India tops Zimbabwe at T20 WC, will face England in semis





MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Suryakumar Yadav smashed a 23-ball half-century as India topped Group 2 with a dominant 71-run win over Zimbabwe in the T20 World Cup on Sunday.

Yadav scored 61 not out off just 25 balls as India finished with 186-5 in 20 overs. In reply, Zimbabwe was bowled out for 115 in 17.2 overs, with Ravichandran Ashwin returning figures of 3-22.

Hardik Pandya (2-16) and Mohammed Shami (2-14) shared four wickets.

With the super 12 stage completed, India finished as Group 2 winners to set up a semifinal clash with England in Adelaide on Thursday.

Earlier on Sunday, South Africa crashed out of the tournament following a stunning loss to the Netherlands in Adelaide, allowing Pakistan to slip into the semifinals. Pakistan beat Bangladesh by five wickets, also at the Adelaide Oval.

New Zealand will take on Pakistan in the first semifinal at Sydney on Wednesday.

At the MCG, India had won the toss and opted to bat first. Rohit Sharma’s poor run of form continued and he was out for 15.

Lokesh Rahul scored a second consecutive half-century as he and Virat Kohli (26) put on 60 off 48 balls for the second wicket.

Rahul scored 51 off 35 balls, including three fours and three sixes.

India then lost its way in the middle overs, losing three wickets for 14 runs. Rahul, Kohli and Rishabh Pant (3) were all dismissed in the space of 10 deliveries, as India reached 101-4 in 13.3 overs.

Yadav then took centre stage as he smacked India’s fourth quickest half-century in T20s. He hit six fours and four sixes to accelerate the scoring.

He put on 65 runs off 35 balls with Hardik Pandya (18) for the fifth wicket. India scored 59 runs in the last four overs.

Yadav was named player of the match for his scintillating knock.

“The plan was clear when Hardik and I were batting. We started hitting the ball and never stopped. I was really looking forward to the game. The fans have been brilliant,” he said.

In reply, Zimbabwe struggled to get going against India’s pacers.

It was reduced to 36-5 in 7.3 overs. Wesley Madhevere and Regis Chakabva were out for ducks while Craig Ervine and Sean Williams only managed to score 13 and 11, respectively.

Sikandar Raza put up some resistance with 34 off 24 balls, before he was out caught off Pandya.

Ryan Burl hit five fours and a six to score 35 off 22 balls.

Ashwin then struck late to pick up three wickets in 10 balls to help finish off the match.

Earlier, Shaheen Afridi had produced an inspired spell of fast bowling to restrict Bangladesh to 127-8 against Bangladesh.

Then, star opening batsmen Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan combined for a 57-run partnership — their highest of the tournament — to set up Pakistan’s third win of the Super 12 stage and pave the way for a sixth T20 World Cup semifinal appearance in eight editions of the tournament.

This was after South Africa stumbled to 145-8 in reply to the Netherland’s 159-run target, and gifted Pakistan the semifinal shot.

Colin Ackermann top-scored with an unbeaten 41 from 26 balls for the Dutch who reached 158-4.

“It’s another experience, another big upset from the Netherlands at a World Cup. I’m just stoked for the boys, the team and the supporters back home,” Netherlands captain Scott Edwards said.

New Zealand and England qualified as the top two sides in Group 1.

The final is scheduled for Sunday Nov. 13 at the MCG.




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