Buttler, Hales ‘spoil’ Pak-India final as England storm into T20 WC final

ADELAIDE: Alex Hales and skipper Jos Buttler wreaked havoc on the Indian bowling attack as England outclassed India by 10 wickets to confirm their berth in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup final alongside Pakistan. 

England breezed past India in the second semi-final on Wednesday as they raced to the finishing line in just 16 overs on the back of thumping knocks by the openers.

Set to chase 169, Hales smashed a powerful knock of 47-ball 86 while Buttler scored 80 off 49 as the two rained boundaries, jointly hitting 10 sixes and 17 fours in front of Indian dominated crowd to steer England to the final.

The side will now face Pakistan in the megaevent’s final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on November 13 (Sunday).

Earlier, Hardik Pandya blasted a powerful knock of 63 off 33 balls after Virat Kohli hit a magnificent half-century to help India raise 168/6 after they were put to bat.

Pandya crushed the England bowlers in the death overs as he smacked five gigantic sixes and four powerful fours, before he was out hit-wicket on the final delivery, to take India to 168/6 in the allotted 20 overs.

In-form Kohli, on the other hand, raced to his 4000 T20I runs during his scintillating knock of 40-ball 50.

India went through an unwanted start when opener KL Rahul was beaten by the extra pace and bounce of Chris Woakes and nibbled it to the wicketkeeper in the second over.

However, Kohli along with skipper Rohit Sharma anchored the Indian innings following the early scare as the two raised a 47-run partnership for the second wicket and took the scoreboard to 56/1 before the Indian captain fell prey to Chris Jordan in the 9th over. Rohit managed 27 off 28 including four boundaries.

England leg-spinner Adil Rashid bowled superbly in the middle to check India’s march and got rid of the No.1 ranked T20I batter without wreaking significant damage as his inning was cut short on 14 off 10.

Pandya, however,  pulled off a stellar performance, squeezing 48 runs in the last three overs after Kohli’s departure in the 17th over.

For England, Chris Jordan grabbed three wickets but remained the most expensive of all the bowlers as he conceded 43 runs in his four overs quota.