Spinners send unbeaten India to final by ending England’s title defense



India team after the win against Australia. PHOTO: X @ICC

Providence [Guyana], June 28 : India is set to take on South Africa, June 29, 2024, in the final of the T20 World Cup after the Men in Blue sealed a thumping 68-run win over England at Providence Stadium, Guyana, June 27, 2024.

The past was washed away by the Indian spinners who bore the brunt of England’s aggression. The 2022 nightmare became a long past after the Indian team avenged their 10-wicket defeat that came at the hands of England.

The Three Lions came out roaring, looking to defend their crown, but the unbeaten Indian side was too big of a challenge for the defending champions. India will play their first final for the first time in 10 years. The last time they stepped into the stadium to play a final saw them lose against Sri Lanka in 2014.

England captain Jos Buttler and Philip Salt provided the defending champions with the desired start, finding the fence with ease.

Arshdeep Singh kept things tight after the first over. Buttler picked up his length as well as Arshdeep’s slower deliveries and bashed him away for three boundaries.

With England scoring at a healthy run rate of more than 8, visions of the 2022 World Cup semi-final started to slowly rise within the Indian fans.

Axar Patel rose to the occasion, cleared away the previous images and started to make a new one.

Men in Blue celebrating victory over Australia June 27, 2024, at T20 World Cup cricket in Guyana. PHOTO: X @icc

On his first delivery, he removed Buttler (23) by going away from his usual style of skidding the ball and decided to spin it. The English skipper tried to counterattack with a reverse sweep. He bottomed it straight to Rishabh Pant behind the stumps.

The floodgates opened, and Jasprit Bumrah was the first one to capitalise on it. He set Salt up with a perfect slower off-cutter to go past Salt’s defence and send him back with a score of 5.

The invariable bounce allowed Axar to make the English batter dance to his tunes. He caught Jonny Bairstow off guard with a delivery that skidded off the surface. Bairstow played for the turn that never came. The ball struck the off-stump, ending the English batter’s night for a three-ball duck.

Rohit decided to put the nail in the coffin by introducing the ‘Chinaman’ spinner Kuldeep Yadav into the attack.

With Kuldeep on the other end, Axar picked his third of the night with Moeen Ali slipping and failing to put his bat past the crease. Pat dislodged the bails, sealing Moeen’s trip back to the dressing room for 8.

Kuldeep struck on the first ball of his second over, pinning Sam Curran in front of the stumps on the first ball of his second over.

Harry Brook tried to counterattack in Kuldeep’s third over. He found the fence with a reverse sweep shot.

Kuldeep took his revenge on the next ball, he bamboozled Brook with a flipper. The Englishman failed to read the line and heard the ball crashing into the leg stump.

Kuldeep took a three-wicket haul by removing Chris Jordan. India took a step closer to victory after a mixup that led to Liam Livingstone’s dismissal.

Jofra Archer gave English fans something to cheer about with a couple of boundaries. But England eventually folded on 103 and crashed out of the competition, with India marching into the final.

Earlier in the innings, a commendable effort from the tail-end duo of Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja in the final two overs helped India post a competitive total.

Suryakumar Yadav (47) and Hardik Pandya (23 off 13) played crucial cameos to aid India’s cause. For England, Chris Jordan starred with the ball as he returned with a figure of 3-37, bagging the wickets of Hardik, Shivam Dube and Axar Patel.

Put to bat first, India captain Rohit Sharma set the tone by finding the fence in the first over. The Indian skipper found a thick outside edge that went off for a boundary through point.

However, in the third over, India suffered a massive blow as Reece Topley hit the bail of the leg stump, sending out-of-form batter Virat Kohli back to the dugout for 9.

The stage was set for the India captain who kept his aggressive approach going, hammering Topley for two boundaries, gathering 11 runs in the 5th over. After 5th over India’s score read 40/1.

With a change of pace, Sam Curran brought his team back into the game. He removed Rishabh Pant, by luring him to play a false shot that landed in the hands of Jonny Bairstow, waiting for this opportunity at short mid-wicket.

India were 65/2 after eight overs when rain stopped play for just over an hour, with Virat Kohli bowled by Reece Topley for 9, and Rishabh Pant caught by Jonny Bairstow off the bowling of Sam Curran for just 4.

The play resumed and with a magnificent six Rohit brought up his back-to-back half-century. India captain Rohit and Suryakumar Yadav stitched up fifty runs to keep the team’s momentum going. The duo smoked Curran for 19 runs in the 13th over.

Adil Rashid broke a crucial 73-run partnership between the Indian duo, removing well-set batter Rohit for 57.

In the 18th over, Hardik Pandya smoked Chris Jordan for back-to-back two maximums before the pacer struck back to remove India’s vice-captain for 23. On the very next ball, Jordan sent Shivam Dube packing for a duck.

A superb effort from Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja in the final two overs helps India post 171 runs for the loss of 7 wickets in Guyana. In the last over India managed to pick up 12 runs to post 171/7 thanks to Ravindra Jadeja’s unbeaten 17.

Brief score: India 171/7 (Rohit Sharma 57, Suryakumar Yadav 47; Chris Jordan 3-37) vs England 103 (Harry Brook 25, Jos Buttler 23; Axar Patel 3-23, Kuldeep Yadav 3-19).




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