India set up World Cup semi-final against England by seeing off Zimbabwe
England learned their semi-final opponents at the T20 World Cup will be India, who brushed aside Zimbabwe by 71 runs at the MCG to finish top of their Super 12s group.
Suryakumar Yadav sparkled in India’s 186 for five, combining power hitting with some trademark inventive strokeplay in a buccaneering 61 not out from 25 balls, with four sixes and six fours.
India’s seamers made short work of their opponents’ top order as Zimbabwe lurched to 36 for five before being bundled out for 115 in 17.2 overs, with spinner Ravichandran Ashwin finishing with three for 22.
India’s qualification to the knockout rounds was sealed after South Africa’s shock defeat against the Netherlands but Rohit Sharma’s side leapfrogged Pakistan to finish at the summit of their group.
That has set up a last four clash on Thursday against England at Adelaide. England finished second in their group behind New Zealand, who will face Pakistan on Wednesday in the other semi-final at Sydney.
India made a bright start after winning the toss in front of an 82,507 crowd, with KL Rahul shining at the top of the order as he contributed 51 off 35 deliveries, including three fours and three sixes.
While the opening batter and Rishabh Pant were dismissed within the space of nine balls to leave India on 101 for four midway through the 13th over, Yadav made sure their innings did not run out of steam.
As well some fearsome blows over the off-side there were some innovative whips and scoops to Zimbabwe’s fast bowlers as Yadav helped India take 79 runs off the last five overs.
Wessly Madhevere was dismissed from the first ball of Zimbabwe’s reply after lashing Bhuvneshwar Kumar to Virat Kohli and India hardly looked back from that point forwards.
Sikandar Raza (34 off 24 balls) and Ryan Burl (35 off 22 deliveries) made sure Zimbabwe did not sink without trace but their contributions amounted to little more than damage limitation.
The best videos delivered daily
Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox