Hosts India clinch last semi final berth – World T20
By Lee Dolbear
- India beat Australia to reach Semi Final
- Afghanistan finish with historic win
- England to play New Zealand in the semis
NAGPUR and MOHALI, INDIA – India thrashed Australia to make to make the final 4 from Group 2, Afghanistan leave the competition with amazing win against the West Indies in Group 1
Virat Kohli smashed India into the Semi Finals to set up a meeting with the West Indies on Thursday after a pulsating game in Mohali. The result eliminated Australia and determined the final 4 teams in the semis.
Kohli hit 82 runs off 51 balls and was the hero of the show getting them home with five balls to spare.
Aussie skipper Steve Smith won the toss and decided to bat in the winner-takes-all game. Both openers Usman Khawaja (26) and Aaron Finch (43) made it the perfect start both going to town on the early indian bowling. By the time Khawaja was caught behind by MS Dhoni off a Ashish Nehra delivery, the Aussies had raced to 54 in the fifth over.
Smith and David Warner both went cheaply though and the run rated slowed dramatically, Glenn Maxwell (31), Shane Watson (18*) and a little cameo from wicket keeper Peter Nevill scoring 10 off 2 balls with a four and a six got Australia to a decent 160/6 from their 20 overs.
India’s early reply was steady, but they had lost both openers Rohit Sharma (12) and Shikhar Dhawan (13) by the end of the sixth over with the score on 37. Kohli though was in the mood and although there were wickets tumbling at the other end he and Dhoni got the hosts into the Semi Finals with five balls to spare.
Kohli smashed 32 runs from 2 overs in a flamboyant display and picked up the man of the match award for his amazing efforts.
India will play West Indies on Thursday in Mumbai in the second Semi Final.
Earlier in Nagpur, Afghanistan caused a massive upset and got themselves a little bit of history after they beat West Indies by 6 runs.
Windies skipper Darren Sammy won the toss and decided to field.
Afghanistan opener Usman Ghani (4) was clean bowled early by Samuel Badree but the ever aggressive Mohammad Shazad (24) and later a brilliant knock by Najibullah Zadran who scored 48 off 40 balls got them to 123/7.
In reply only Johnson Charles (22) and Dwayne Bravo (28) scored anything notable, this was thanks to some accurate and probing bowling from the Afghans. Both Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi ended with figures of (2/26) but the star was Ameer Hamza (1/9) he bowled 18 dot balls in his 4 overs and in any T20 game that is priceless. It meant that the West Indies finished on 117/8 and the elated Afghanistan team, the crowd and commentators went wild. It was a superb performance and a victory they will never forget. Respect and congratulations to them.
There is one final game today Sri Lanka versus South Africa in Delhi (3pm) Although the game is a dead rubber, it might be worth noting how the pitch plays as that is where England are playing their Semi Final.
The full Semi Final line up is confirmed:
England v New Zealand in Delhi on Wednesday 2.30pm BST
West Indies v India in Mumbai on Thursday 2.30pm BST