India thump England to set up T20 World Cup final against Proteas

India thump England to set up T20 World Cup final against Proteas

India eliminated defending T20 world champions England in Guyana on Thursday as they cruised to a 68-run victory in the semi-finals.

Eight months ago England held both white-ball crowns and, while this T20 World Cup has been an improvement on the 50-over debacle that unfolded India last year, they were outclassed by a side who outstripped them on all measures.

On an awkward surface at the Providence Stadium, a low and slow turner that required guile and impeccable judgement, India still found their way to 171 for seven while England stumbled to 103 all out.

Only two of their top six managed double figures as they lacked the tools to take on an outstanding attack that reduced their plans to ruins. While India will head to Barbados for Saturday's final against South Africa, their beaten opponents head for home after a turbulent campaign.

Head coach Matthew Mott and captain Jos Buttler arrived in the Caribbean with their jobs under scrutiny and, although reaching the last four shows progress of sorts, they lost heavily to Australia in the first round, botched a chase against South Africa in the Super 8 and failed to come close to India.

Three of their four wins here came against against associate nations, with a solitary win against the West Indies in the higher-profile contests. And while they were always second favourites against the world's number one side, particularly on a pitch better suited to India's strengths, the gulf between the teams was yawning.

Rohit Sharma starred with 57 in a decisive stand of 73 with Suryakumar Yadav, while spin twins Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav shared six wickets at a cost of just 42.

Yet, for a few fleeting minutes at the start of their chase England gave the illusion of being on sound footing. Buttler took the fight to Arshdeep Singh as he hurried the score to 26 off three overs.

But his flurry was all too brief. The very first ball of spin from Patel proved fatal, stooping into a reverse slog-sweep but getting his timing all wrong. Instead of racing away to the boundary it looped off the toe of the bat and nestled gently in the wicketkeeper's gloves.

It was a hammer blow but one that Phil Salt could not dwell on as he set about the fiendish task of taking down Jasprit Bumrah. Aiming a booming drive at the seamer he hit nothing but fresh air as a smart off-cutter rattled the stumps.

India were enjoying themselves and plunged England further into the mire when Patel saw off Jonny Bairstow for a three-ball duck. Looking to hit with turn that never came he paid for the error with his off stump.

By now the game plan was in the bin. Left-handers Moeen Ali and Sam Curran were both promoted, to three and six respectively, but never laid a glove on the bowlers. Moeen charged Patel but flopped to his knees by the time he was stumped and Curran was frazzled enough to review an lbw decision plumb in front of middle stump.

At 49 for five, it was all but over. Harry Brook made 25 in quick time, extracting some enjoyment from a grim enterprise, but was bowled off the reverse-sweep as the excellent Kuldeep Yadav whirled away.

Jofra Archer hit two sixes but ran out Liam Livingstone with a bad call, with Adil Rashid also caught short of his ground as the wheels came off and the innings subsided in 16.4 deliveries. 

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