West Indies overpower India to reach WT20 final despite vintage Kohli knock
West Indies 196-3 (Simmons 82no)
India 192-2 (Kohli 89no) by seven wickets
Second semi-final, ICC World Twenty20, Mumbai
Lendl Simmons scored his career best score of an unbeaten 82 and was well supported by a fluent fifty from Johnson Charles as West Indies chased down 193 against India with seven wickets in hand at the Wankhede Stadium to set up a clash against England in the final of the ICC World Twenty20 tournament.
West Indies won the toss and opted to bowl first. India brought in Ajinkya Rahane and Manish Pandey for Shikhar Dhawan and Yuvraj Singh.
On the other hand, West Indies drafted Chris Gayle and Simmons to replace Evin Lewis and Andre Fletcher.
West Indies started off with two tight overs upfront but Rohit Sharma (43) struck a six in the third over and followed it up with two boundaries in the fourth.
Sharma continued to up the ante with two more sixes and a four to push India to 55 for naught by the end of the powerplay.
Just as Sharma get into his stride, Samuel Badree (1-26) trapped him lbw in the eighth over. Virat Kohli (89 not out) was handed an early reprieve when West Indies missed a run out chance.
Rahane (40) and Kohli steadied the ship and took India to 86 for one at the halfway mark.
Without taking too many risks, Rahane and Kohli shared a 66-run stand and kept India’s innings on the right track.
Kohli kept the runs coming with three fours in three overs but West Indies came back with the wicket of Rahane in the 16th over.
MS Dhoni (15 not out) promoted himself up the order and along with Kohli, India plundered 17 runs from the 17th over.
After completing a 33-ball fifty, Kohli gave India the finish they needed by hitting four boundaries and a six in the next two overs. India took 12 runs from the final over to push the total to 192 for two in 20 overs.
India struck early in the innings as Gayle (5) was castled by an inswinging full toss from Jasprit Bumrah (1-42) in the second over.
In the third, Ashish Nehra (1-24) got Marlon Samuels (8) caught in the covers reducing West Indies to 19 for two after three overs.
However, Charles (52) and Simmons (82 not out) upped the ante and got the big hits going. The pair hit three fours and a six in the powerplay, by the end of which West Indies were placed at 44 for two.
Charles helped West Indies catch up with the required rate by smacking two sixes and two fours in the next couple of overs while Simmons hit one six and a boundary in the 11th over.
Charles completed a 30-ball fifty with a boundary off Hardik Pandya (0-43) and added 97 runs for the third wicket along with Simmons.
The partnership was broken by Kohli (1-15) who got Charles caught at long off in the very first ball and gave away just four runs in the over in which Simmons completed his fifty as well.
However, Simmons and Andre Russell (43 not out) continued to mount an assault and plundered 41 runs in the next three overs, bringing the equation down to 32 runs needed from 18 balls.
Simmons made it easier for West Indies, scoring 12 runs in the 18th over while Russell smashed a six and a four in the penultimate over leaving West Indies to get eight off the final over.
It was a walk in the park for West Indies, as Russell smashed a six and a four to take the team into the final with a seven-wicket victory. Simmons was the player of the match.
The finals of the World T20 tournament will be played on 3rd April at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata between West Indies and England.
© Cricket World 2016