settle into a rhythm.

Rohit brought up his fifty at end of the fifth over with a single and that was also the fastest of the tournament.

He unleashed a six over extra cover when Marcus Stoinis came into the attack in the eighth over.

Hardik Pandya

IMAGE: Hardik Pandya watches one of his two sixes sail over the boundary. Photograph: ANI

Such was his authority that he could choose his spot against all the bowlers of repute.

It could have been a well-deserved 100 but Starc came back to remove India's skipper with a yorker.

Suryakumar Yadav (31 off 15), Hardik Pandya (27 not out off 17) and Shivam Dube (28 off 22) also played their part but India could not make the most of the last five overs, scoring only 43 runs for the loss of one wicket.

Even as his colleagues leaked runs, Josh Hazlewood seemed to be bowling on a different pitch, conceding only 14 runs while taking one wicket in his four overs.

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