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India in final of T20 World Cup

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Georgetown, June 27: Skipper Rohit Sharma’s grace was matched by the might of Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav as India exorcised the ghosts of 2022 by handing defending champions England a 68-run thrashing to enter the final of the T20 World Cup here on Thursday.
Rohit thus became the first Indian captain to lead the country in three ICC global finals in a space of 12 months — 2023 World Test Championship, 2023 ODI World Cup and now the T20 World Cup.
The Indian skipper, who has always received flak for not scoring on big days, contributed an invaluable 57 off 39 balls on a track where the ball consistently kept low, as India posted 171 for 7 in 20 overs.
Credit should also be given to Suryakumar Yadav for his 47 off 36 balls and Hardik Pandya for his two mighty sixes in a 13-ball-23. Ravindra Jadeja (17) and Axar Patel (10) also chipped in with useful contributions.
In reply, England lost five wickets at the halfway stage and never recovered to be all out for 103 in 16.4 overs.
Axar (3/23 in 4 overs) and Kuldeep Yadav (3/19 in 4 overs) shared the spoils with the ball. The redoubtable Jasprit Bumrah (2/12 in 2.4 overs) did his bit with a classic slow off-cutter that saw the back of the dangerous Phil Salt.
The 2007 champions will meet South Africa in the final in Barbados on Saturday.
In 2022, India were pummelled by 10 wickets in the semi-final at Adelaide after England had restricted them to a similar total. But the conditions at Providence Stadium made batting difficult.
Rohit showed how to bat on a pitch with low bounce as India did well to reach 171 for seven in the rain-hit second semifinal of the T20 World Cup against England here on Thursday.
Virat Kohli perished early once early, trying to force the pace but Rohit (57 off 39 balls) found an able ally in Suryakumar Yadav (47 off 36) as the two powered India to a challenging total.
The keenly awaited fixture was impacted by intermittent rain with the start of play being delayed by one hour and 15 minutes. Another halt came when India were 65 for two in eight overs.
As many as 250 additional minutes have been allotted to the game but there is no reserve day.
Soon after Kohli (9) and Rohit came out to bat after England put the opposition in, it became clear the surface was on the slower side and low bounce made the task trickier for the batters.
Both Rohit and Kohli tried to whack the pace duo of Reece Topley and Jofra Archer off length early in the innings but could not connect.Showing eagerness to take on the bowlers, Kohli regularly charged down against both Topley and Archer but with no success.
He finally connected one from Topley, a fuller ball, for a six over mid-wicket before the left-arm pacer shortened his length, leading to the India superstar’s dismissal two balls later.
Rohit, on the other hand, adapted to the conditions much better and decided to play the ball late and behind the stumps. One example of that was the guide over backward point off Archer in the second over when the ball went through Phil Salt’s hands to reach the boundary. Setting the benchmark for other batters, Rohit then collected back-to-back fours in Topley’s third over before applying pressure on England’s premier spinner Adil Rashid after India reached 46 for two in the powerplay.
Rishabh Pant (4) was the second batter to be dismissed as he mistimed a flick to be caught at midwicket off Sam Curran. Then came the engrossing match-up between Rohit and Rashid where the Indian captain employed the reverse and conventional sweep to collect two fours from the leg-spinner’s opening over. Suryakumar Yadav was batting on 13 alongside Rohit when rain returned at the Providence Stadium, forcing the game to be paused for more than an hour.
England used the leg-spin of Rashid and Liam Livingstone from both ends after the forced break but they could not stifle Rohit and Suryakumar.
A full toss from Rashid was duly dispatched over short fine leg for four, the first of many boundaries that India accumulated in the middle overs. The 13th over from Curran yielded 19 runs for India.
The entertaining 73-run ended when Rohit was beaten by a googly from Rashid while attempting a slog.Following Curran’s bumper 13th over, the next fours were quiet for India before Hardik Pandya (23 off 13) hit two flat sixes on either side of the pitch to push the innings forward.
Ravindra Jadeja (17 not out off 9), sent ahead of Shivam Dube, got two crucial fours off Archer in the penultimate over while the latter’s stay lasted only one ball.
Axar Patel’s six off Jordan in the final over took India to 171. (PTI)

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