Pakistan to face New Zealand in semi-final as India thrash Zimbabwe

MELBOURNE: Indian opener KL Rahul and top-ranked T20I batter Suryakumar Yadav powered their side to a massive 186/5 before bowlers displayed a combined effort to decimate the Zimbabwean batting order and handed their side a comprehensive 71-run victory in the last Super 12s fixture of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022.

Following India’s triumph over Zimbabwe, Pakistan will now face New Zealand in the first semi-final on Wednesday, while India will take on England in the second semi-final on Thursday.

Set to chase 187, the Zimbabwean batting lineup failed completely and could amass 115 runs before being bundled out in the 18th over.

Experienced all-rounder Sikandar Raza and Ryan Burl put up a brief fight with their valiant knocks of 34 and 35 respectively, while the rest of the Zimbabwean batters had no answers to the Indian bowling attack.

Skipper Craig Ervine could accumulate 13 runs, while the rest of the Zimbabwean batters failed to amass the double figures.

Ravichandran Ashwin led the bowling attack for India with 3/22, while Hardik Pandya and Mohammed Shami bagged two wickets each.

Arshdeep Singh and Axar Patel, on the other hand, made one scalp each.

After opting to bat first, India succeeded in posting a mammoth 186/5 in their last Super 12s fixture at the back of Rahul and Kumar’s fifties.

The men in blue had a rather unwanted start to their innings as they lost their captain Rohit Sharma (15) cheaply for a mere 27 runs in the fourth over.

India’s top batter Virat Kohli then anchored the innings alongside Rahul and carried the total to 87 in the 12th over before the former perished after scoring 26 off 25.

Following Kohli’s dismissal, Rahul too, could not hold on for long and fell briefly after amassing his half-century. He scored 51 off 35 with the help of three boundaries and as many sixes.

Replacing Dinesh Karthik in the Playing XI, Rishabh Pant, failed to make an impact with the bat against Zimbabwe and could score a mere three runs in five balls before walking back to the dugout in the 14th over.

Following Pant’s departure, Kumar and Hardik Pandya took the charge and took Zimbabwean bowlers to cleaners as they added 65 runs in just 35 balls to power India to a massive total.

Kumar was the main aggressor of the vital fifth wicket stand, while Pandya, who was rotating the strike fell in the final over after scoring a run-a-ball 18.

The top-ranked batter Kumar top scored for India with a blistering 61 off 25 balls, laced with six boundaries and four sixes.

For Zimbabwe, Sean Williams bagged two wickets for just nine runs, while Sikandar Raza, Blessing Muzarabani and Richard Ngarava struck out a batter each.