Rohit Sharma believes Suryakumar Yadav is getting better and better as the India captain hailed his team-mate's form as "remarkable".

Yadav scored an unbeaten 61 from just 25 deliveries on Sunday against Zimbabwe to help seal a 71-run victory, sealing India's progression to the T20 World Cup semi-finals as Group 2 winners.

India will now face England, who edged out Sri Lanka on Saturday to progress into the last four at the expense of hosts Australia, for a place in the final.

Yadav has been in fine form throughout the tournament. The 32-year-old has scored 225 runs across his five innings, while his knock at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday included 10 boundaries, with four of those beating the rope entirely. 

"What Suryakumar is doing for the team is remarkable, just coming out there, playing that way, taking the pressure off the others," Rohit said.

"We know his ability, and it allows the guy at the other end to take his time.

"The dugout can really be at ease when he bats, and he's shown a lot of composure when he's batted. We expected this from him, and he's gone from strength to strength."

Despite being pleased with India's display against Zimbabwe, Rohit is looking for a step up in their level against England in Adelaide.

"[It was] a very good all-round performance, [which was] something we were looking for," Rohit said.

"We had qualified, but we wanted to come out and play the way we wanted to play, which we achieved.

"We have played a game there, but we need to adjust quickly. England are a good team, and it will be a great contest.

"We should take pride in qualifying, firstly, and if we play that semi-final well, we have another big game as well."

Suryakumar Yadav's unbeaten half-century saw India top Group 2 at the T20 World Cup as they set up a semi-final clash with England following a comfortable 71-run victory over Zimbabwe in Melbourne.

Heading into Sunday's game, Rohit Sharma's side knew their place in the last four was already secured after South Africa fell to a shock loss against the Netherlands earlier in the day.

But with top spot on the line after Pakistan comprehensively beat Bangladesh by five wickets, India knew they would need to post a similarly convincing win to overhaul their rivals.

They responded to the challenge with impressive power, guided by a freewheeling 61 not out off 25 balls for Yadav, ably supported by earlier knocks for KL Rahul (51) and Virat Kohli (26) to post a fearsome 186-5.

Sean Williams posted Zimbabwe's best bowling figures with 2-9, but could not help his side avoid leaking runs, and any prospect of a Zimbabwe chase appeared slim when Wesley Madhevere was caught first ball.

Sikandar Raza (34) and Ryan Burl (35) were valiant in pursuit, but India were out of sight thanks to a bowling attack led by Ravichandran Ashwin (3-22), to set up a showdown with England in Adelaide next week.

Yadav steadies fort after early wobbles

There was one nervy moment for India as they lost three wickets – Kohli, Rahul and Rishabh Pant – for 14 runs in a flash, slipping from 87-1 to 101-4.

But Yadav's emphatic turn ensured India put up a daunting total that proved well beyond Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe head home on a whimper

Having delivered one of the shocks of the tournament when they edged Pakistan by one run, a result that seemingly took the latter out of semi-final consideration at one point, this was a lacklustre final bow from Zimbabwe.

Though Craig Ervine's side were always likely to face an uphill battle to chase down India, their poor choices combined with a lethal opposition bowling attack left them with their lowest full-innings total at this year's T20 World Cup.

The Cricket West Indies Selection Panel on Friday named the West Indies Women’s U19 squad for the upcoming tour of India. The players for the T20 matches were selected after trial matches in Trinidad.

Ashmini Munisar has been named as captain of the 15-member squad with Trishan Holder as vice captain. They will be under the guidance of Head Coach Steve Liburd. Munisar is an allrounder who led the team when West Indies Women's U19 played against USA Women’s U19 in Fort Lauderdale in August. Holder is a top-order batter who was a member of the Barbados team at the Commonwealth Games playing matches against Pakistan, Australia and India.

The upcoming tour will feature matches against India ‘A’ Women U19, India ‘B’ Women U19 and Sri Lanka Women U19 in Visakhapatnam at the Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy International Cricket Stadium. West Indies will then travel to Mumbai where they play against New Zealand Women U19 at the D.Y. Patil Stadium.

Matches start at: 9am local (11:30pm previous day Eastern Caribbean/10:30pm previous day Jamaica) and 1pm local time (3:30am same day Eastern Caribbean/2:30am Jamaica).

Lead Selector, Ann Browne-John said: “As part of the preparation for the tour the squad was involved in some practice matches during a seven-day training camp in Trinidad. The final team selected contained some of the players who participated in the series in the USA and there are some new players who the panel would like to have a look at before a final team is selected for the World Cup.”

She added: “The composition of the team is quite balanced with some strong batters and a good mix of spin and medium pacers. It will be their first experience against top international teams and these tour matches will give a better indication of where the team is at the moment.”

This series in the sub-continent will form a crucial part of the team’s preparations for the inaugural ICC Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup 2023. The global event will feature 41 matches be played from 14 to 29 January in South Africa. The official warm-up matches will be from 9 to 11 January. The 16 participating teams will play in four groups in the preliminary round. West Indies have been drawn in Group C alongside New Zealand, Ireland and Indonesia.

 

FULL SQUAD 

Ashmini Munisar (captain)

Trishan Holder (vice-captain)

Asabi Callendar

Kenika Cassar

Jahzara Claxton

Naijanni Cumberbatch

Jannillea Glasgow

Realeanna Grimmond

Zaida James

Djenaba Joseph

KDJazz Mitchell

Shalini Samaroo

Shunelle Sawh

Lena Scott

Kate Wilmott

 

Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy believes regional body Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the smaller boards can be stuck between a rock and hard place when it comes to holding on to their top players, as they lack the financial clout to do so.

Since the advent of lucrative global T20 leagues, the team has on many occasions struggled to have its top players available, as they opt to take part in the competitions over scheduled international fixtures.

At the moment, the problem is less of an issue for some of the sport’s bigger for team who hold a much tighter rein on when and where their players play.  India for instance does not allow their player to take part in any other T20 league except the IPL, as Sammy points out, the issue comes down to money.

“India is strong because they can tell their players that you don’t play anywhere else. You have to understand that they have the money to back it up,” Sammy said in an interview with the Press Trust of India (PTI).

“An India A list contracted player could probably make a million dollars a year (match fees plus TV rights money) compared to a Windies A-lister, who would earn USD 150,000,” he added.

Successive West Indies administrations have tackled the issue with various approaches that have yielded little success, the former captain does not see things changing anytime soon.

“Gone are those days when you played for love. Love doesn’t buy you groceries from a supermarket,” he added.

The player believed the region could possibly think of adopting a similar model to the one used by New Zealand.

Virat Kohli "feels at home in Adelaide" after stepping up again to help India earn a crucial five-run win over Bangladesh at the T20 World Cup.

A 64 not out from the in-form Kohli in a rain-affected game at the Adelaide Oval pushed India to 184-6 after KL Rahul had got his side off to flier with a half-century off 32 deliveries 

It was a tense finish, with Litton Das' electric 60 off 27 giving Bangladesh a fighting chance, but the elements dented their momentum any they fell short of a revised 151 target.

India consequently went top of Group 2, and Kohli reflected on another job well done in a Player of the Match performance.

"I absolutely love playing in this ground. Right from the nets at the back, as soon as I enter, it makes me feel at home," he said.

"That knock at the MCG was meant to be, but when I come here, it's like I'm meant to come to Adelaide and enjoy my batting.

"As soon as I knew the World Cup was in Australia, I was grinning from ear to ear. I knew good cricketing shots would be the key. I knew the kind of experience and game awareness of having played in Australia will come in handy for the team."

Captain Rohit Sharma failed to deliver for his team, falling early and getting out for just two runs off eight deliveries. 

"I was calm and nervous at the same time," Sharma said. "But it was important to stay calm as a group to execute.

"Shortened games can go either way, but we held our nerves well after the game started; it was a good win in the end."

With three vital knocks in India's four matches so far, Kohli has been invaluable and proved doubters wrong after his form was questioned in the past 12 months after stepping down as captain. 

Sharma said: "In my mind, Kohli was always there. It was just a matter of a few innings here and there, and he hasn't looked back since the Asia Cup. The guy has so much experience.

"The way KL [Rahul] batted as well, it was important for him and the team. We know what sort of player he is at the top of the order.

"Some of the catches we took today were great to watch. When you're playing in front of a big crowd, it's not easy. To take those catches, it shows the character of the guys. I have no doubts over our fielding abilities."

Bangladesh could not get over the line despite giving India a tense end to the game, and their hopes of progressing rest on a final group stage game with Pakistan on Sunday. 

Tigers captain Shakib Al Hasan said: "It's been the story when we play India. We're almost there but don't cross the line. 

"It was a great game, the crowd enjoyed it, both teams enjoyed it; in the end, someone has to win and someone has to lose.

"Litton is batting really well, probably he's our best batsmen going around. We thought we could chase this down after the start. Our plan was to get India's top order quickly, that's why I bowled out Taskin, he's been our main bowler. Unfortunately he couldn't get the wickets today, he was unlucky, but it was a plan get India's top order out and dictate the game."

India will face Zimbabwe in the final Super 12 match of the tournament after Bangladesh play Pakistan in a potentially tournament-defining clash. 

Half-centuries for Virat Kohli and KL Rahul helped India move closer to the T20 World Cup semi-finals with a rain rain-affected five-run win over Bangladesh by DLS in Adelaide.

Kohli and Rahul scored 62 not out and 50 respectively to lead India to 184-6 in their Group 2 encounter.

A 44-ball stint saw Kohli demonstrate finesse and power as he struck eight fours and a six, becoming the highest run-scorer in Men's T20 World Cup history with 1,065.

Bangladesh's reply started superbly, a freewheeling half-century from opener Litton Das (60) seeing them race to 66 without loss before the weather forced both teams from the pitch.

When they returned, the Tigers were set a reduced target of 151 from 16 overs, but quickly lost Das to a run-out and then collapsed in a ruthless 11-ball spell between Arshdeep Singh (2-38) and Hardik Pandya (2-28).

Nurul Hasan's unbeaten 25 off 14 set up a tense finale, but India held their nerve to go top of the group with six points. South Africa can overhaul them, while Bangladesh and Pakistan can still catch them. However, that would require India losing their final match against Zimbabwe. Pakistan need to beat both South Africa and Bangaldesh, whose prospects are slim due to a negative net run rate, to have any chance.

Kohli further enshrines greatness

Kohli surpassed Mahela Jayawardene, whose prior record of 1,016 has stood since 2014, to take his place as the World Cup's all-time leading run scorer. In doing so, the India batsman has further underlined his status as a modern titan of the game.

This was his 13th half-century-plus score at the T20 World Cup too, with Rohit Sharma and Chris Gayle the next nearest to him with nine 50-plus innings each.

Tigers cornered after blistering start

With defeat, Bangladesh's T20 World Cup campaign is almost certainly at a close, and they will be left to rue their poor restart after that rain break.

Das had been in ruthless form, setting the best individual total of the innings, but their subsequent batting failures meant his efforts were in vain.

Rahul Dravid has no concerns over KL Rahul's lack of T20 World Cup runs as India prepare to face Bangladesh.

Opening batter Rahul has failed to reach double figures in his three innings after making a half-century in a warm-up game against Australia.

Rahul fell for nine as India were beaten by South Africa, but head coach Dravid has backed the 30-year-old to show his class ahead of a clash with the Tigers at Adelaide Oval on Wednesday.

Asked if he has concerns over Rahul's technique, Dravid replied: "No, not at all. I think he's a fantastic player and he's got a proven track record.

"He's done really well. I thought he's been batting superbly. These things can happen in a T20 game sometimes.

"It's been a tough - it's not been that easy for the sort of top order batsmen. This tournament has been pretty challenging.

"I thought he was superb in the practice game against Australia with Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins. It was a pretty good attack, and I thought he batted superbly that day. So he's actually playing really well.

"Just hoping it all clicks together over the next three or four games. We know his quality, we know his ability, and he's really well suited for these kind of conditions, these kind of pitches.

"He's got a good all-around game. He's got a very good strong back-foot game which is obviously very much required in these conditions. We're pretty confident and happy with the way he's hitting it."

India are second in Group 2, level on points with Bangladesh and one behind the Proteas.

Hardik Pandya and Shikhar Dhawan will captain India's T20I and ODI squads respectively on their November tour of New Zealand after Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul were rested.

Hardik will lead India when they begin their tour of New Zealand with the first of three T20Is in Wellington on November 18 – just five days after the T20 World Cup in Australia ends.

One week later, they begin a three-match one-day series at Eden Park in Auckland, in which Dhawan – who led India on a tour of the West Indies earlier this year – will take the captaincy.

Rohit, Kohli and Rahul will all miss the trip to New Zealand, but as many as eight other players currently in Australia for the World Cup will be in attendance.

Hardik, Rishabh Pant, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh have all been selected for the T20I series, with Pant named vice-captain for the entire tour.

There was no place in either squad for Jasprit Bumrah or Ravindra Jadeja, however, after the duo were forced to miss the World Cup through injury.

Virat Kohli has hit out at an "appalling" invasion of privacy after an intruder posted a video taken from inside the former India captain's hotel room on social media.

In a video reportedly taken on October 8, two days after India arrived in Perth for a preparatory camp ahead of the T20 World Cup, an anonymous social media user filmed himself walking around Kohli's room.

Kohli made details of the video, captioned "King Kohli's hotel room", public after India's final match in Perth against South Africa, saying the intrusion had made him "paranoid". 

"I understand that fans get very happy and excited seeing their favourite players and get excited to meet them, and I've always appreciated that," Kohli wrote on Instagram.

"But this video here is appalling and it's made me feel very paranoid about my privacy. If I cannot have privacy in my own hotel room, then where can I really expect any personal space at all?

"I'm not okay with this kind of fanaticism and absolute invasion of privacy. Please respect people's privacy and not treat them as a commodity for entertainment."

Crown Resorts, which manages the hotel, subsequently apologised for the incident and said the contractors involved had been stood down from their duties.

Australia batsman David Warner replied to Kohli's post to lament the incident as "ridiculous" and "totally unacceptable", while the International Cricket Council said it was "incredibly disappointed by the gross invasion of privacy".

India captain Rohit Sharma was left frustrated by his team's erratic fielding after Sunday's five-wicket defeat to South Africa.

Aiden Markram's 52 and David Miller's unbeaten 59 guided the Proteas to victory at Perth Stadium in a thrilling, but low-scoring, T20 World Cup clash.

South Africa's bowling attack – spearheaded by pace duo Wayne Parnell (3-15) and Lungi Ngidi (4-29) – reduced India to 133-9 in their 20 overs, with Suryakumar Yadav (68) the only batsman to offer any firm resistance.

Yet India had hope when Quinton de Kock, Rilee Rossouw and Temba Bavuma all fell in the first six overs of South Africa's chase. Miller and Markram subsequently steadied the ship for the Proteas, yet the latter was fortunate.

Rohit and Suryakumar both missed run-out attempts, while Markram was dropped by Kohli in the deep. Indeed, he brought up his half-century with a sliced shot that landed between two fielders on the boundary.

It was a collective effort that disappointed Rohit, who said: "I thought we fought well until the end, but South Africa played well. The pitch is such that the wicket can come any time for the seamers. It was a match-winning partnership from Miller and Markram.

"But we were not good enough on the field. We have played in such conditions, so conditions are not an excuse. We want to be consistent in that department.

"We could not hold on to our chances, we missed a few run-outs, including myself."

The victory moved South Africa top of Group 2, with the Proteas having taken five points from their opening three matches.

However, while Markram and Miller starred with the bat and Parnell and Ngidi were brilliant with the ball, it was another tough day for captain Bavuma, who scored only 10 before edging Mohammed Shami to Dinesh Karthik.

Bavuma has struggled for form in T20Is this year, with Sunday's short-lived knock only the third time he has reached double figures from 10 innings.

Former Proteas captain Markram, however, had words of support for his skipper.

"I think every player goes through these sort of form slumps," Markram said in a press conference when asked about Bavuma's struggles. "With games that are so close to each other, it can seem a lot worse than what it is.

"I think the whole team, management involved, have been there for Temba and our ideas don't change about his ability. We all know his ability and our team and the role that he plays, not just from batting, but also from a leadership point of view as well.

"His leadership in my opinion has been excellent. On-field decisions have been really good that he's making. So I've got no doubt he'll come right with the bat. If he does, and we can get off to some good starts, I think it's going to help our batting unit a lot, but certainly not doubting his ability at all.

"I think the whole team, and I can speak on behalf of the team, we all support him. It happens to everyone. We've all been through it. I've been through it more than once, unfortunately. It's always just one knock away, and that's sort of the message that Temba has been given for the time being."

Sparkling knocks from Aiden Markram and David Miller propelled South Africa to a five-wicket victory over India at the T20 World Cup.

The heavyweight nations put on a show at the Perth Stadium on Sunday, with Markram's 52 and Miller's unbeaten 59 seeing the Proteas claim a victory that moves them top of Group 2.

South Africa's bowlers had done a superb job of limiting India to 133-9 from their 20 overs, with Wayne Parnell (3-15) and Lungi Ngidi (4-29) in outstanding form.

Suryakumar Yadav's fantastic 68 ensured India had a sniff at defending a modest target, and their tails were up when Arshdeep Singh, the pick of India's bowlers with 2-25, dismissed Quinton de Kock and Rilee Rossouw in the second over.

With Temba Bavuma also falling, Markram had to get South Africa moving. His knock did not come without risk – he survived two run-out near misses and was dropped by Virat Kohli before his luck eventually ran out when he picked out Suryakumar in the deep.

Where Markram left off, Miller picked up, striking successive sixes to put South Africa in control.

Though India rallied to leave South Africa needing six runs from the final over, Miller held his nerve to get the Proteas over the line. 

Kohli's fumble proves costly

After dismissing Tristan Stubbs in his fourth and final over with the ball, Ravichandran Ashwin (1-43) is just two away from becoming India's third-highest wicket-taker in men's T20Is.

However, he really should have had a 69th T20I wicket earlier in the innings when Markram found Kohli at deep midwicket, only for the former India captain to fail to take the catch after a juggle. Markram was on 35 at the time, and went on to add a damaging 17, including a huge six, to push South Africa on.

Markram and Miller turn on the style

South Africa's pace bowlers would have been hard done by had they finished on the losing side, with Ngidi having dismantled India's top order before fellow quick Parnell chipped away at the tail.

Fortunately, Markram and Miller – who struck seven boundaries each – delivered to ensure the bowlers' work was not fruitless, with the latter stepping up to guide the Proteas home. South Africa have now won their last six completed T20 World Cup matches, a new national record.

South Africa possess the bowling variety that can bring down India in Perth, according to in-form paceman Anrich Nortje.

Sunday's tussle will be the third game for both teams at the T20 World Cup, and neither has lost so far.

India posted wins over Pakistan and Netherlands, while South Africa had an abandonment against Zimbabwe before a crushing victory against Bangladesh.

Nortje took 4-10 in that hammering of the Tigers, his best bowling performance in a T20I, after a brilliant century from Rilee Rossouw.

Bangladesh were rolled over for 101, and Nortje believes such a skittling is a reflection of the quality within the Proteas ranks.

Now a Perth Stadium battle awaits with India, whose strong start has seen them earmarked by many as trophy favourites.

Nortje said: "We back ourselves. We see ourselves as one of the best pace attacks there is.

"We've got a great variety. We cover a lot of aspects. We cover a lot of bases with our attack. So definitely as a pace attack, we definitely back ourselves against any team to go out and do what we have to do on the day, to try and get over the line.

"Then we've got two gun spinners [Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi] as well. I'm sure the boys are looking forward to tomorrow.

"But yes, something you work your life towards is to bowl fast, to be able to bowl fast and be one of the fastest. It's a nice feeling, but I just have to focus on the job ahead and what we have to do rather than looking at the speed."

India's Virat Kohli is just 28 runs short of becoming the record run-scorer in T20 World Cup history, with Sri Lanka great Mahela Jayawardene (1,016 runs) presently top of that list.

South Africa will hope to keep the shackles on Kohli, who has been in dazzling form with a sublime 82 not out and an unbeaten 62 in his two knocks, and Nortje says he and his team-mates know their responsibilities.

"Everyone knows what to do on the day, and it's a factor that we've been playing for such a long time and guys have been gelling really well," Nortje said.

"We feel the last two seasons it's been a great team, and hopefully we can win the cup."

Virat Kohli made another half-century as India took another step towards the T20 World Cup semi-finals with a 56-run victory over Netherlands at the SCG.

Kohli's magnificent unbeaten 82 gave India a dramatic win over Pakistan on Sunday and he followed that up with 62 from 44 balls as India posted 179-2 in Sydney on Thursday.

Captain Rohit Sharma struck 53 from 39 deliveries after being dropped by Tim Pringle on 13 and Suryakumar Yadav (51 not out off 25) also made a half-century to leave the Dutch facing a substantial run chase.

Netherlands never looked like pulling off a huge upset, falling short on 123-9 as they suffered defeat in as many Super 12 matches.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2-9) took the wicket of Vikramjit Singh and did not conceded a run in his first two overs, while Axar Patel (2-18), Ravichandran Ashwin (2-21) and Arshdeep Singh (2-37) also impressed with the ball.

Victory for India moved them a point ahead of South Africa, who hammered Bangladesh by 104 runs earlier in the day, at the top of Group 2.

 

Kohli goes back-to-back, Suryakumar shows his class

A Kohli masterclass gave India a sensational victory over Pakistan at the MCG and the former captain carried on where he left off in another classy knock.

He reached his half-century in 37 balls, hitting two sixes and finding the rope three times in another high-quality innings.

Suryakumar, number three in the T20I batting rankings, hit seven fours and reached his half-century by launching the final ball of the innings from Logan van Beek for six.

The brilliance of Bhuvneshwar 

India also demonstrated the potency of their bowling attack and it was Bhuvneshwar who set the tone.

He bowled back-to-back maidens and cleaned up before returning to get rid of captain Scott Edwards in his second spell.

Virat Kohli produced what captain Rohit Sharma hailed as one of the greatest innings by an India batsman in the dramatic victory over Pakistan at the T20 World Cup.

Pakistan looked to be well in control after tallying 159-8 in front of over 90,000 spectators at the MCG and then reducing India to 31-4 in reply.

However, Kohli struck 82 not out, sharing in a fifth-wicket stand of 113 with Hardik Pandya along the way.

When Pakistan's Mohammad Nawaz wobbled under the pressure of delivering the final over of the match, India took advantage and snatched a four-wicket win over their great rivals with a single from the final ball.

India needed 28 from eight balls at one stage, but consecutive sixes from Kohli off Haris Rauf at the end of the 19th over changed that to 16 from six.

Amid high drama as India lost both Pandya (40) and Dinesh Karthik (1) in the closing over, Kohli helped the team he used to skipper over the line.

Rohit said of Kohli's effort: "It is definitely his best for sure. From the situation we were in, and to come out with victory, I think it has to be one of India's best knocks, not just his best knock.

"Because still in the 13th over we were so behind the game and the required rate was climbing up and up. To come out and chase that score was an extremely brilliant effort from Virat, and Hardik played a role there."

Kohli ceded the white-ball captaincy to Rohit soon after last year's T20 World Cup, and Sunday's hero in Melbourne had been struggling for runs until recently finding a little spark.

Rohit said: "We know the qualities that he has, and he's done so well in these type of conditions in all three forms, so obviously he used his experience today more than anything else – staying calm under pressure.

"We know how good he is when the score is in front of him. He's one of the best chasers in the world, so I thought that 100-run partnership was a game-changing moment."

Kohli initially struggled to contextualise what he achieved.

He said at the post-match presentation: "It's a surreal atmosphere, I have no words, no idea how that happened. I am really lost for words.

"The calculation was simple. Nawaz had one over to bowl, so if I could take Haris down, they would panic. From 28 in eight, it came down to 16 in six. I tried to stick to my instincts."

On reflection, Kohli agreed it rated as one of his finest innings. He ranked it even above another famous 82 not out – one that he scored against Australia in Mohali, in the 2016 edition of this competition.

"Standing here, I just feel like it was meant to be," he said. "Till today, Mohali was my best innings, against Australia. Today, I will count this one higher."

Virat Kohli produced a remarkable innings as India pulled off an incredible and contentious victory over Pakistan, who suffered a collapse that will live long in the memory in their T20 World Cup opener.

Pakistan looked to be cruising to victory in the latest edition of this great rivalry, having posted 159-8 in front of over 90,000 fans at the MCG, where they then reduced India to 31-4.

Kohli (82 not out) was at his brilliant best as he rebuilt the innings alongside Hardik Pandya in a fifth-wicket stand of 113, but it still appeared as if it would not be enough.

India needed 31 off the final 12 balls, but successive sixes from Kohli, one down the ground and one over fine leg, on the final two deliveries of the penultimate over pulled them within 16.

Mohammad Nawaz took the wicket of Pandya off the first ball of the final over and conceded three off the next two, only to then lose his accuracy and composure at the worst possible time.

A high no-ball was hit for six by Kohli, giving India a free hit from which they controversially ran three despite the ball hitting the wickets. With India needing two off two balls, Dinesh Karthik was stumped, seemingly tilting the balance improbably back in Pakistan's favour. However, Nawaz then stunningly bowled a wide, giving Ravichandran Ashwin another delivery from which he hit the winning run to complete an astonishing turnaround.

Pakistan's pain 

Defeat for Pakistan means they have lost all four of the men's T20I matches they have played in Australia. It remains the only country in which they have not tasted victory.

That will surely change at some stage during the Super 12, but they and Nawaz will need picking up after somehow letting this one slip.

Vintage Virat

Kohli has recently rediscovered form that appeared beyond him in the shortest format earlier in the year, and this was the India legend at his very best.

He has posted a larger score five times during his T20I career, but none of those innings will carry the same significance as his key contribution to this bewitching spectacle.

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