New Delhi, March 31, 2016
Lendl Simmons slammed an unbeaten 82 and opener Johnson Charles made 52 as the West Indies outplayed India by seven wickets in emphatic fashion to storm into the final of the ICC World T20 tournament at the Wankhede Stadium here tonight.
Asked to bat first by West Indies skipper Darren Sammy, the hosts posted an imposing 192 for two from their 20 overs, powered by Virat Kohli's unbeaten 89 and breezy knocks of Rohit Sharma (43) and Ajinkya Rahane (40).
In response, the West Indies lost two of their top batsmen -- Chris Gayle (5) and Marlon Samuels (8) -- with just 19 on the board in three overs. Charles and Simmons then added 97 for the third wicket to put them back on course and Andre Russell came up with an unbeaten 43 to see them through at 196 for three with two balls to spare.
West Indies will now meet England in the final at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday, April 3. England had beaten New Zealand in the first semi-final in Delhi yesterday.
Charles and Simmons thrashed the Indian bowling, sending 11 balls into the stands and striking 20 fours.
Danger-man Gayle was removed by pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah with his very first ball in the second, a yorker on the off-stump which sent the stumps flying. The West Indies were 6 for 1 at that point.
Ashish Nehra dismissed Samuels in the next over when a thick edge looped straight into the hands of Rahane at cover to make it 19 for 2.
Simmons and Charles added 97 for the third wicket off 61 balls to resurrect the West Indians innings. Charles hit two massive sixes off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and Hardik Pandya.
He sent a short ball on middle stump into the crowd off the first ball of the ninth over bowled by the spinner and followed it up with a boundary past Pandya at wide-long on to bring up the 50 of the partnership.
The second ball of the next over by Pandya was a thick outside edge which flew past short-third man to hit the boundary cushions. He drilled the next ball which was short and on off-stump through square leg off his back foot for a boundary.
Simmons attacked the next over by Jadeja, sending the first ball into the stands and following it up with a square drive which raced to the fence off the third ball.
Charles brought up his half-century in the next over by smashing Pandya’s ball on his pads in front of square leg for a four.
The runs kept flowing steadily for the West-Indies as the Indians failed to pick up wickets. The Indian bowling attack was having trouble containing the run flow once both the batsmen had adapted to the pitch.
However, a bowling change introducing Virat Kohli worked out in favour of the Indians. Charles departed off the very first ball. A top-edge off the bat flew straight to Rohit Sharma’s hands at long-off, leaving the West Indies with the task of getting 77 from the remaining 41 balls.
Russell kept up the attack, scoring a boundary off the first ball of the 15th over sent down by Pandya and following it up with a massive 99-m six down the ground.
There was more to come as Simmons smashed the last ball of the over, a free-hit, into the stands as well. Russell kept going, hitting Nehra’s fourth ball in the next over, which was short and outside the off-stump for a six wide away from long-on.
The West Indians required 32 runs from the last three overs. Simmons moved up to 75 when he smashed the fourth ball of the next over by Bumrah for a six that also brought up the 50 of the partnership.
Ravindra Jadeja managed to catch the ball at wide long-on, but stepped on the boundary rope to nullify the catch. The last ball, outside off-stump, was placed craftily between point and third man.
Simmons smashed the fifth ball of the penultimate over the sight screen to reduce the equation to 12 runs required off seven balls. A blistering drive through cover for four helped to reduce the margin further.
Russell smashed the last over from Kohli for 10 runs, hitting a boundary off the third ball and a huge six over mid-wicket to obtain a hard-won victory for his side.
Together, Russell and Simmons added 80 in their unfinished partnership for the fourth wicket, off 51 balls, to ensure that the West Indies prevailed today.
Simmons' 82 came off 51 balls and was studded with seven fours and five sixes. Russel faced 20 balls and struck three fours and four sixes in his unbeaten 43.
Earlier in the evening, India began their innings well, with Sharma and Rahane putting on 62 for the first wicket in 7.2 overs.
Sharma made 43 off 31 balls with the help of three fours and three sixes. He sent a short ball from Sulieman Benn in the fourth over racing through point for a boundary and followd it up with a classic and perfect sweep off his pads. The batsman who was clearly loving his home ground was raring to go. He dismissed a full-toss no-ball from Andre Russell over fine-leg into the stands. Making use of the free hit the next ball, he smashed a good length-off-stump delivery right back down the ground with a free-flow of the bat into the ropes. He followed it up with a boundary two balls later.
Sharma departed in the eighth over to a ball bowled good length on the leg by Samuel Badree. The ball sneaked through the batsman's defence, hitting him on the pad and trapping him leg before wicket.
Rahane, who made 40, and Kohli went on from there onwards to build up a superb second wicket partnership of 66 from 49 balls.
Kohli was in his zone, scoring 41 of the runs in the partnership while the opener rotated the strike and kept knocking away the singles to creep to his 40.
Rahane fell to Russell in the 16th over to make it 128 for two. A short ball on off-stump was improperly hooked and was caught at mid-wicket by Dwayne Bravo, who was thrilled and put on a small little dance for the crowd behind him.
Skipper MS Dhoni joined Kohli for the final four overs of their batting. Kohli reached his half-century off the ultimate ball of the 17th over, in which he struck two boundaries and Dhoni got a four off a paddle-sweep. Together they made 17 runs off that over by Brathwaite, taking the men in blue to 150/2.
Kohli smashed two more boundaries in the 18th over by Bravo. The fourth ball was dispatched wide of long-on and raced to the rope despite Brathwaite’s best efforts. The sixth ball raced off the blade through extra-cover beating Russell at the ropes.
Russell’s third ball the next over was a slower one which was dispatched downtown into the stands by an alert Kohli who pounced on the ball without second thought. The last two balls were dispatched for boundaries through a ripper-cover into extra-cover and an on-drive which there was no stopping, taking India to 180/2 with one more over to go.
They were able to obtain 12 runs off the last over, setting a target off 193 for a win for the West indies.
Kohli's brilliant knock came off 47 balls and included eleven boundaries and a six. Dhoni remained not out with 15, with one four. The two batsmen displayed perfect understanding and ran some quick singles and twos and ran a hard three runs in the final over.
R Sharma lbw Badree 43
A Rahane c Bravo b Russell 40
V Kohli not out 89
M S Dhoni not out 15
Extras (2nb, 2w, 1lb) 5
Total (2 wickets, 20 overs) 192 (9.6 rpo)
Did not bat: S Raina, M Pandey, H Pandya, R Jadeja, R Ashwin, A Nehra, J Bumrah
Fall of wickets:1-62 (Sharma, 7.2 ov), 2-128 (Rahane, 15.3 ov)
A Russell 4 0 47 1
S Badree 4 0 26 1
C Brathwaite 4 0 38 0
S Benn 4 0 36 0
D Bravo 4 0 44 0
J Charles c R Sharma b Kohli 52
C Gayle b Bumrah 5
M Samuels c Rahane b Nehra 8
L Simmons not out 82
A Russell not out 43
Extras (4lb, 2nb) 6
Total (3 wickets; 19.4 ov) 196 (9.96 rpo)
Did not bat: D Ramdin, D Bravo, D Sammy, C Brathwaite, S Badree, S Benn
Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Gayle, 1.1 ov), 2-19 (Samuels, 2.6 ov),3-116 (Charles, 13.1 ov)
A Nehra 4 0 24 1
J Bumrah 4 0 42 2
R Ashwin 2 0 20 0
R Jadeja 4 0 48 0
H Pandya 4 0 43 0
V Kohli 1.4 0 15 1
Player of the Match: Lendl Simmons (West Indies).