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England shatter India’s title dreams with clinical efficiency

Buttler and Hales putting on a grandstand batting effort against a clueless Indian bowling attack.  

 S S Ramaswamy | Adelaide |


England shattered India’s title dreams in the ICC men’s T20 World Cup with a commanding all-round display and knocked out Rohit Sharma’s men at the semi-final stage of the competition at the Adelaide Oval here tonight.

England made light of reaching the target of 169 set by the world’s number one ranked team under lights to the disappointment of a huge number of supporters of the 2007 champions in a 40,000-strong crowd.

Openers Jos Buttler, the captain, and Alex Hales pummelled the listless Indian attack on a good batting track to remain unconquered at the end with individual half centuries as England finished at 170 for no loss to emerge triumphant by a thumping ten-wicket margin.

Buttler struck 9 fours and 3 sixes in his 49-ball unbeaten 80 while the more aggressive Hales used his bat like a sledge-hammer and was not out on 86 off just 47 balls. It contained 7 sixes and 4 fours.

The target was reached in just 16 overs, an indication of the total domination of the Indian bowling attack by these two England openers.

None of the Indian bowlers made any impression on Buttler and Hales who went along merrily to power 2010 champions England, who are the reigning World Cup champions in the 50-over format, to their third final in the T20 World Cup.

England will take on Pakistan, who demolished New Zealand in the first semi-final at Sydney last night, in the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.

Earlier, the Indian innings stuttered along following a slow start in the power play (38 for 1) when Hardik Pandya joined Virat Kohli to step on the accelerator.

Pandya gave the innings a late impetus with a 33 ball 63 that was laced with 5 sixes and four fours while Kohli made 50 in 40 balls, his fourth half century of the competition.

Pandya, known for his style of standing deep inside the crease and creaming the bowling, did exactly that to spoil the earlier impressive figures of Chris Jordan and Sam Curran with spectacular hits on both sides of the wicket.

Kohli batted much more sedately after the fall of Suryakumar Yadav, the other in-form batter in the tournament for the team, as India were pegged back to 75 for three in the 12th over after being put in to bat.

Kohli departed after a 40-ball 50, his fourth half century in the tournament, at 136 when he sliced  a wide ball from Jordan to short third man to give the bowler, replacement in the eleven for the injured Mark Wood, his second wicket.

Earlier in that 17th over Pandya had dispatched the fast bowler for successive sixes over the leg side, the second one being a breath-taking flick off a full length ball that sailed over the mid-wicket fence.

Pandya continued in the same vein in the last two overs by digging out a yorker from Jordan for a six over long on and then swatting the bowler to the square leg fence for a four after having struck Curran for two fours and a six in the penultimate over that cost England 20 runs.

Pandya was out hit wicket off the final ball of the innings from Jordan who took three wickets but at a high cost of 43 runs while Curran ended his four overs with poor figures of none for 42.

Leg spinner Adil Rashid was easily the pick of the bowlers and was difficult to get off while taking 1 for 21.

Earlier in the innings, vice-captain K L Rahul edged Chris Woakes to wicket keeper and rival captain Jos Buttler in the 2nd over and then captain Rohit Sharma got going but departed in familiar style, mistiming a pull shot off Jordan’s off cutter and was caught on the leg side.

Suryakumar Yadav was deceived and dismissed by Rashid after which Kohli and Pandya put on 61 runs for the fourth wicket in 6.4 overs.

India added 68 runs in the last five overs out of which 47 came in the last three when Pandya went berserk. The team added 93 runs in 8.4 overs with Pandya at the crease.

But it all proved inadequate in the end with Buttler and Hales putting on a grandstand batting effort against a clueless Indian bowling attack.