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Team India avenge soul-crushing November 19 defeat, almost knock Australia out of T20 World Cup

Team India avenge soul-crushing November 19 defeat, almost knock Australia out of T20 World Cup

Australia's chances to make the T20 World Cup semifinals now depend on how the Afghanistan vs Bangladesh match plays out.

The Indian cricket team has beaten Australia by 24 runs and confirmed their spot in the T20 World Cup semifinals. Looking to take revenge for that ODI World Cup Final last year, India notched up a mammoth total. However, that 205-run target looked small for the first half of the chase as Travis Head continued his run-scoring trend against India. But Rohit Sharma and co. weren’t ready to give in yet. Indian bowlers and fielders stood up, taking difficult catches and coming up with wickets at valuable junctures to not only win but also put Australia’s semifinal qualification chances in danger as well.

Rohit Sharma show powers India to 205

What a display! The Indian skipper seemed to be playing on a different pitch altogether. He started off with a 29-run over and never turned back from there. On his way to 92, he broke multiple records but unfortunately fell short of scoring the fastest T20 World Cup hundred of all time. The second-highest run after Rohit was by Suryakumar Yadav, who scored 31. He also smashed 76 of those 92 runs in boundaries (7 fours and 8 sixes).

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Surya’s cameo helped continue that momentum, but Shivam Dube’s slow inning of 28(22) sucked all the air. Together, Dube-Hardik Pandya scored just 35 runs in 4.1 overs. If it weren’t for Pandya’s final flourish, India might not have even crossed the 200-run mark.

Kuldeep Yadav turns the game around

India was off to a flying start, with dangerous David Warner returning in the first over of the chase. However, a familiar foe, Travis Head, had other things in mind. He, along with skipper Mitchell Marsh, piled on the pain. The duo scored 81 runs in 8 overs together, and it looked like all of Australia would do what they have done to India for the last couple of years in ICC events.

Axar Patel, though, wasn’t ready to give in yet. The southpaw pulled off one of the greatest T20 World Cup catches of all time. That stunner didn’t do much, it seemed, as Glenn Maxwell joined Head and they quick 41 runs. But Kuldeep Yadav, the best of the day for India, sent Maxwell back and kept them in the hunt.

Axar returned in the next over and sent two-time ‘Player of the Match’ winner Marcus Stoinis back. With 70 runs needed in 35 balls and 6 wickets in hand, the game seemed open. Australia’s last hope, Head, was still in the middle.

To get back into the game, Rohit brought back Bumrah, who’d been surprisingly thrashed by the opener in the powerplay. Bumrah came out on top this time, foxing Head with a brilliantly slower one. Arshdeep Singh killed off any hope left for the Aussies by picking up Matthew Wade and Tim David in the 18th over.

Brief Scores

India: 205/20 (Rohit Sharma 92, Suryakumar Yadav 31; Mitchell Starc 2/45, Marcus Stoinis 2/55)

Australia: 181/7 (Travis Head 76, Mitchell Marsh 37; Arshdeep Singh 3/37, Kuldeep Yadav 2/24)

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