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Sport

India head to the final of the Icc Cricket World Cup

todayJune 28, 2024 9

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Indian captain Rohit Sharma and left-arm spinner Axar Patel played the lead roles as their team emphatically claimed a place in the T20 World Cup final against South Africa in Barbados on Saturday with a 68-run victory against England in their rain-delayed semifinal at the Providence Stadium in Georgetown, Guyana, on Thursday.

Rohit compiled a technically brilliant innings of 57 from 39 balls to lead his team to a highly competitive total of 171-7 after being asked to bat first and Axar (3-23) claimed three of the first four wickets to fall as England collapsed to 49-5 with no way back into the contest, eventually dismissed for just 103 in 16.4 overs.

Rohit began explosively, quickly reassessed the conditions, and proceeded at a more tempered pace hitting six fours and two sixes before a delivery from legspinner Adil Rashid kept impossibly low to bowl him in the 14th over.

Suryakumar Yadav was no less skillful during an innings of 47 from 36 balls with four fours and two sixes before miscuing a slower ball from Jofra Archer (4-0-33-1) to long on while Hardik Pandya’s bright cameo of 23 from 13 balls with two sixes ended in similar fashion with a slower ball from Chris Jordan (3-0-37-3) heaved to long off.

Virat Kohli (9) was bowled by Reece Topley while Rishabh Pant (4) whipped a length delivery from Sam Curran to Jonny Bairstow at mid wicket to leave innings on 40-2 inside the Power Play before rain intervened with India on 65-2 after eight overs.

England’s run-chase was undone early with captain Jos Buttler (23) top-edging a reverse sweep against Axar and fellow opener Phil Salt (5) bowled by Jarprit Bumrah’s slower ball.

Jonny Bairstow was bowled by Axar’s ‘slider’ for a third-ball duck and Moeen Ali (8) was stumped by Pant after losing his bearings when an Axar delivery ricocheted off his pads.

When Harry Brook (25) was bowled by wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav and Curran (2) trapped lbw by the same bowler England’s hopes of defending their title were effectively over at 68-6, soon to become 72-7 when Chris Jordan, too, fell lbw to Kuldeep who’s 3-19 was as influential as Axar’s return in India’s victory.

The outfield was saturated just two hours before the scheduled start at 4:30pm (SA time) but, in a region all-too familiar with heavy rainfall at this time of year, the ground staff were well practised in coping with wet weather conditions and locals were always confident that there would be sufficient dry time between showers to complete a match.

South Africa beat Afghanistan by nine wickets in the first semifinal on Thursday morning having bowled Afghanistan out for just 56 in 11.5 overs and reaching 60-1 in 8.5 overs.

The final will be played in Bridgetown, Barbados, on Saturday beginning at 4:30pm SA time.

© MWP

Supersport

Written by: Staff Writer

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