Friday 1 April 2016

CC World Twenty20: West Indies Beat India To Earn Final Shot At England

West Indies will face England in Sunday's ICC World Twenty20 final after Lendl Simmons condemned hosts India to a seven-wicket defeat in Mumbai. Simmons smashed 82no off 51 balls to steer West Indies to their target of 193 with two balls in hand but only after he was reprieved on 18 and 50 after being dismissed by front-foot no-balls.

The errors - compounded when Ravindra Jadeja caught Simmons on 68 only to step on the mid-wicket boundary rope - eclipsed Virat Kohli's second majestic fifty in as many games. Kohli followed up his unbeaten 82 against Australia with a sumptuous 89 not out off 47 balls as India ran up 192-2, then claimed the key scalp of Johnson Charles (52 off 36 balls) with his first delivery when brought on to bowl.
The wicket ended a thrilling third-wicket stand of 97 between Charles and Simmons, who subsequently found a powerful foil in Andre Russell (43no off 20), who struck Kohli into the stands to win the match and silence the crowd at the Wankhede Stadium. Defeat denies India the chance of becoming the first team to win two World Twenty20 titles on Sunday at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Instead either England or West Indies will become the first nation to win the crown twice.

India made a solid start after being put in - Rohit Sharma dominating a first-wicket stand of 62 in 7.2 overs with Ajinkya Rahane, launching Russell for successive sixes in the final over of the powerplay before missing one from Samuel Badree that skidded on. Kohli should have been run out on one after attempting to steal a bye to the wicketkeeper after missing out on a free hit but Denesh Ramdin's shy at the stumps missed by a fraction and Dwayne Bravo, having collected the ball, also under-armed wide.
Kohli's hitting was as clinical as it was mesmerising - India's talisman striking just one six yet manufacturing a strike-rate of 190. The target was within the range of the West Indies, who chased down 183 to beat England on the same ground in their opening match thanks to Chris Gayle's unbeaten hundred. But the left-handed opener was undone by Jasprit Bumrah's first ball, an inswinging yorker, and Marlon Samuels chipped a simple catch to cover to leave India in the ascendancy.

West Indies should have been three down with 50 on the board when Simmons edged to short third man only for replays to show Ravichandran Ashwin had overstepped. Simmons, playing his first game of the tournament in place of Andre Fletcher (hamstring), initially played second fiddle as Charles cut loose to launch Ashwin and Hardik Pandya for sixes to lift West Indies to 84-2 at the halfway stage. The burly opener pummelled Pandya to the mid-wicket rope to reach his fifty off 30 balls, setting the platform for victory but not before Simmons was the beneficiary of another front-foot error - this time by Pandya - shortly after completing a 35-ball half-century. The free-hit went the distance as India's defence faltered, then finished.

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