Buttler, Hales knock India out of T20 World Cup as England cruise to 10-wicket win, set up final against Pakistan


England produced a magnificent performance to cruise to a 10-wicket victory over India in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup on Thursday in Adelaide. The Jos Buttler-led side sets up a final clash with Pakistan at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground, where both sides will now be eyeing a second title. Chasing a 169-run target, England openers Buttler (80*) and Alex Hales (86*) forged a record 170-run partnership for the first wicket, as the side thrashed the men in blue by 10 wickets at the Adelaide Oval.

Opting to bowl after winning the toss, England got an early breakthrough as KL Rahul’s abject failures at bigger stages became more pronounced. Chris Woakes struck the wicket with the opener being sent back on 5, while Rohit Sharma also failed to get going. The Indian skipper couldn’t emulate his Pakistan counterpart Babar Azam in reviving his fortunes – Babar had scored a match-winning 53 in the side’s run-chase against New Zealand in the first semi-final – as he was dismissed on 27 off 28 deliveries, leaving India at 56/2 in the ninth over of the game.

Also read: Watch: Rohit Sharma fumes, Hardik Pandya seethes as Shami makes huge fielding blunder during IND vs ENG T20WC semi-final

Suryakumar Yadav, who had delivered for India at key moments throughout the Super 12 stage, endured a disappointing night too, as he was outfoxed by Adil Rashid on 14. It was Hardik Pandya, then, who revelled in the role of a finisher with a sensational 63 off 33 balls, while Kohli also scored an important 50 off 40 deliveries to help take India’s score to 168/6.

For England, Adil Rashid (1/20 in 4 overs) was the best bowler on the park, leaving India with a major question in hindsight – did they miss a trick on not playing Yuzvendra Chahal?

England openers utilised the Powerplay brilliantly in the run-chase as the duo of Buttler and Hales added 63 runs in the first six overs. The carnage began from the first over itself when Bhuvneshwar, whose most expensive start to the innings this tournament had been 3 runs against South Africa, conceded 13.

Both batters continued to play with the field throughout their stay at the crease; while Alex Hales reached his half-century in merely 28 deliveries, Buttler played the anchor role throughout his innings, eventually reaching his fifty-run mark in the 13th over.

England chased down the target in the 16th over of the game, ending India’s T20 World Cup campaign in a disappointing defeat.