Melbourne: India thrashed Zimbabwe by 71 runs in their final group 2 match in super 12 stage. A jam-packed stadium cheered India’s victory that set up a semi-final showdown with England in the T20 World Cup. K L Rahul gave India a good start with 51 runs from 31 balls. It was his second consecutive 50 in the tournament. Suryakumar Yadav did the rest of the work. He scored 61 off just 25 balls and remained not out. That helped India to score 186/5 which was a mammoth total and Zimbabwe could score only 115 in 17.2 overs.
After Sunday’s victory, India finished on top of group 2 with eight points and will meet in the second semi-final at Adelaide Oval on November 10. Pakistan will face New Zealand in the first semi-final at Sydney cricket ground on November 9.
Zimbabwe began with nine dot balls. Rohit Sharma hit the first boundary for India. He drove off Tendai Chatara in the second over. In the next over, Rahul hit a six off Richard Naagarava. Sharma was out for 15.
Virat Kohli began by hitting a four off Muzarabani through fine-leg. Rahul, who played out a maiden opening over, was timing his cuts and lofts well, but Zimbabwe took three wickets in 11 balls. Kohli holed out to long-off off Sean Williams. Rahul, too, returned to pavilion by scoring 51 off 34 balls. He was out after hitting a six off Sikandar Raza. Rishabh Pant played a poor shot off Williams and Ryan Burl took a beautiful catch. Suryakumar got India moving by smacking Muzarabani for a brace of fours. Though Hardik Pandya fell, Suryakumar continued to smash the Zimbabwe bowlers. Because of his efforts, India got 79 runs in the last five overs. Zimbabwe did not start well. They lost Wesley Madhevere in the very first over. Bhuvneshwar Kumar took his wicket. In the next over, Arshdeep Singh bowled Regis Chakabva.
Brief scores: India 186/6 over (Suryakumar Yadav 61 not out, KL Rahul 51, Sean Williams 2-9, Sikandar Raza 1-18. Zimbabwe (Ryan Burl 35, Sikandar Raza 34). Ravichandran Ashwin 3-22, Mohammed Shami 2-14)