Australia out as Kohli's 82 puts India in semis
MOHALI, India (AP):
Virat Kohli produced a sublime 82 not out off 51 balls yesterday to help India defeat Australia by six wickets in their World Twenty20 match and advance to the semi-finals.
Kohli took charge at a crucial time in what was a virtual quarter-final, smashing nine fours and two sixes as India reached 161-4 off 19.1 overs in reply to Australia's 160-6.
The No. 3 batsman added 67 off only 31 deliveries with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (18 not out) after a useful 45-run stand for the fourth wicket with Yuvraj Singh (21) as India scored 59 runs in the last 4.1 overs of the Group 2 game.
Kohli, who had also guided India to a six-wicket win over Pakistan with 55 not out, remained calm during his 15th T20 half-century after Shikhar Dhawan (13), Rohit Sharma (12) and Suresh Raina (10) failed to get going with India struggling at 49-3 in the eighth over.
Kohli batted himself in with Yuvraj and then took the initiative, smashing 19 off the 18th over bowled by James Faulkner and 16 off the 19th from Nathan Coulter-Nile, to the delight of more than 25,000 fans.
Dhoni hit Faulkner for a four down the ground to complete a memorable win that sets the 2007 champion against 2012 champion West Indies in the semi-finals in Mumbai on Thursday.
"That was a pretty serious innings there, under pressure," Australia captain Steven Smith said. "He hit it right out of the middle and he's done it for a long time. Virat played an unbelievable knock ... I think 160 was around par, it just took an unbelievable innings to get India over the line."
Earlier, Australia got off to a quick start as left-handed opener Usman Khawaja began the innings with a pulled four off Ashish Nehra and then took four fours off the following over from Jasprit Bumrah to finish with a 16-ball 26 comprising six fours.
Australia raced to the 50-run mark in only 3.4 overs as Aaron Finch (43 off 34) smashed two consecutive sixes over long on off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, but the scoring rate was checked as wickets fell at regular intervals.
"It was a tough score, they got 60 runs in the first six overs," Dhoni said.
Australia reached the 100-run mark in 12.5 overs and 150 in 19.4.
The opening stand was worth 54 and ended in the fifth over when Nehra induced an edge to dismiss danger man Khawaja.
David Warner (6) and Smith (2) fell to spinners Ashwin and Yuvraj Singh, respectively, with Dhoni having a hand in both dismissals.
Ashwin's single wicket yesterday made him the first Indian to take 50 wickets in T20 internationals, while wicketkeeper Dhoni's three victims brought him level on 60 with Pakistan's Kamran Akmal for dismissals in T20 internationals.
Glenn Maxwell chipped in with a useful 31 that included a reverse-sweep six off Yuvraj Singh.
Shane Watson made an impressive exit from international cricket as he followed up his unbeaten 18 with 2-23 in four overs and a brilliant diving catch at cover to dismiss Yuvraj off Faulkner.