India close in on T20 WC semis

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ADELAIDE, Australia, Nov 2, (AP): India moved in sight of the T20 World Cup semifinals by beating Bangladesh by five runs in a rain-affected thriller on Wednesday thanks to another impressive knock by Virat Kohli and an unfortunate run-out of Litton Das in the chase. Kohli continued his strong form at the tournament by scoring 64 not out off 44 balls to help India to 184-6 off its 20 overs.

Lokesh Rahul also weighed in with a 32- ball 50. Bangladesh started their reply brilliantly and was 66-0 after seven overs – with Das on 59 off 26 balls – when the teams were forced off for nearly an hour because of rain. The revised target was set at 151 in 16 overs, according to the Duckworth-Lewis- Stern method. Off the first ball after the delay, Das slipped as he turned for a second run and appeared to hurt his arm.

Then, off the next ball, he again slipped as Bangladesh sought a second run and was run out for 60 at the non-striker’s end from a direct throw by Rahul. It proved the turning point as Bangladesh were restricted to 145-6, with Arshdeep Singh taking 2-38. “It was a closer game than we would have liked,” said Kohli, who was named man of the match. “It was another good day with the bat. I am happy the World Cup is in Australia because I can play my shots here. I love playing in Adelaide. I feel at home and want to keep batting.”

India climbed above South Africa to the top of Group 2 in the Super 12s with six points from four games. Second-place South Africa play fifth place Pakistan in Sydney on Thursday in a match that will have major implications for the group. Bangladesh, which are third on four points, will play Pakistan in their final game. Before the rain break, Das was putting India’s pace attack to the sword. He hit three sixes and seven fours, reaching his half-century off 21 balls. It was the second quickest half-century of the tournament. He put on 50 runs off 32 balls, with Najmul Shanto only contributing three runs to the initial partnership.

Overall, they put on 68 runs off 44 balls either side of the weather interruption. When the rain intervened, Bangladesh were ahead on DLS, having needed a par score of 49-0 at that point. Afterward, however, Bangladesh plunged to 99-3 after Suryakumar Yadav held two sharp catches to send back Shanto (21) and Afif Hossain (3) in quick succession. Shakib al Hasan was out for 13, while Nurul Hasan kept Bangladesh going with 25 not out off 14 balls. With 20 needed off the last six balls, Singh helped to seal the win for India. Earlier, put in to bat, India had Rohit Sharma dismissed for 2, despite surviving a dropped catch.

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