India edges Australia by six wickets

India edges Australia by six wickets

ICC World Twenty20, Group 2, Mohali
Australia 160-6 (20 overs): Finch 43 (34), Pandya 2-36
India 161-4 (19.1 overs): Kohli 82* (51)
India wins by six wickets

India made it into the World Twenty20 semi-finals and edges Australia out by six wickets after Virat Kohli made a brilliant 82 in their do-or-die showdown in Mohali on Sunday.

Australia would bow out of the tournament despite their hopes after becoming the top-ranked Test side. To add insult to injury, they were the ones who managed to take the initiative, racing to 55 from only 22 deliveries but India dragged them back by force to 160-6.

Early on, opener Aaron Finch shared 54 runs for the opening wicket with Usman Khawaja to give Australia a flying start after Steven Smith won the toss and elected to bat.

In fact, India looked down and out as they arrived at 94-4.

But Kohli proved that he was a cut above and a maestro of the run chase – averaging 91.80 in the second innings of T20 internationals. Here, he essentially carried the whole team by covering for openers Shikhar Dhawan (13) and Rohit Sharma (12) who cooled their heels in the dressing room with 37 runs on the board.

The 27-year-old planned meticulously to make his knocks legendary, working alongside skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (18 not out) and put on 67 runs to take the team to the finish line.

Dhoni himself effected three dismissals, and hit the winning four with five balls to spare to trigger wild celebrations from the home crowd.

Shane Watson, who announced his own international retirement before the game had accounted for Dhawan and Sharma. Kohli’s brilliance would end the Aussie’s international career with apparent disappointment.

As India prepares to face the West Indies in the semi-finals, so would England prepare for their own semi-final meet against New Zealand in New Delhi.

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