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T20 World Cup semi-final: India wins the match against England by 68 runs, to face South Africa for finals

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.

T20 World Cup semi-final: India wins the match against England by 68 runs, to face South Africa for finals
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India's Axar Patel celebrates with teammates after the dismissal of England's captain Jos Buttler (PTI)

GEORGETOWN: 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.

The master tactician Rohit read the pitch's riot act even before the start and knew that facing Kuldeep and Axar on this track was going to be a very difficult ask.

On a track where the balls kept low, all one needed was to bowl wicket-to-wicket and Axar did exactly that, forcing Jos Buttler to play an indiscreet reverse sweep while Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali were fooled by the pace of the deliveries.

At the other end, Kuldeep also varied his pace with a deceptive loop and deliveries that turned sharply into the batters, making their life difficult. The fielding was also brilliant.

Brief Scores:

India: 171 for 7 in 20 overs (Rohit Sharma 57, Suryakumar Yadav 47, Hardik Pandya 23, Chris Jordan 3/37, Adil Rashid 1/25, Jofra Archer 1/33, Reece Topley 1/25, Sam Curran 1/25)

England: 103 in 16.4 overs (Axar Patel 3/23, Kuldeep Yadav 3/19, Jasprit Bumrah 2/12).

PTI
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