India vs West Indies in the World T20 semi-finals at Wankhede stadium in the city of lights and what more could you ask for! The crowd did witness a thrilling game and it was West Indies who won the night by defeating India and entering the WT20 finals.
Wankhede stadium is known for big scores hence, it was very important for both the sides to win the toss and bowl first. West Indies won the toss and as decided to bowl straightaway. It was now important for India to build the innings well and end with a good score. With injured Yuvraj Singh, Manish Pandey was given a chance in the side and with Dhawan constantly failing to score throughout the tournament, Rahane was given the responsibility to open the bat with Rohit Shrama. Rohit and Rahane did give India a good start taking the score to 55 at the end of 6 overs. India was 66-1 and in came the sensational Virat Kohli. Kohli had a rocky start but he soon got settled and in no time smashed 50 of 33 deliveries and India was 150-2 at the end of 17 overs. The last 3 overs were expensive for WI as they gave 42 runs and settling for a target of 193 for themselves. A good start, beautiful innings by Virat Kohli and brilliant running between the wickets helped India to reach 190; but with WI, on the other hand, you cannot predict what enough is.
It was important for India to grab the wicket of the danger man Gayle and to some extent, Samuels early in the innings and the blues did just what the doctor ordered. West Indies were 19-2 at the end of 3 overs with Gayle and Samuels back in the pavilion. WI had to now keep calm and try to build a strong innings first. Fletcher was injured and thus, Simmons was called from the Caribbean to replace him. Simmons and Charles undoubtedly believed in themselves and smashed some beautiful shots around the ground. The duo played so well that they took WI to 116-2 at the end of 12 overs. Dew being an important factor today did not help Dhoni’s spin duo Ashwin and Jadeja and the 8 overs between the two grabbed nothing but runs. The game was gradually shifting towards West Indies side and 1 billion Indian fans were silenced. The next 8 overs witnessed just one wicket and WI sealed their spot in the finals scoring a boundary with 2 balls still left in the innings.
Looking back at the WI innings, then one has to agree that Lendl Simmons, who smashed 82 of just 51 deliveries, was the luckiest man today. Three times! And make no mistake 3 times, Lendl Simmons was asked to walk back and smash some more. 2 times he was dismissed by a front foot no ball and the third was a catch at the boundary line which was eventually declared six as the fielder had touched the ropes. It was West Indies to whom fortune smiled, but the players too believed in themselves. They kept their nerves, were always filled with confidence and with this who can keep the mighty West Indies side away from reaching the finals!
It is a big day for West Indies cricket as the men’s and the women’s side both sealed a place in the WT20 finals. WI women will face Aussies and the mighty men’s WI side will face England in the final at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
May the best team win!
(Image source= Cricbuzz.com)