In the second semi-final of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022, England beat India by 10 wickets to advance to the final.
In the second innings, England had a competitive target of 169 in front of them on a used and sluggish pitch. Alex Hales (86*) and Jos Buttler (80*) didn’t take much time to settle in against Bhuvneshwar Kumar‘s swinging deliveries as the latter smashed three boundaries in the first over itself. The English unit stuck to its attacking strategy and took apart the Indian bowlers into the powerplay and put itself in a commanding position. In the powerplay, the England openers stitched a partnership of 63 and laid a robust foundation for the chase. It was Hales who initiated the attack and the skipper played the second lead. After halfway through the innings, Buttler joined the party and started hammering the Indians in all parts of the ground. England chased the total with four overs to spare and powered into the final in style with a six from the captain.
The England bowling attack didn’t find much trouble disorienting the struggling Indian opening pair as it sent KL Rahul back to the pavilion in the second over itself. England pocketed two in the first 10 overs and the rest four in the second half of the innings. The English bowlers went for runs in the death but overall managed to subdue the Indian batters. Chris Jordan was the pick among the bowlers with four to his name. Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid gathered one wicket each.
The Indians had an off day and were completely outplayed by England. The opening pair failed once again to provide a decent start. Rohit Sharma (27) looked scratchy but conjured a 47-run partnership with Virat Kohli (50) but couldn’t capitalise on it. Kohli yet again anchored the innings well and allowed Hardik Pandya (63) to explode.
A target of 169 looked defendable on a pitch like this but things didn’t go accordingly since the first ball itself as Kumar was taken for runs in the powerplay. The spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel were also harmless and faced the wrath of the English openers. The wicket column stayed empty for India as they didn’t have any answers to Hales and Buttler.
England will take on Pakistan in the final of the ongoing World Cup on Sunday, November 13 against Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Hales was adjudged Man of the Match for his explosive and unbeaten 86 off 47 balls, his innings were decorated with four boundaries and seven sixes.
India: 168/6, Overs 20, Hardik Pandya 63, Chris Jordan 4/43
England: 170/0, Overs 16, Alex Hales 86*, Arshdeep Singh 0/15