Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Windies at the double - Women, men in T20 World Cup finals

Published:Friday | April 1, 2016 | 4:00 AM
West Indies batsman Lendl Simmons on the go during yesterday’s ICC World Twenty20 2016 cricket semi-final match against India at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, India. The wicketkeeper is Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
West Indies batsman Lendl Simmons is held aloft by teammates as they celebrate their seven-wicket win over India in the ICC World Twenty20 2016 cricket semi-final yesterday at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, India.
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MUMBAI, India (CMC):

West Indies crushed the hopes of a billion Indians when they produced a magnificent run chase to stun the home side by seven wickets and clinch a place in Sunday's final of the Twenty20 World Cup.

Entering yesterday's semi-final as the underdogs against tournament favourites India, the Caribbean side silenced the full house at the Wankhede Stadium by overhauling an imposing target of 193 with two balls to spare in a riveting encounter.

They were propelled by half-centuries from Lendl Simmons, who carved out an exhilarating, career-best unbeaten 82, and opener Johnson Charles, who belted an aggressive 52, while Andre Russell weighed in with a whirlwind unbeaten 43.

Stumbling at 19 for two in the third over after losing key players Chris Gayle (5) and Marlon Samuels (8), West Indies recovered through the trio's efforts to reach 84 for two at the halfway stage before plundering 112 runs off the last 58 balls of the innings.

Requiring eight runs from the final over bowled by part-time medium pacer Virat Kohli, West Indies managed just a run from the first two deliveries, but Russell tugged the third ball to the midwicket boundary before clearing the ropes at wide long-on, to spark celebrations among the visitors.

Simmons, who only arrived here from the Caribbean earlier this week to replace the injured Andre Fletcher, faced 51 deliveries and struck seven fours and five sixes.

Living a charmed life, he survived three chances to anchor two key partnerships, putting on 97 for the third wicket with Charles before adding a further 80 in an unbroken fourth-wicket stand with Russell.

 

BRUTE STRENGTH

 

Charles played a blinder, cracking seven fours and two sixes off 36 deliveries, while Russell flaunted his brute strength in belting three fours and four sixes off a mere 20 balls.

With the win, West Indies set up a meeting in the final in Kolkata against England, who they beat in their opening game of the preliminaries.

Earlier, the in-form Kohli top-scored with an unbeaten 89 as India raced to 192 for two off their 20 overs, after they were sent in.

Openers Rohit Sharma (43) and Ajinkya Rahane (40) put on 62 for the first wicket before Kohli arrived to marshal the latter half of the innings.

He crunched 11 fours and a six off 47 balls and added 56 for the second wicket with Rahane before dominating an unbroken third-wicket stand of 64 with captain M.S. Dhoni, who was unbeaten on 15.

India scored freely in the opening overs with Sharma smashing three fours and three sixes off 31 balls, and Rahane giving support with a 35-ball knock that included two fours.

With the Windies in need of a jump-start, Simmons and Charles reignited the innings with superb batting to keep their side in touch with the required run rate.

Charles took a couple of boundaries from Bumrah's next over and then got stuck into off-spinner Ravi Ashwin, taking 13 runs from his second over - the ninth of the innings.

He reached his third T20I half-century off 30 balls with a boundary to long-off off medium pacer Hardik Pandya, but departed soon after in the 14th over when he swatted at the first ball of Kohli's first over and holed out to Rohit running in from long off.