Rohit stars as India beat Australia to reach T20 World Cup semi-finals - GulfToday

Rohit stars as India beat Australia to reach T20 World Cup semi-finals


India's captain Rohit Sharma plays a shot for six runs against Australia during their T20 World Cup match at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in Gros Islet, Saint Lucia, on Monday. AP

Rohit Sharma led from the front with a blistering 92 as India beat Australia by 24 runs in St. Lucia on Monday to seal their place in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup.

The India captain's dashing innings -- he faced just 41 balls, including seven fours and eight sixes -- was the cornerstone of a total of 205-5 made after he lost the toss.

Australia eventually finished their reply on 181-7, with left-arm quick Arshdeep Singh taking 3-37.

India will now face defending champions England in Thursday's semi-final in Guyana.

Defeat meant Australia's fate was no longer in their own hands.

Afghanistan, who produced a stunning upset in beating Australia by 21 runs last time out, will qualify for the semi-finals if they defeat Bangladesh later Monday in the concluding Group One game of the Super Eights.

Australia lost David Warner for just six when the veteran left-handed opener was undone by a full-length delivery from Arshdeep that he could only edge to Suryakumar Yadav at slip.

Travis Head, whose superb century crushed Indian dreams of a 50-over World Cup final win on home soil last year, kept Australia in the hunt with a well-made 76 off 43 balls.

His second-wicket stand of 81 with skipper Mitchell Marsh looked to be turning the tide.

But Marsh was brilliantly caught one-handed on the boundary by a leaping Axar Patel off Kuldeep Yadav for 37.

Left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep then bowled dangerman Glenn Maxwell for 20 with a superb 'wrong-un' on his way to fine figures of 2-24 in his maximum four overs.

And when Head holed out off a superbly-disguised slower ball from paceman Jasprit Bumrah, Australia were all but beaten at 150-5 in the 17th over.

Earlier, India star batsman Virat Kohli holed out for a five-ball duck off Josh Hazlewood, with Tim David taking a fine running catch over his shoulder.

But fellow opener Rohit then cut loose. He was particularly severe on Mitchell Starc, the only change to the Australia team following their upset defeat by Afghanistan.

He hit the left-arm fast bowler for 29 runs in a third over where he struck four sixes -- two in successive balls over extra-cover, a monster hit over deep midwicket and a top-edged full toss over the wicketkeeper.

But with Rohit threatening the first hundred of this tournament, Starc bowled him with an excellent yorker.

Agence France-Presse

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