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regular-article-logo Friday, 19 July 2024

IND vs AUS, T20 World Cup Super 8: Rohit Sharma blitz sets up India semis date vs England

The Australians, seeming rattled on the field earlier having no Plan B to counter Rohit alongside committing other unforced errors, had put India under the pump when they were placed at 128/2 in 13 overs

Our Bureau Calcutta Published 25.06.24, 10:06 AM
India captain Rohit Sharma en route to his 41-ball 92against Australia in Gros Islet on Monday.

India captain Rohit Sharma en route to his 41-ball 92against Australia in Gros Islet on Monday. AP/PTI

Rohit Sharma (92 off 41 balls) unleashed his beast mode. Travis Head (76 off 43 balls) countered it with one of his own, threatening to outmuscle India like he did in the ODI World Cup final last year. But the script this time unfolded differently.

Rohit was able to have the last laugh this time as his bowlers, defending 205/5, got their lengths right in the slog overs, limiting Australia to 181/7. India won their final Super Eight encounter by 24 runs, to seal their semi-final berth. They will face England in Guyana on Thursday.

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The Australians, seeming rattled on the field earlier having no Plan B to counter Rohit alongside committing other unforced errors, had put India under the pump when they were placed at 128/2 in 13 overs. That, even though the pitch looked to have slowed down a bit.

But a very poor shot from Glenn Maxwell helped Kuldeep Yadav (2/24) get his second wicket — after a blinder of a catch by Axar Patel in the deep had earned the left-arm wrist-spinner Australia skipper Mitch Marsh’s scalp. Then, Marcus Stoinis’ injudicious reverse-sweep helped Axar register his name on the wickets column.

With momentum back with India, Head was suddenly left with a lot to do. Rohit turned to Jasprit Bumrah, who’s in the form of his life and the speedster varied his pace to induce a false shot from the Australian opener and have his revenge. That wicket was practically the game for India.

Going back to Rohit, his knock assumes huge significance as following his dismissal off Mitchell Starc in the 12th over, India couldn’t manage more than 78 in the remaining 8.4 overs of their innings. Besides, had Marsh not spilled a sitter at backward point to let Hardik Pandya (27 not out off 17 balls) off on four, India may well have fallen short of even 200.

Josh Hazlewood (1/14) — the pick of the Australian bowlers — dismissed the struggling Virat Kohli with a short delivery to rock India early. But Rohit did not let the Aussies call the shots.

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