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India Secures Semifinal Berth with a 24-Run Win Over Australia in T20 World Cup

Saint Lucia: Team India stormed into the semifinals of the T20 World Cup 2024 with a commanding 24-run victory over Australia in their final Super 8 clash at Saint Lucia on Monday. This victory not only secured India’s top position in Group 1 but also marked their third consecutive win in the Super 8 stage.

Captain Rohit Sharma’s sensational innings of 92, combined with a stellar bowling performance, paved the way for India’s triumph. Australia, chasing a daunting target of 206, fell short, managing 181/7 in their allotted 20 overs.

The chase began poorly for Australia with the loss of David Warner in the very first over. A 77-run partnership between Mitchell Marsh (37) and Travis Head (44) for the second wicket steadied the ship before Kuldeep Yadav broke through in the 9th over. Glenn Maxwell contributed a quick-fire 20 off 12 balls, adding 41 runs with Head for the third wicket before Kuldeep struck again.

Australia’s innings began to crumble as Indian bowlers maintained tight control, consistently taking wickets and stifling the run rate. Kuldeep Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah were particularly effective, ensuring that Australia never gained the upper hand.

Earlier in the match, after winning the toss and electing to field, Australia’s decision initially seemed prudent when Josh Hazlewood dismissed Virat Kohli for a duck in the second over. However, Rohit Sharma launched a fierce counterattack, amassing 51 runs in the powerplay, including an explosive 29-run over off Mitchell Starc.

India finished the power play at 60/1, with Rohit’s half-century coming off just 19 balls, marking the third-fastest fifty by an Indian in T20 World Cup history. Rohit and Rishabh Pant (15) added 87 runs for the second wicket before Marcus Stoinis dismissed Pant with India at 93. Starc then claimed Sharma’s wicket in the 12th over, leaving him just eight runs short of a century.

Following Rohit’s dismissal, contributions from Suryakumar Yadav (31 off 16), Shivam Dube (8 off 22), and an unbeaten Hardik Pandya (27 off 17) helped India reach a formidable total of 205/5. Pandya’s late surge was instrumental in pushing India past the 200-run mark.

Josh Hazlewood was the standout bowler for Australia, finishing with figures of 1/14 from four overs. However, the rest of the Australian attack struggled, with Starc and Stoinis each taking two wickets but conceding runs at an economy rate of over 10.

Australia now faces elimination from the tournament if Afghanistan defeats Bangladesh in the last Super 8 game. India, on the other hand, will face England in the semifinals at the Guyana National Stadium on Thursday, June 27, 2024, at 8:00 pm. The other semifinal will see South Africa taking on either Afghanistan or Australia.

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