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T20 World Cup: How the dream stayed alive for India | Cricket News – Times of India


Rohit’s 39-ball 57, Surya’s 47 and spinners Axar and Kuldeep’s triple strikes fashion crushing 68-run win over England in semifinal; Men in Blue take on SA in final
GEORGETOWN: The dream is within touching distance. The years of wait that grew longer and longer – and then went deep into the night on Thursday – is now a step away from being over. A lot has been told about India getting a few undue advantages here and there, but Rohit Sharma‘s boys showed the world on Thursday that they probably didn’t need any of those.They are simply miles ahead of the pack.

It was this same England, one and half years ago in Adelaide, who thrashed India by 10 wickets with almost the same number of runs to chase down. This time they fell way short, as India braved the conditions to pull off a 68-run victory that will leave them mentally on top ahead of their final against South Africa in Barbados on Saturday.
India scored 171-5 after being asked to bat first when the conditions were infinitely more difficult. The total was way over par on a pitch that had a lot in it for the bowlers. In reply, England folded for 103 in a mere 16.4 overs, with Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel and Jasprit Bumrah all causing major damage.
Bumrah and Axar broke the back of England within the Powerplay, getting the dangerous Jos Buttler and Phil Salt out, and the rest was just one way traffic. England didn’t have anything in their lineup which could make a match of this chase against the allround brilliance of this Indian bowling attack.

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The locals had stayed away from the game, the West Indies defeat and the decision to have a day game on a week-day were good enough to make them go about their lives instead of spending a day at the cricket ground. But there were a few thousand Indian fans who flew in from different parts of the world and they enjoyed every moment of this joy-ride which seemed like a marathon, courtesy, the rain.
The first innings took a record four hours to be bowled amidst the numerous stoppages and that halted India’s momentum significantly on a pitch that was as it is difficult to bat on. And when Virat Kohli failed again, getting bowled trying to hit a cross-batted shot, one felt that things might just get tough. But then, there was a Rohit Sharma.

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The skipper knows this will probably be his last chance to win a limited-overs ICC trophy –both as a captain and as a player. There’s been an element of determination in every step that he has taken so far, and it wasn’t any different on Thursday. Rohit showed during the course of his 57 off 39 balls his incredible ability to alter his style, and yet be effective. He knew that the game that he played in St. Lucia against Australia wasn’t possible on this pitch, so he didn’t try to throw his hands at every ball. Here he played the waiting game and the odd loose ball was dealt with.
In Suryakumar Yadav, he got the absolute perfect man who could help him steady the ship through choppy waters without compromising on the speed of the boat. The two ran furiously and played the odd innovative shot against the likes of leggie Aadil Rashid (1-25), who used the conditions very well to keep the duo in check. It was Rashid’s perseverance that helped him get the wicket of Rohit, when he tried to dispatch his googly out of the park.

For the innings to get a final surge of momentum, it was necessary for Surya to carry on. But the best batsman in T20 cricket too was done in by the slowness of the track and Jofra Archer’s change of pace, giving a catch at the deep.
But by then India had enough in the bag.





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