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Player of the Match
Player of the Match

West Indies power-hit their way to World T20 final

West Indies 196 for 3 (Simmons 82*, Charles 52) beat India 192 for 2 (Kohli 89*, Rohit 43) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

A man who was caught off a no-ball twice beat a man who should have been run-out twice off a single free-hit. That was how comical - and spectacular - this World T20 semi-final was. And the ultimate gag was that Virat Kohli's 89 not out off 47 balls was nothing short of a batting clinic, but Lendl Simmons 82 not out off 51 balls led a West Indian demolition job that left India's chances of winning another title at home in the rubble.

A target of 193 would not have frightened Darren Sammy. He had been talking up Chris Gayle all through the World T20, but seven balls into the chase, he might have felt nervous. His kingpin was clean bowled by Jasprit Bumrah and Marlon Samuels, who won this very trophy with one of the finest displays of T20 batsmanship, went away without a peep. West Indies were 19 for 2, already the required rate had hit double-digits and the men they had in the middle were Johnson Charles, who accumulates dot balls like his partner Simmons, who had arrived in India only two days ago, had accumulated air miles.

Two of the most unheralded batsmen in this power-packed line-up hit one boundary an over from the second until the 14th - which Kohli himself bowled and got rid of Charles with a juicy long-hop. That over, bowled by a part-timer, was the least expensive of the chase, stamping this game as laugh-out-loud madness. And through it all West Indies "just believed," as Sammy said after the game. Even when they needed 109 runs off only 60 balls.

India were wavering. Not least because they seemed completely incapable of getting Simmons out. R Ashwin had him caught at short third man in the seventh over, but had also overstepped. In the 15th, Hardik Pandya had him caught at extra cover but his front foot had strayed as well. The ensuing free-hit was smashed over the midwicket boundary and West Indies went into the final five overs needing only 55 to win.

Now the mathletes would work out that is still an asking rate of 10 an over, but the West Indian batsmen are uber jocks. Their mis-hits go for boundaries, and some of Andre Russell's indeed did. So when he did hit them off the middle, the bowlers had no chance. It was an innings - and a setting - that suited him to a T, much like his Mr T hairstyle. Russell's first six came off the fourth ball he faced - and when the ball was soaring into the night sky, it seemed like it would clear the entire stadium - and his final one sealed the match with two balls to spare.

India did have a chance though, even amid the carnage. The 18th over began with Bumrah bowling three superb slower balls to earn a hat-trick of dots. West Indies now needed 32 off 14 and Simmons knew he had to make up the difference. The next ball was length and it was launched over the leg side. Ravindra Jadeja tracked it from deep midwicket, and it appeared he had pulled off a blinder on the edge of the wide long-on boundary. Only he was too close to the rope. Although he had tossed the ball to - who else - Kohli in a desperate attempt at a relay catch, the tip of Jadeja's boot had touched the advertising skirting when he first made contact with the ball. Sammy likened his team to David in the pre-match press conference, but their success tonight was right from Goliath's playbook.

There were a few questions to answer for India - mostly about those no-balls, and how the rest of the batsmen had not contributed enough, and also about how Ashwin bowled only two overs in each of the two knockout matches. But eventually, it was logical that the most powerful batting line-up won on a featherbed of a track, with dew also coming into play. Kohli, though, had been defying every kind of logic on a cricket field - the law of averages and strike-rates to name two. The 82 not out against Australia to get to the semi-final was a masterclass. The 89 not out at Wankhede was transcendent, partly because when he came in, he looked incredibly suspect.

Quite apart from how he plays proper cricketing shots and still thrives in the hit-and-giggle format, even the mistakes he makes are barely believable. He could have been run-out off a free-hit delivery.

Simply sample this: he was not out for a second knockout match in a row - that means he averaged 136.50 in the World T20. He hit only one six, and yet his strike rate was 189.36. Kohli came to the Wankhede with more runs than the rest of the Indian top-five combined, and he finished so too.

India play Twenty20 cricket like they play the other formats too. They aren't hell-bent on boundaries and it was apparent tonight - they got 92 runs through fours and sixes and 96 of them simply by running between the wickets. No one exhibits that style of play better than Kohli. He and Ajinkya Rahane - who came in for Shikhar Dhawan - ran more twos than they played dot balls during their second-wicket partnership of 66 runs. It had only five fours, and only one came of Rahane's bat.

Kohli dominated the next partnership too - with MS Dhoni - and not through brutal hitting. He placed the wide yorkers past point. The whiplash his wrists can generate took length balls from outside off and put them in the square-leg boundary. Before doing so once in the 14th over, Kohli was whispering to himself, "come on, come on, come on." The same words he had yelled after securing his first four - off an outside edge to deep third man. Kohli was clearly switched on, and went into hyper drive in the slog overs. He struck 45 off 16 balls. Among them was a picture perfect cover drive that he struck after coming down the track and when it beat Russell running to his left from long-off, he indulged in a smirk. That was essentially Kohli in a shot. Playing proper cricket shots and picking the gap to maximise their effect.

But West Indies simply outgunned him in the end and were now only one step away from their "mission" to be world champions once again.

  • Simmons' four innings silence the Mumbai madness

    At one stage you could barely hear yourself think, and then you could barely hear anything as Johnson Charles, Lendl Simmons and Andre Russell crashed the party

  • Big-hitting overpowers Kohli's scampering

    Regardless of how wet the ball became, India's self-inflicted errors were crucial as they could not halt West Indies' power-packed line-up

  • West Indies power-hit their way to World T20 final

    A total of 192 was about par on a batting-friendly Wankhede, and it was set up by a Virat Kohli masterclass. But West Indies' power hitters bulldozed their way through it to their second World T2

  • Yuvraj's injury leaves India with Pandey v Negi dilemma

    Yuvraj Singh's injury will force India into changing their combination for the first time in the World T20. They will have to make a choice between batsman Manish Pandey and left-arm spinning all

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Big chase

193

Target successfully chased by WI in this match is the highest successfull-chase n knockouts of World T20. Aus had chased 192 vs Pak in semi-finals of WT20 2010.

Experience in India

3

Consecutive half-centuries for Lendl Simmons in T20s in India. He hit 65 and 68 in the 1st qualifying final and final of IPL 2015 and a half-century in this match.

Most prolific

16

No. of scores of 50 or more for Kohli in T20Is - most by any batsman. He went past Gayle and McCullum who each had 15 such scores.

Top-three in flow

3

No. of times a team's top-3 all scored 40 or more in a T20I, including this match. Previous 2 instances: NZ v Eng, Hamilton 2013 and Ind v Aus, MCG, 2016

Different challenge today

35.22

Kohli's average when batting first in T20Is, before this match. He averages 91.80 when chasing though.

Best start

55

Runs scored by India in the Powerplays today, which is their best in this WT20. Also the first time they played out the Powerplay overs without losing any wicket.

Rohit at Wankhede

37.67

Rohit Sharma's average in T20s at Wankhede, before this match. He has scored 1168 runs in 39 innings at SR of 135.97.

World T20

Super 10 Group 1
TEAMMWLPTNRR
WI43160.359
ENG43160.145
SA42240.651
SL4132-0.461
AFG4132-0.715
Super 10 Group 2
TEAMMWLPTNRR
NZ44081.9
INDIA4316-0.305
AUS42240.233
PAK4132-0.093
BDESH4040-1.805
First Round Group A
TEAMMWLPTNRR
BDESH32051.938
NL31130.154
OMAN3113-1.521
IRE3021-0.685
First Round Group B
TEAMMWLPTNRR
AFG33061.54
ZIM3214-0.567
SCOT3122-0.132
HKG3030-1.017