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ADELAIDE, Australia, Nov 10, (AP): England rolled over India in a 10-wicket win on Thursday and set up a T20 World Cup final against Pakistan. Set 169 to win, England reached their target with four overs to spare as openers Alex Hales (86 not out) and Jos Buttler (80 not out) obliterated India’s bowlers. They silenced the 40,000-strong pro-India crowd by scoring 170 runs off 96 deliveries.
Theirs was the highest England opening stand in Twenty20 cricket, and the highest opening stand in all T20 World Cups. “It was almost a perfect innings,” Hales said. “It is as special as it gets.” Hales’ 86 came off 47 balls, and Buttler’s 80 off 49. This was after leg spinner Adil Rashid’s four-over spell of 1-20 helped to restrict India to a respectable 168-6. Chris Jordan finished with 3-43. Hardik Pandya’s 63 off 33 went in vain. The final is on Sunday in Melbourne. Pakistan downed New Zealand on Wednesday. England will be seeking their second T20 world title, after 2010.
Pakistan’s only title came a year earlier at Lord’s. “Pretty disappointed,” India captain Rohit Sharma said. “We didn’t turn up with the ball. We did get runs at the back end but we were nervous at the start. We have to give credit to their openers. They played really well.” Put in to bat, India got off to a stutter. Lokesh Rahul was out caught behind for 5. Sharma endured hardship to put bat on ball. His painstaking 27 off 28 balls included four boundaries. He finally holed out off Jordan. India managed only 38-1 in the powerplay. Sharma’s dismissal made it 56-2 inside nine overs.
The turning point came when Suryakumar Yadav was out caught off Rashid in the 12th over. He scored 14 off 10 balls. Virat Kohli soldiered on and held one end together. He notched his fourth half-century in six innings at this T20 World Cup, reaching the mark off 39 balls. He put on a crucial 61 runs for the fourth wicket with Pandya. After Kohli was dismissed, Pandya blitzed England and India scored 47 runs in the last three overs. Pandya hit four fours and five sixes, reaching his half-century off only 29 balls. But England’s Buttler and Hales were even better. They took a staggering 63 runs off the powerplay. Their 50-stand came off 29 balls.
The pair crossed 100 in 10.1 overs. Buttler and Hales spared no bowler from punishment. Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave away 25 runs in two overs. Mohammed Shami was taken for 39 in three overs. Ravichandran Ashwin gave away 27 in two overs. Hales reached his half-century off 28 balls with a four and five sixes. Buttler got to the mark off 36 balls, with seven fours and a six. Overall, the duo hit 13 fours and 10 sixes to power England into the final and end India’s campaign.
It was the highest successful runchase in T20s at Adelaide. England beat its own mark of 158 against Australia in 2011. Hales was named player of the match, a remarkable comeback for the opener who was ousted from the England setup before the 2019 50-over World Cup for recreational drug abuse.