World T20: India beat Aussies by 6 wickets to Kohli-fy for semis


Every time India have stumbled into trouble this season, they have looked up to one man — Virat Kohli. On Sunday night, his magnificent form and sheer determination once again carried India past some doubts and plenty of pressure as the hosts beat Australia to seal their World Twenty20 semi-final berth.

India’s master of chases had wrapped up the emotional victory over Pakistan at the Eden Gardens, but played an even bigger innings, his unbeaten 82 off 51 balls forcing the Aussies into submission at the Punjab Cricket Association stadium. India will face West Indies in the semi-final in Mumbai on March 31 while New Zealand play England the previous day in Delhi.

In Kohli and skipper Dhoni, India have two consistent match winners and when push came to shove and the hosts needed to win the virtual quarterfinal, the duo once again guided the team home. Australia had scored a solid 160 for six after electing to bat first and the final flurry of shots from Kohli saw India race to 161 for four in 19.1 overs.

Such has been the nature of wickets on which India have played so far that this was the first time in this event that India were chasing in excess of 150.

Openers Rohit Sharma (12) and Shikhar Dhawan (13) again perished after getting starts while Suresh Raina (10) also succumbed to his old frailty — fending a short ball. Tottering at 49 for 3, it looked an uphill task for India.

They were in further trouble when Yuvraj Singh twisted his ankle, and despite being in pain he stuck around long enough hobbling on one leg to raise 45 for the fourth wicket along with Kohli.

As Dhoni walked in at the fall of Yuvi, the equation stood at 67 off the last six overs. It was Kohli who took over the responsibility of scoring runs quickly. Soon after reaching his second fifty of the event in 39 balls, he opened up and targeted James Faulkner. Faulkner was hammered for 19 off the 18th over.

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