12/04/2022
India vs Zimbabwe, Match Report: India assured of a Group 2 top finish after sailing past their African opponents at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The only interest in the match was about an Indian win and the placement in the Group 2. After their 71-run win over their African rivals, India finished their Super 12 engagements with 8 points and right on top of the group.

Now, India will travel to Adelaide and will face England in the second semifinal on November 10. While Pakistan will face New Zealand in the first semifinal on November 9 at Sydney.

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The foundation for India’s smooth win was laid by Suryakumar Yadav and KL Rahul and then the bowlers followed it up with a tidy show as India moved into last four with consummate ease.

Earlier, 50s from KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav powered India to a competitive 186/5 in 20 overs Rahul (51) and Virat Kohli (26) put a 60-run stand for second wicket, but Sean Williams (2/9) squeezed some momentum out of their innings.

However, Suryakumar Yadav (61 not out) made sure things finished well for Men in Blue.

Opting to bat first, India was off to a shaky start. Skipper Rohit Sharma’s poor run in the tournament continued as he was dismissed by pacer Blessing Muzarabani for 15 off 13 balls.

India was 27/1 in 3.5 overs. Star batter Virat was next up on the crease and he made his attacking intentions clear by whipping a half-volley to backward square leg for four on his first ball.

At the end of power play, India was 46/1, with Virat (10) and Rahul (20) at the crease. India crossed the 50-run mark in 6.2 overs.

Rahul switched his gears, smashing Ryan Burl for a four and six in the eighth over that gave away 14 runs. Halfway into the innings, India was at 79/1, with Rahul (41) supported well by Kohli (22).

The duo brought up their 50-run stand at the just 35 balls. Virat struggled a bit in finding gaps as Zimbabwe’s fielders were doing great. Sean Williams dismissed him for a decent 26 off 25 balls, leaving India at 87/2 in 11.5 overs.

Rahul continued his fine game, bringing up his half-century with a straight six, but Raza had the last laugh as he dismissed Rahul for 51 off 35 balls while he was going for a similar hit.

India was 95/3 in 12.2 overs. India touched the 100-run mark in 13.2 overs. Rishabh Pant was dismissed cheaply after Ryan Burl took a fantastic diving catch at wide long-on, giving Williams his second wicket.

India was 101/4 in 13.3 overs. Hardik Pandya was the next batter to come on the crease. At the end of 15 overs, India was at 107/4, with Pandya (3) and Suryakumar (5) at the crease.

Zimbabwe had made a comeback in the game, having conceded only 28 runs in 5 overs and having taken three wickets.

The 16th over relieved India of some pressure as 18 runs came in it, thanks to two fours each from Suryakumar and Pandya. The next over also gave away 12 runs, giving Men in Blue 30 runs in space of 12 balls.

The duo brought up their 50-run stand in 26 balls. Richard Ngarava got his first wicket, dismissing Pandya for 18 off 27 balls and ending the 65 run-stand between the duo.

Suryakumar continued to dominate, bringing up his 12th fifty in the format in just 23 balls. India finished their innings at 186 for 5.