Jos Buttler and Alex Hales created history and handed India a cruising 10-wicket defeat.
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England won the toss and opt to field first. India lost KL Rahul (5 off 5) early once again and it was Virat Kohli who steadied things in the middle, but Rohit Sharma struggled to score freely, the pair added 47 runs for the second wicket.
Chris Jordan was brilliant with the ball today, he broke the partnership by dismissing Rohit Sharma (27 off 28). Suryakumar Yadav (14 off 10) played a couple of delightful strokes, but his stay lasted only 10 balls.
Then Hardik Pandya and Virat Kohli took the attack on England with a 61-run partnership for the 4th wicket. While Virat (50 off 40) was out after his 37th T20I fifty, Hardik finished with a flurry of boundaries and sixes. He smashed 4 fours and 5 sixes in his 33-ball 63 to take India to 168/6.
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For England, despite being expensive, Chris Jordan (4-0-43-3) picked three wickets, while Adil Rashid (4-0-20-1) and Chris Woakes (3-0-24-1) scalped a wicket each.
In reply, England openers Jos Buttler and Alex Hales came with aggressive intent as they smashed around the Indian bowlers from the get-go. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was smashed for three fours in the first over of the chase, from where the momentum shifted towards England.
The Indian bowling had no answers, as Butter and Hales continue to slam boundaries left, right and center. Both batters completed their respective T20I half-centuries and also created history for the highest-ever opening partnership in T20 World Cup history.
Jos Buttler was unbeaten on 80 off 49 balls, with 9 fours and 3 sixes, Alex Hales was unbeaten on 86 off 47 balls, with 4 fours and 7 sixes.
Jos Buttler finished things off in style with a six on the last ball of the 16th over and took his team through to the Finals of the ICC T20 World Cup.
Post Match Comments:
Rohit Sharma: Pretty disappointed how it turned up today. We batted well at the backend to get that score. We were not upto the mark with the ball, we couldn’t turn up today. It’s all about handling the pressure in knockout games. All these guys have played enough to understand that. These guys have played under pressure in IPL games, it’s all about keeping calm. We were nervy to start with, but you got to give credit to their openers, they played really well. I thought it swung a bit in the first over, but not from the right areas. We know the runs are scored square off the wicke, we were aware about it. When we won the first game, it showed a lot of character. The game against Bangladesh, it was a tricky one. I thought it was difficult defending 85 runs in 9 overs, but we held our nerve and executed our plans. Couldn’t do that today, and when you don’t execute your plans, you are in trouble.
Jos Buttler: I think the character we have shown since then (England’s loss against Ireland) – it has been amazing. We came here very excited, there was a very good feeling. Everyone from 1 to 11 – stood up today. We always want to start fast and aggressive. Rashid was batting at 11, that’s incredible to know that we have such depth. Hales used the dimensions well and he has shown his form. He was brilliant today. It’s important to enjoy this, it was a brilliant performance from us. I think we need to give special credit to Jordan, to bowl 3 overs at the death coming into the semi-final, it was a tough job. He handled the pressure towards the end pretty well, especially bowling against a world class player like Hardik Pandya.
Alex Hales (Player of the Match): It will be right up there for sure (referring to a perfect innings). Huge occasion, India in a semifinal of a World Cup, really happy with the way I played and it is as special as it gets. This is one of the best grounds to bat in especially in the powerplay, a really good surface and great value for good cricket shots, this is a ground I have good memories of and enjoy batting here. I never thought I would play in a World Cup again, so to get the chance is a very special feeling, in a country (Australia) that I love and spend a lot of time in, tonight is one of the best night’s of my career. Jos was unbelievable.