ICC T20 World Cup 2022 | Surya’s brilliance shines through as India hands Zimbabwe a thrashing


Bowlers strike after batters set imposing targets; Men in Blue top group and will take on England in the semifinals at Adelaide

Bowlers strike after batters set imposing targets; Men in Blue top group and will take on England in the semifinals at Adelaide

Seagulls constantly flew from the roof as a packed venue kept erupting with boisterous cheers. The birds missed their sleep while 82,507 fans enjoyed a raucous Sunday night at the Melbourne Cricket Ground as the Men in Blue kept their tryst with the semifinals.

After Suryakumar Yadav’s frenzied 25-ball unbeaten 61 set India on a strong pedestal, the bowlers got to work and Zimbabwe wilted. The ICC Twenty20 World Cup Super 12 Group 2 match had seemingly tilted India’s way once Rohit Sharma’s men posted 186 for five.

No surprises

And there were no surprises in the second-part as Zimbabwe was bowled out for 115 in 17.2 overs. India’s 71-run triumph paved its way towards Thursday’s semifinal against England at Adelaide.

Just as the crowd was settling back after dinner, Wesley Madhevere drove lazily to a waiting Virat Kohli at short-cover and Bhuvneshwar Kumar had struck with his first ball. It got worse for Zimbabwe when Arshdeep Singh castled Regis Chakabva.

There was a tiny lull as skipper Craig Ervine and Sean Williams were at the crease but once they retreated, popping up catches, and Tony Munyonga fell to Mohammed Shami, the rival was down for the count at 36 for five.

Sikandar Raza picked R. Ashwin (three for 22) for a couple of strikes and Ryan Burl targeted Axar Patel but these were dying embers as India stayed the course.

Earlier, the Indian fans trooped in in their blue jerseys. A live-band belted out AR Rahman’s ‘Dil se re’ and the excitement quadrupled once Rohit elected to bat. The skipper and his deputy KL Rahul remained vigilant before freeing their arms. The former drove and slashed while the latter flicked a six off seamer Richard Ngarava.

Against the run of play, Rohit fell on the pull while speedster Blessing Muzarabani exulted. Kohli walked in and quickly picked a four. Back to his eager-beaver routine, Kohli muscled a whipped on-drive off spinner Wellington Masakadza. Rahul and Kohli added 60 for the second wicket before the latter holed out in the deep.

This pattern of dismissal shadowed Rahul and Rishabh Pant too, the last-named having replaced Dinesh Karthik in the playing eleven. Rahul (51) after etching his fifty with a six off Raza, attempted an encore and perished. Pant, meanwhile, failed to clear the on-side with Burl pulling off a diving catch.

At 101 for four in 13.3 overs, India needed Suryakumar and Hardik Pandya to stay firm. The initial runs were slow as Ervine swapped his seamers and spinners. But once Suryakumar struck Muzarabani for consecutive fours and Hardik glanced one past square-leg, India gained heft at the death.

Ngarava was slashed and hoisted and when Tendai Chatara steamed in, Suryakumar scooped and lofted.

Eventful final over

Even as Hardik departed in the last over after the duo had added 65 for the fifth wicket, Suryakumar picked his spots over square-leg and fine-leg for two sixes that reiterated his audacity. And India finished with a score well beyond Zimbabwe’s reach.

Scoreboard

Indian Innings: KL Rahul c W Masakadza b Raza 51 Rohit Sharma c W Masakadza b Muzarabani 15 Virat Kohli c Ryan Burl b Sean Williams 26 Suryakumar Yadav not out 61 Rishabh Pant c Ryan Burl b Sean Williams 3 Hardik Pandya c Muzarabani b Ngarava 18 Axar Patel not out 0 Extras: (lb-5, w-6, nb-1) 12

Total: 186/5 in 20 overs

Fall of wickets: 1-27, 2-87, 3-95, 4-101, 5-166

Zimbabwe bowling: Richard Ngarava 4-1-44-1, Tendai Chatara 4-0-34-0, Blessing Muzarabani 4-0-50-1, Wellington Masakadza 2-0-12-0, Ryan Burl 1-0-14-0, Sikandar Raza 3-0-18-1, Sean Williams 2-0-9-2.

Zimbabwe Innings: Wesley Madhevere c Kohli b Bhuvneshwar 0 Craig Ervine c and b Hardik Pandya 13 Regis Chakabva b Arshdeep Singh 0 Sean Williams c Bhuvneshwar b Shami 11 Sikandar Raza c Suryakumar Yadav b Hardik Pandya 34 Tony Munyonga lbw b Shami 5 Ryan Burl b Ashwin 35 Wellington Masakadza c Rohit b Ashwin 1 Richard Ngarava b Ashwin 1 Tendai Chatara c and b Axar 4 Blessing Muzarabani not out 0 Extras: (LB-3, W-7, NB 1) 11

Total: (10 wkts, 17.2 Overs) 115

Fall of Wickets: 1-0, 2-2, 3-28, 4-31, 5-36, 6-96, 7-104, 8-106, 9-111, 10-115.

Indian bowling: Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3-1-11-1, Arshdeep Singh 2-0-9-1, Mohammed Shami 2-0-14-2, Hardik Pandya 3-0-16-2, Ravichandran Ashwin 4-0-22-3, Axar Patel 3.2-0-40-1.





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