Indian players celebrate a wicket. (Twitter)
India ended their ICC T20 World Cup Super 12 campaign in style with a thumping 71-run win over Zimbabwe in Melbourne on Sunday to set up a semifinal clash with England.
India topped Group 2 with the convincing victory and will face England in the second semifinal in Adelaide on Thursday.
Pakistan, who reached the final after beating Bangladesh earlier on Sunday, will face New Zealand in the first semifinal in Sydney on Wednesday.
India were too strong for Zimbabwe on Sunday.
Having made 186 for five, India restricted Zimbabwe to 115 all out in 17.1 overs with spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (3-22) being the most successful bowler.
For Zimbabwe, Sikandar Raza (34) and Ryan Burl (35) tried to put up a fight, but the Africans failed to cope with the relentless attacking line from the Indian bowlers.
Barring Axar Patel, who gave away 40 runs in 3.1 overs for one wicket, the Indian bowling attack was in magnificent form.
Earlier, Suryakumar Yadav and KL Rahul hit brilliant half-centuries as India made 186 for five at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
With the Netherlands’ stunning victory over South Africa in Sunday’s first match, India had already qualified for the semifinals.
After being asked to bat first by Zimbabwe, Rahul (51 off 35 balls) scored his second straight half-century in the tournament.
While skipper Rohit Sharma (15) fell for a low score again, the in-form Virat Kohli (16) walked into a deafening roar from the packed stadium and got off to a fine start.
But the Indian batting superstar was dismissed against the run of play in the 13th over.
Rishabh Pant (3), who replaced Dinesh Karthik in the team, and Hardik Pandya (18) were also dismissed while going for big shots.
Suryakumar (61 not out off 25 balls) came to India’s rescue with another fantastic performance.
The Mumbai Indians talisman hit four sixes and six fours to give the Indian bowlers a big total to defend against the already-eliminated Zimbabwe.
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