India trounce Zimbabwe to top Group 2, will face England in ICC T20 World Cup 2022 semi-final
Suryakumar Yadav once again dazzled with the bat to hammer 61 not out from just 25 balls and play a crucial role in India’s massive victory by 71 runs against Zimbabwe in their final Super 12 match of Group 2 in the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 tournament.
The victory, which also happens to be India’s biggest in terms of margin in the ongoing competition took the Rohit Sharma-led team to the top spot in the group, comfortably above Pakistan and setting up a date with England in the semi-final to be played on November 10 at Adelaide Oval.
At a packed Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday night, India showed no discomfort in thwarting the challenge produced by Zimbabwe, a team which had shown tremendous promise and skill in their win over Pakistan that had sent the Asian team almost out of the tournament.
After India captain Rohit Sharma elected to bat first, there was no looking back as the Indian side turned up the heat on Zimbabwe bowlers, notching up a huge score of 186/5 in their 20 overs, powered by half-centuries from opening batsman KL Rahul and world No 1 T20 batsman Suryakumar Yadav.
KL Rahul continued being rock solid at the top in the second consecutive game, getting his second half-century of the tournament, but it was Suryakumar Yadav whose brutal onslaught with the bat left Zimbabwe gasping for breath.
KL Rahul was more cautious at the start but opened up as the innings progressed to finish at 51 from 35 balls with 3 sixes and as many boundaries, but the day truly belonged to Suryakumar Yadav who hammered 6 boundaries and 4 sixes to finish at 61 not out from just 25 balls.
Among other batsmen, Rohit Sharma had yet another start failing to convert, as he was dismissed for 15 while the man in form, Virat Kohli could not push on beyond 26, for which he faced 25 balls and hit a couple of boundaries.
Zimbabwe got off to a poor start when their lead opening batsman Wessly Madhevere was caught at cover on the first ball of the innings by Virat Kohli off Bhuvneshwar Kumar, which set back the African side and they could never really recover from early blows.
After losing Wessly Madhevere, it was Arshdeep Singh who struck in his first over to dismiss the Zimbabwe captain Regis Chakabva for a 6-ball duck, with the African side reeling at 2/2 inside the first couple of overs.
Sikandar Raza was the top performer with the bat hitting 3 boundaries in his 24-ball 34 while Ryan Burl dazzled with a 22-ball 35 for which he hit 5 fours and a six. Zimbabwe could never really change the Indian bowlers who had a day to remember in the field, restricting the African side for 115 all out in 17.2 overs.
Ravichandran Ashwin took 3 wickets while all-rounder Hardik Pandya and seamer Mohammad Shami took a couple of wickets each in India’s bowling innings.
With this matter victory, India became the only team to have finished with 4 wins and 8 points among the two groups in this World Cup.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan had fortunes turning in their favour with Netherlands shocking South Africa and the Babar Azam-led side producing a commendable performance to record a big victory by 5 wickets against Bangladesh to reach the final four.
Pakistan now will head over to Sydney to face New Zealand in the first semi-final on November 9, and on the next day in Adelaide, India and England will meet in the second semi-final.