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Indian batsman Rohit Sharma plays a shot during the ICC World Twenty20 tournament cricket match between India and Bangladesh at The Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on March 28 (AFP)
India demolish Bangladesh to reach World T20 semis Mishra continues awesome form

DHAKA, March 28, (Agencies): Leg-spinner Amit Mishra continued his awesome form as India roared into the semi-finals of the World Twenty20 with an eight-wicket demolition of hosts Bangladesh in Dhaka on Friday. Mishra, who was man of the match in both the previous wins against Pakistan and the West Indies, finished with three for 26 as Bangladesh were restricted to 138-7 in the group two match of the Super-10s. India surpassed the modest target with nine deliveries to spare to record their third successive win and book a semi-final berth even before their last league match against Australia on Sunday. Rohit Sharma made 56 and Virat Kohli remained unbeaten on 57, the pair sharing a 100-run stand for the second wicket after Shikhar Dhawan had been dismissed for one in the third over.

Sharma was caught at point off Mashrafe Mortaza in the 16th over when 26 more were needed for victory, but skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni sealed the win with a six off Ziaur Rahman. The victory marks India’s first semi-final appearance in the tournament since winning the inaugural title in South Africa in 2007, but Dhoni ruled out any celebrations. “No celebrations at all because the next few games are going to be extremely tough,” the Indian captain said. “I had not batted for a while, so I asked Yuvi (Yuvraj Singh) if I could go in ahead of him. “It’s been easy for us so far, but there is nothing we can do about the lack of challenge.” Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim said nothing was going right for his team. “The batsmen that get set end up throwing away their wickets, so big partnerships are just not happening,” he said. “We thought 150-plus would be a good total, but unfortunately we ended up below that. “There are two more games to go for us and hopefully we can do better in them.”

Australia, who lost to the West Indies earlier on Friday, are virtually out of the race after two defeats. Barring any major upsets in the last two round of matches, Pakistan and the West Indies will battle for the second semi-final spot from the group. Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin chipped in with two for 15 as Bangladesh batsmen faltered in front of a sell-out home crowd of 25,000 at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium. Opener Anamul Haque top-scored with 44, but it was Mohammad Mahmudullah’s unbeaten 32 off 23 balls that boosted the hosts after they were reduced to 82-5. Mahmudullah, who hit five fours and a six, put on 49 for the sixth wicket with Nasir Hossain.

Bangladesh slipped to 21-3 by the fifth over after Ashwin dismissed Tamim Iqbal and Shamsur Rahman off successive deliveries. Mishra also claimed two wickets off consecutive balls in the final over to ensure the batsmen were left to chase a small target. When India batted, Dhawan was bowled by Al Amin Hossain before Sharma and Kohli put on their match-winning stand. Sharma was caught at point off Mashrafe Mortaza in the 16th over when 26 more were needed for victory, but skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni sealed the win with a six off Ziaur Rahman.

World Twenty20 standings
Group One
    P    W    L    T    NR    Pts    Run rate
Sri Lanka    3    2    1    0    0    4    +2.20
South Africa    3    2    1    0    0    4    +0.05
New Zealand    2    1    1    0    0    2    +0.27
England    2    1    1    0    0    2    -0.07
Netherlands    2    0    2    0    0    0    -2.95

Group Two
India    3    3    0    0    0    6    +0.48
West Indies    3    2    1    0    0    4    +1.22
Pakistan    2    1    1    0    0    2    +0.08
Australia    2    0    2    0    0    0    -0.50
Bangladesh    2    0    2    0    0    0    -2.20
The top two teams in each group advance to the semi-finals.

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