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T20 WC 2022, Gr 2, IND v ZIM: India smother Zimbabwe; will meet England in Adelaide SF on Nov 10

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Super 12, Group 2, India vs Zimbabwe: Suryakumar Yadav's 61, KL Rahul's 51 and Mohammed Shami-Ravichandran Ashwin's combines 5-37 are top performances as India beat Zimbabwe. India top Group 2 and set to play semi-final against England.

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Super 12, Group 2, India vs Zimbabwe_ Suryakumar Yadav scored 61 off 25 against Zimbabwe; India beat Zimbabwe _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©ICC_Getty Images)
SKY scored 61 off just 25 against Zimbabwe (Photo: ©ICC/Getty Images)

Brief Scores: Zimbabwe 115 (Burl 35, Raza 34, Ashwin 3/22) lost to India 186/5 (Surya 61*, Rahul 51, Williams 2/9) by 71 runs

Player of the Match: Suryakumar Yadav (61* from 25)

India who had already booked a place in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022, took on a spirited Zimbabwe team at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in the final Super 12 game of the tournament.

Though this game was played at a jam-packed MCG, it was more or less inconsequential as the semi-finalists had already been finalised. The only point of interest for the observers of the game was that an Indian win here would put them in pole position in Group 2. something they comfortably did in the end by a whopping margin of 71 runs.

Rohit fails to score big while Hardik not finding his mojo with the bat

The major talking point of the game has to be the form of India’s star players – skipper Rohit Sharma and all-rounder Hardik Pandya. While Rohit Sharma scored only one half-century against the Netherlands this tournament, Hardik has largely struggled with the bat (except his 37-ball 40 against Pakistan). India will need both of their senior players to step up with the bat in the knockout stage.

Also, a major worry going into the semi-finals is the form of left-arm spinner Axar Patel. His useful batting apart from his bowling capabilities lends a major balance to the team without any doubt, but his returns with the ball have been sparse. He also struggled in this game against Zimbabwe going for plenty for runs.

India get par score after which bowlers skittle out Zimbabwe

India skipper Rohit Sharma won the toss and opted to bat first. They got off to a decent start with KL Rahul showing signs of getting back to his usual T20 form. Rishabh Pant got his first game of this World Cup replacing Dinesh Karthik and this was the only change in India’s side. Zimbabwe brought in left-arm spinner Wellington Masakadza and Tony Munyonga for the side’s final game of the tournament.

After starting sedately in the first few balls, Rohit Sharma fell to Blessing Muzarabani for 15 in an attempt to increase the scoring rate. Then the in-form Virat Kohli joined Rahul and the duo found batting easier once they got settled.

However, Zimbabwe’s spinners bowled tight lines in the middle overs, pegging the scoring rate and at the halfway mark, India reached 79 for the loss of a wicket. This cut in run-flow led to a heap of wickets falling as Sean Williams accounted for a struggling Kohli (26 from 25) and Rishabh Pant (3) while star all-rounder Sikander Raza removed half-centurion KL Rahul for 51.

Read More: T20 WC 2022, Gr 2, IND v BAN: India prevail in close game; Gr 2 still has at least 4 SF contenders

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Super 12, Group 2, India vs Zimbabwe_ Sikandar Raza, Ryan Burl added 60 runs off 35 balls for 6th wicket | Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©AFP_Getty Images)
Raza, Burl added 60 runs off 35 balls for 6th wicket (Photo: ©AFP/Getty Images)

Suddenly, India’s score read 101/4 in the 14th over, thanks to a tidy spell by veteran Williams who took 2/9 from his two overs. But Suryakumar Yadav who is in sensational form stepped up and along with Hardik Pandya (18) he smashed the Zimbabwe bowlers to all parts of the ground. The duo shared a 65-run partnership in just 35 balls and the took the total to a mighty 186/5.

Zimbabwe, chasing a daunting target of 186 to automatically qualify for the next edition of T20 World Cup, lost 3 wickets in the powerplay (28/3). Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled a wicket maiden to start with and Wessly Madhevere departed on the very next ball to the former. Keeper Regis Chakabva was the next to go for a duck when Arshdeep Singh castled him, while senior player Sean Williams departed on the final ball of the powerplay with Mohammed Shami taking his wicket.

The phase after powerplay followed the same trend as far as the Zimbabwe innings was concerned. They lost their skipper Craig Ervine and Tony Munyonga in quick succession. Reeling at 36/5, Zimbabwe did stage a mini comeback of sorts with the 6th wicket partnership between Ryan Burl (35) and Sikandar Raza (34) adding 60 runs from just 35 balls.

Let’s scan the top three performances from the game between India and Zimbabwe in ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022.

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Super 12, Group 2, India vs Zimbabwe_ Suryakumar Yadav's 61 off 25 helps India beat Zimbabwe; India to face England in semis _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©Getty Images)
Surya's 61 off 25 helps India beat Zimbabwe (Photo: ©Getty Images)

Suryakumar Yadav produces a masterclass of T20 batting at the MCG with a 25-ball 61*

Suryakumar Yadav once again showed why he is a beast of a batter in T20s. The new number 1 ranked T20I batter in ICC rankings played yet another blinder of a knock in this World Cup following up on his exploits against South Africa a few days earlier, when the rest of the batters struggled hard.

India were in a spot of bother losing a heap of wickets in the middle overs and needed someone to stay till the end and take the team to a respectable total. In came SKY and he was in his elements right from the word go. Despite the fall of wickets from the other end, the right-hander was always positive through his stay at the crease. He hit 4 sixes and 6 boundaries in his 360-degree style and brought up his 3rd T20 World Cup 2022 half-century in just 23 balls; this was also the 4th fastest fifty for India in T20 WCs. Surya remained unbeaten on 61 and took India’s score to 186/5.

Read More: T20 World Cup 2022, Gr 2, IND v NED: SKY’s 51*, Kohli’s 62* drive India to 2nd win & top of Group 2

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Super 12, Group 2, India vs Zimbabwe_ KL Rahul scored 51 off 35 against Zimbabwe at Melbourne; India beat Zimbabwe _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©ICC via Getty Images)
Rahul scored consecutive fifties in T20 World Cup 2022 (Photo: ©ICC via Getty Images)

KL Rahul set India a solid platform with a 35-ball 51

The Indian opener has been facing rough weather regarding his returns in the first three games for India in the world cup. KL Rahul got his old touch back in the last game against Bangladesh where he made 50. He continued his form in this game as well, scoring his 2nd consecutive 50+ score and this would give him and the team some confidence ahead of the semi-finals.

Rahul’s 51 helped India maintain a solid run-rate in the first half of the innings, and allowed a flamboyant Surya to take the total beyond Zimbabwe’s reach.

Read More: T20 WC 2022, Gr 2, NED v ZIM: Van Meekeren's 3-29, O'Dowd's 52 push Zimbabwe to brink of elimination

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Super 12, Group 2, India vs Zimbabwe_ Mohammed Shami took 2-14 against Zimbabwe; India beat Zimbabwe _  Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©AFP_Getty Images)
Mohammed Shami took 2-14 against Zimbabwe (Photo: ©AFP/Getty Images)

Mohammed Shami and Ravichandran Ashwin get amongst wickets before the semi-final

Mohammed Shami had a decent World Cup thus far for someone who is playing the format after a considerable gap. India started off their total defence in some style with opening pacers picking 2 wickets for not many on the board. Shami played his part, removing the dangerous Sean Williams on the final ball of the 6th over, before trapping Munyonga bang in front of the stumps for 5, eventually ending with figures of 2/14.

Senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has been useful with the ball on two occasions, but his bowling was a concern for the team before this contest. He started badly giving few boundaries against Ryan Burl in his opening overs, before removing the latter for 35. Ashwin then got two more wickets, as he registered his best T20 World Cup 2022 figures of 3/22.