T20WC24: India avenge 2022 England defeat; set up final clash of unbeaten teams

A measured third-wicket partnership of 73 between skipper Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav put India in the driver’s seat in the T20 World Cup semifinal in Providence, Guyana today.

On a track where the bounce remained low throughout, the pair got India to a just-above-par score of 171—a sub-par England could get no nearer to that target than 68 runs.

India captain Rohit Sharma (foreground) celebrates with his players during their ICC 2024 T20 World Cup semifinal contest against England at Providence, Guyana on 27 June 2024.
Photo: ICC/ Getty

It was a clinical performance by the 2007  Champions, bent it seemed on avenging the 10-wicket trouncing they suffered in the semifinal in Adelaide two years ago. The skipper called the victory “very satisfying”.

“We adapted very well,” Rohit told the post-match interviewer. “Conditions were challenging. At one stage 140-150 looked par. But we got runs in the middle.

“[…] 175 was a very good score and the bowlers were fantastic… They were calm under pressure. The message was to keep the stumps in play and that is what they did.”

Yadav (47, 2×6, 4×4) joined his skipper at 40 for 2 in the last over of the powerplay after Rishabh Pant mistimed a drive to be caught at short midwicket. Rohit (57, 2×6, 6×4), whose match-winning 92 against Australia in the Super Eight match at Gros Islet had come off only 41 balls, opted for caution, taking the time to adjust to the low bounce.

India captain Rohat Sharma leads by example during their ICC 2024 T20 World Cup semifinal clash with England at Providence, Guyana on 27 June 2024.
Photo: ICC/ Getty

Inserted by Buttler, India didn’t start at the frenetic pace at which they accumulated their 205 versus Australia in St Lucia. They reached only 19 before an off-colour Virat Kohli attempted to cart a second Reece Topley delivery over cow corner and lost his leg-stump.

But the third-wicket pair slowly took control, adding 73 on both sides of a long rain interruption. But England’s spinners Adil Rashid (1/25) and Liam Livingston (0/24) rarely conceded boundaries in the middle overs. And when both set batsmen fell within two overs of each other, the hoped-for acceleration at the death never really came.

Puzzlingly, despite the problems the slower bowlers were causing the batsmen, Buttler chose not to call on finger-spinner Mooen Ali.

He conceded that he might have erred.

England players celebrate a wicket during their ICC T20 World Cup semifinal contest with India at Providence, Guyana on 27 June 2024.
Photo: ICC/ Getty

“In hindsight, I should have bowled Moeen the way the spin was playing.”

But, he said, the Indians had “outplayed us” and so “deserve the win”.

“We let them get 20-25 runs too many on a challenging surface… They had an above-par total and it was always a tough chase.”

Medium-pacer Chris Jordan, preferred to Moeen, claimed three of the last five wickets but he also allowed three sixes, including the 500th of the tournament. Without those, India would arguably have been hard-pressed to get above par. And, psychologically at least, England’s challenge would have been less daunting.

India bowler Axar Patel (background) celebrates a wicket against England during the ICC 2024 T20 World Cup semifinal at Providence, Guyana.
Photo: ICC/ Getty

When England replied, India’s left-arm pair of Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav claimed six of the wickets to fall, Man-of-the-Match Patel removing England top-scorer Buttler with his first ball of the match.

Despite the travails caused by the low bounce, the England captain chose not to follow the circumspect approach adopted earlier by his opposite number. He paid the price, toe-ending an attempted reverse sweep to be caught at the wicket by Pant.

The innings never really recovered. In all, although India had faced 40 dot balls, England’s tally was higher, 52.

England batsman Moeen Ali (left) loses his bails to India wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant during the ICC 2024 T20 World Cup semifinal round at Providence, Guyana on 27 June 2024.
Photo: ICC/ Getty

Harry Brook (25) also lost his leg-stump attempting a reverse sweep off Kuldeep. And Moeen needlessly surrendered his wicket, apparently taking off for a run with the ball within easy reach of Pant. It is debatable whether Axar should have been credited with his wicket since he was arguably run out.

Two others were adjudged run out. As if their team was not already in the deep end, Livingston and Archer were involved in a mix-up over a quick single. The former, the last recognised batsman, was run out at the bowler’s end. As was Rashid, found short by Sky’s accurate, athletic throw.

Buoyed by their crushing 9-wicket win over the never-say-die Afghans, Aidan Markram’s confident South Africa await in the final at Kensington Oval on Saturday. They too have so far played unbeaten throughout this World Cup and will want to end it well.

South Africa cricketers celebrate a wicket by Marco Jansen during their 2024 ICC T20 World Cup semifinal win over Afghanistan at the Brian Lara Cricket Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad on 26 June 2024.
Photo: ICC/ Getty

The Proteas have pretty much succeeded in throwing off the ‘choker’ stigma that has long dogged them in international tournaments. The first time they are in the final, they know they have something to prove, as much to themselves as to their fans.

“The team is in good shape,” Rohit said in the interview. “We’ll try our best. All I can hope is to put up a good show come the finals.”

So South Africa will certainly get no help from the first-ever champions, the Indians themselves eager to show the world that their domination of international cricket includes the field of play as well.

India players celebrate a wicket during their contest with England in the ICC 2024 T20 World Cup semifinal at Providence, Guyana on 27 June 2024.
Photo: ICC/ Getty

Summarised scores

Toss:  England

India: 172 for 7 (20 overs) (Rohit Sharma 57, Suryakumar Yadav 47, Hardik Pandya 23; Chris Jordan 3/37)

England: 103 all out (16.4 overs) (Harry Brook 25, Jos Buttler 23, Jofra Archer 21; Kuldeep Yadav 3/19, Axar Patel 3/23, Jasprit Bumrah 2/12)

Player-of-the-Match: Axar Patel

Result: India win by 68 runs

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One comment

  1. India thump England to set up T20 World Cup final against Proteas. Getting more news and blogs by click on link… https://www.sabcsport.com/cricket/news/india-hand-england-heavy-defeat-in-t20-world-cup-semi-finals

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