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India edge past Australia to book T20 World Cup 2024 semi-final spot

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GROS ISLET: Rohit Sharma’s swashbuckling 92, followed by a combined bowling effort led India to beat Australia and qualify for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 semi-finals here at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium on Monday.

Chasing a daunting 206-run total, Australia could accumulate 181/7 in their quota of 20 overs despite Travis Head’s half-century.

Australia had a shaky start to the pursuit as they lost David Warner (6) in the first over with just six runs on the board.

Following the early hiccup, Mitchell Marsh joined forces with Travis Head and the duo launched a counterattack.

They raised 81 runs in just 41 deliveries before Marsh fell victim to Kuldeep Yadav as Axar Patel took a blinder just inside the square leg boundary.

Marsh made important contribution for Australia with a 28-ball 37 which included three fours and two sixes.

Travis Head and Glenn Maxwell then put together a quick partnership for the third wicket, adding 41 runs to the total until Kuldeep castled the latter on the first delivery of the 14th over.

Maxwell made 20 in 12 balls, laced up with two fours and a six.

Australia then lost another wicket, exactly an over later, when Marcus Stoinis (2) fell prey to Axar Patel while attempting to play a reverse sweep.

The 2021 champions suffered a massive setback to their run-chase when their mainstay Head was outclassed by Jasprit Bumrah’s slower delivery in the 17th over with 56 still required.

Head remained the top-scorer for Australia with 76 off 43 deliveries, hitting nine fours and four sixes.

His dismissal halted the flow of runs for Australia and they lost two more wickets in the next over, allowing India to seize control.

Australia eventually succumbed to a 24-run defeat which dented their semi-final hopes.

Arshdeep Singh led the bowling charge for India with three wickets, followed by Kuldeep with two while Bumrah and Axar chipped in with a wicket apiece.

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Put into bat first, India registered 205/5 on the board, courtesy of Rohit Sharma’s baton charge.

Rohit, unfazed by his opening partner Virat Kohi’s early demise, dominated the Australian bowlers from the word go.

India had a contrasting start to their innings as they lost Virat Kohli (0) in the second over with just six runs on the board.

Meanwhile, Rohit, unfazed by his opening partner’s dismissal, denied Australia to attain momentum and smashed Mitchell Starc for 29 runs in the third over.

He continued to dominate the Australian bowlers in a one-sided second-wicket partnership with Rishabh Pant (15), which yielded 87 runs off just 38 deliveries.

Rohit was then involved in yet another notable partnership for India when he added 45 runs for the third wicket with Suryakumar Yadav before Starc finally got rid of him in the 12th over to provide Australia a much-needed breakthrough.

He remained the top-scorer for India with a 41-ball 92, peppered with seven fours and eight sixes.

Yadav and Shivam Dube then knitted a brisk 32-run partnership to keep India on the track.

The top-ranked T20I batter walked back in the 15th over after scoring a blistering 31 off 16 balls with the help of three fours and two sixes.

Dube was then joined by Hardik Pandya in the middle and together they raised 35 runs for the fifth wicket until the former perished in the penultimate over after scoring 28 off 22.

Pandya bolstered India’s total in the death overs against Australia with 27 not out. His 17-ball cameo featured one four and two sixes.

Marcus Stoinis and Mitchell Starc bagged two wickets each for Australia while Josh Hazlewood picked one.

The 24-run victory propelled India into the T20 World Cup 2024 semi-finals as they topped Group 1 of the Super Eights stage with six points in three matches while Australia remained second with two points in as many matches.

READ: Shubman Gill to lead young India squad on Zimbabwe tour

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