About the Match
An incredible win by India against Australia helped them seal a semi-final berth; they will take on West Indies, on 31st March at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. The hosts faced a competitive target of 161 against the Aussies and they held their nerves to cross the finish line with 5 balls to spare; the Windies on the other hand remained unbeaten all the way until Afghanistan defeated them by a 6 runs to create history for their nation in World T20. The upcoming match will keep the fans at the edge of their seats and it needs to be seen which side emerges victorious in this knock-out match.
They were terrific against teams like England, South Africa and Sri Lanka but were stumped by Afghanistan in the last match. Samuel Badree was fantastic with 3-14 while Sulieman Benn yet again stifled the opponents with his spin tactics; Russell also picked up 2 wickets and they combined well to restrict Afghanistan to 123. Chasing a measly 124 runs, in-form batsmen like Fletcher, Marlon Samuels and Russell failed to build the foundation and in the absence of Chris Gayle, they fell short of the target by 6 runs, resulting in a disappointing loss.
In the match against South Africa, the bowlers restricted the opposition to a lowly 122 runs, which they achieved thanks to a brilliant innings by Samuels; Gayle has been showering sixes and fours at will and will be key to their performance on Thursday.
Against Sri Lanka too, the bowlers were excellent as Badree took 3-12 and Bravo picked up two wickets; Benn and Russell supported well and they restricted the opponents to 122; the target was chased down successfully thanks to Fletcher’s superb 84 off 64 that consisted of 5 sixes and 6 fours.
Overall, the batting line-up needs to bounce back especially against experienced bowlers like Ashwin and Nehra. The bowlers have done well and will surely have some tricks up their sleeves to contain the Indian hard-hitters but they must strategize well to suit the ground conditions here.
Virat Kohli once again shouldered the burden of scoring runs for the team after the openers failed to provide the momentum; he scored a stupendous 82 from 51 deliveries under pressure to carry the side to the semi-finals. Yuvraj Singh contributed well with 21 off 18 but it was captain cool Dhoni who stood by Kohli’s side to steer the team to victory. Earlier, bowlers Nehra and Yuvraj Singh did extremely well to contain the run-flow of the Aussies and took a wicket each; Pandya was effective again with 2-36 while Ashwin and Bumrah provided necessary breakthroughs.
The Indian batting line-up faltered again with players like Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina failing to fire; the team depends heavily on Kohli’s heroics, an attitude that must change soon if they want to be recognised as a dangerous side yet again. The bowling squad has done well so far in restricting the opposition to low totals but they need to be backed up by the batsmen here. Jadeja, Yuvraj, Raina and Pandya are good all-rounders and can shine with bat and ball against the Windies.
Their recent victories by close margins display their determination but everybody needs to contribute equally in order to survive the challenges posted by West Indies on Thursday.
West Indies has defeated experienced and strong teams so far but they will not take their opponent lightly here; they have proved to be a side with talent and strategy-making skills but they will need to come out all guns blazing here; the men in blue have just about made it to this stage but we feel they will bring all their firepower to overcome the Windies and meet the expectations of the fans again