T20 World Cup: Rahul dazzles as India's big win takes semi-final race to the wire

By Sports Desk November 05, 2021

India kept their hopes of progressing to the T20 World Cup semi-finals alive with an eight-wicket win over Scotland in Dubai.

Virat Kohli turned 33 on Friday, and his team handed the captain a birthday gift with a brilliant display against the minnows.

With New Zealand having beaten Namibia to move onto six points in Group 2, India needed a big win to maintain their slim semi-final hopes.

Kohli won the toss and chose to field, and though George Munsey – who hit a six off the first over – started brightly, his knock of 24 from 19 deliveries was the highest score any Scotland batsman managed.

Scotland were skittled out for just 85, Mohammed Shami finishing with figures of 3-15, identical to those of Ravindra Jadeja, while Jasprit Bumrah took 2-10. Shami began the 17th over with wickets from the first three balls, including a run out.

The bowling performance paved the way for a swift India success, led by the magnificent KL Rahul, who hit 50 from 19 balls before looping a shot down the ground to Calum MacLeod from Mark Watt's enticing delivery.

Rahul's fellow opener Rohit Sharma – aiming to become just the third player to reach 3,000 T20I runs – reached 30 before succumbing lbw to Brad Wheal.

Kohli ticked over two singles before a huge six from Suryakumar Yadav sealed India's success after just 6.3 overs.

Rahul and Rohit sparkle

India's openers raced to the fastest team 50 in the tournament, taking just 23 balls to reach that mark.

Rohit is now just 18 runs short of joining team-mate Kohli and New Zealand's Martin Guptill in the 3,000-runs club, though he may well only have one more shot at that this tournament. His partner Rahul dazzled, hitting three sixes and a further six boundaries in a sensational show of quality.

India need a New Zealand slip-up

There is real jeopardy in Group 2, and a big team will miss out on going any further. Pakistan top the standings with eight points from their four games, so are assured of their place in the semi-finals.

India, who round off their Super 12 campaign against Namibia, are now on four points, two behind New Zealand, but they have a much better run rate of 1.62 compared to 1.28 for the Black Caps, who face Afghanistan (another side on fourth points) in their last game. It is all to play for.

Related items

  • Archer back with a bang and Buttler stars as England beat Pakistan Archer back with a bang and Buttler stars as England beat Pakistan

    England claimed a 23-run over Pakistan in Saturday's T20I at Edgbaston, with the returning Jofra Archer taking two wickets.

    Making his first England appearance in over a year, paceman Archer dismissed Azam Khan and Imad Wasim as Pakistan were bowled out for 160 while chasing 184.

    England captain Jos Buttler was the star of the show in Birmingham, plundering 84 off 54 balls to set the tone for the hosts' innings.

    Will Jacks chipped in with a useful 37 before he, like Buttler, was caught out by Shadab Khan from Haris Rauf's bowling.

    Shaheen Shah Afridi (3-36) stopped Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali or Chris Jordan from getting going, but Archer came in to hit a four and a six to get England to 183-7.

    Pakistan were two down within four overs of their chase, and after Babar Azam (32) and Fakhar Zaman (45) were dismissed by Moeen and Liam Livingstone respectively, their chances looked increasingly slim.

    Having taken out Azam, Archer (2-28) ended Wasim's stand at 22, with Reece Topley (3-41) and Jordan (1-31) finishing the job for England.

    The series now moves to Cardiff, with the final match taking place at The Oval on Thursday.

    Data Debrief: Buttler at his best

    Buttler may well have to miss part of the upcoming T20 World Cup due to the birth of his third child, and England will be hoping their skipper makes a swift return to action if that is indeed the case.

    His knock, which included eight fours and three sixes, marked the second-highest score by an England captain in a T20I, behind Eoin Morgan's 91 against New Zealand in 2019.

  • Matthews eyes continued growth as Windies Women build towards T20 World Cup in October Matthews eyes continued growth as Windies Women build towards T20 World Cup in October

    While all the excitement is rightly around the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, West Indies Women’s captain Hayley Matthews and her team are steadily building towards their own global T20 showpiece, which is scheduled for October.

    Having lifted their first and only T20 World Cup title in 2016 when they defeated favourites Australia by eight wickets in Kolkata, Matthews, who was 18 years old at the time of that accomplishment, is hoping to repeat the feat in five months time, but for now, her immediate focus is on their build up to the tournament.

    The Caribbean women are set to tour Sri Lanka for three One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals, from June 15-28, and those encounters Matthews said will kick start their preparation for the Women’s T20 World Cup to be staged in Bangladesh.

    This upcoming tour follows the West Indies Women’s successful outing in Pakistan where they won both the ODI and T20 series, losing just one of eight matches played.

    “Everyone would have had a nice month or so at home, so it’s about getting ourselves into tip top shape before we head off for a camp in Sri Lanka before the series,” Matthews told Barbados TODAY, shortly after a presentation to the Barbados Royals Girls Cricket Club at Friendship.

    “(Winning) the T20 World Cup is probably the main goal for the year, but at the same time on the Sri Lanka tour, we have ICC Championship points to play for that would help our qualification for the 50-over World Cup next year. So I think that both the 50-over and the T20 aspects of this upcoming tour are going to be pretty serious and we’re going to want to do really well in both the formats,” she added.