T20 World Cup: England beat India to storm into World Cup final

T20 World Cup: England beat India to storm into World Cup final

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup semi-final, AdelaideIndia 168-6 (20 overs): Hardik 63 (33), Kohli 50 (40); Jordan 3-43England 170-0 (16 overs): Buttler 80* (49), Hales 86* (47)England won by 10 wicketsScorecardEngland stormed into the Men’s T20 World Cup final with a sensational 10-wicket demolition of India at the Adelaide Oval.

Openers Jos Buttler and Alex Hales overcame a feverish India-supporting atmosphere and chased 169 without the loss of a wicket.

They romped home with a massive 24 balls to spare to set up a final against Pakistan on Sunday and seal one of England’s greatest white-ball wins.

Hales ended 86 not out from 47 and Buttler unbeaten on 80 from 49, the England skipper clinching the match with the pair’s 10th six.

Earlier, despite 50 from Virat Kohli, England’s bowlers restricted India well until Hardik Pandya’s 63 from 33 balls powered his side to what had looked a testing score.

But Hales, recalled after more than three years in the international wilderness, gave England a rapid start and Buttler continued the onslaught.

Their stand of 170 is a record in a men’s T20 World Cupexternal-link, beating the 168 shared by South Africa’s Quinton de Kock and Rilee Rossouw in their Super 12 game against Bangladesh last month.

It denies the tournament what would have been a mouth-watering India-Pakistan finale, instead ensuring a repeat of the famous 1992 50-over World Cup final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

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England roar into Sunday’s final

This was supposed to be the night India joined their great rivals in what would have been one of the great sporting finals.

A frenzied crowd was expectant but by the end, a small pocket of England fans were jubilant, the quietened India supporters drifting away.

England’s bowling effort, without Mark Wood because of injury and up against India’s batting line-up of superstars, was tidy and disciplined, until they were knocked off course by Hardik’s late blitz.

The batting was simply stunning.

The imperious Buttler settled any nerves by taking three fours from the first over before he and Hales dispatched both pace and spin in seemingly effortless fashion.

As the final majestic strike cleared the fielder and boundary at long-on, Buttler whipped off his helmet and roared with delight.

A campaign that was floundering after defeat by Ireland two weeks ago could still end in glory.

Pakistan, who have produced their own remarkable recovery to reach the showpiece, were beaten 4-3 by England in a seven-match T20 series in their own backyard last month.

Hales repays all faith

Eleven overs into the chase India’s ragged fielders looked beaten, the ball repeatedly travelling to, or over, the boundary rope.

Buttler was dropped on 66 at mid-off by Suryakumar Yadav, with the ball ricocheting off his body and beyond Kohli for four, but by then the contest was over.

Having opted to chase on a used pitch, Hales and Buttler took on Adelaide’s short square boundaries to race along consistently at 10 runs per over.

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They took 63 from the powerplay – a clear contrast to India’s 38-1 – and did not look back.

This was Hales’ greatest night in his England career, a career that looked over when he was unceremoniously dropped on the eve of the 2019 World Cup before being recalled for this tournament after the injury to Jonny Bairstow.

He slog-swept spinners Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin and cleanly struck the pace bowlers back over their head for seven sixes.

After a quick start, Buttler settled into the supporting role before unleashing his ramps and power strokes in a canter to the finish line.

Bowlers restrict before Hardik’s onslaught

England, who were missing the wicket-taking threat of Wood’s searing pace, were excellent in restricting India in the early stages.

Chris Woakes got one to rise off a length and take KL Rahul’s edge in the second over, Rohit Sharma was caught at deep mid-wicket off Wood’s replacement Chris Jordan for 27 off 28 balls and when dangerman Yadav holed out at deep point off Adil Rashid for 14, India were 75-3 in the 12th over.

Kohli’s first boundary was a glorious drive for six over extra cover but the former captain was unable to find top gear, Rashid particularly effective through the middle with a four-over spell that cost only 20.

Hardik hit back-to-back sixes off Jordan – one a short ball pummelled over mid-wicket and the next a full ball sensationally flicked off his pads – before helping take 22 from the penultimate over bowled by Sam Curran.

Eighty runs came from the last seven overs and 47 from the final three but in truth had Hardik added another 30, it would not have been enough.

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‘As close to perfect as we can get’ – reaction

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew on BBC Test Match Special: “That will have to go down as one of England’s finest T20 efforts. That is the first big smile I’ve seen on Buttler’s face. He normally has an assassin face.

“England have taught India a lesson, especially with the way they’ve batted.”

England captain Jos Buttler: “It certainly feels like it’s as close to perfect as we can get, especially against such quality opposition.

“It’s important for us to enjoy this and this performance so we will reflect on that and enjoy it, but there is one last dance to go.”

India captain Rohit Sharma: “This is pretty disappointing how we turned up today. We still batted well especially at the back end to get that score but we were not good enough with the ball.

“It was definitely not a wicket where a team should be able to come and chase that total in 16-17 overs, but things like that can happen. We just didn’t turn up with the ball. When it comes to knockout stages it’s all about handling the pressure, and it comes down to individuals too.”