MELBOURNE: Alex Hales and captain Jos Buttler shone in an unbroken opening partnership as a ruthless England humiliated India by 10 wickets at Adelaide Oval on Thursday to storm into the T20 World Cup final.
England, who won the 50-over World Cup on home soil in 2019, can now become the first team to hold both global trophies in white-ball cricket when they meet Pakistan in Sunday’s final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
They have rehabilitated opener Hales and skipper Buttler to thank as the pair chased down 169 for victory with four overs to spare, leaving a huge crowd of India supporters stunned.
Hales finished on 86 not out, and Buttler, who was unbeaten on 80, completed the statement win in style, blasting paceman Mohammed Shami over his head for six.
In the first innings, Hardik Pandya smashed 63 off 33 balls to power India to a competitive 168-6 against England in the second semi-final.
Virat Kohli made 50, his fourth half-century of the tournament, and put on key partnerships including a 61-run fourth-wicket stand with Pandya, who tore into the opposition attack in the final overs.
England bowlers were disciplined with Chris Jordan picking three wickets but Pandya broke loose with a flurry of boundaries and smashed left-arm quick Sam Curran for 20 runs in the 19th over.
England, who had two forced changes after Dawid Malan and Mark Wood missed out due to injuries, invited India to bat and KL Rahul began with a cracking boundary off Ben Stokes.
Seamer Chris Woakes had Rahul caught behind off a rising delivery for five.
Skipper Rohit Sharma hit four boundaries after a scratchy start as he and Kohli attempted to rebuild but Jordan, in the side for Wood, broke through in his first over.
Jordan ended a 43-run partnership when Sharma mistimed to wide long-on with the score on 57 and India reached the halfway point at 62-2 off 10 overs.
Suryakumar Yadav smashed a six and four off Stokes but soon fell to Adil Rashid’s leg-spin for 14.
Kohli passed 4,000 T20 international runs with a boundary off Liam Livingstone that took India’s total to 100-3 after 15 overs.
Kohli, who leads the tournament batting chart with 296 runs, reached 50 off 39 balls but fell next delivery to a sharp catch at short third man by Rashid off Jordan.
Pandya smashed four fours and five sixes before treading on his stumps to be out-hit wicket off Jordan’s final ball of the innings.
PM Shehbaz tweets on English win
As England reached the final of T20 World Cup, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Thursday posted an interesting tweet, liking the upcoming Sunday’s match with other finalist Pakistan as the one to be played between the teams with a history of beating India by 10 wickets.
“So, this Sunday, it’s: 152/0 vs 170/0,” he tweeted in brief with reference to the scores of Pakistan and England in T20 World Cups of 2021 and 2022, respectively.
So, this Sunday, it’s:
152/0 vs 170/0
🇵🇰 🇬🇧 #T20WorldCup
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) November 10, 2022
The prime minister took a symbolic dig on India as England beat the blue shirts by 10 wickets at Adelaide, Australia in T20 semi final on Thursday.
Pakistan on October 24, 2021 had beat India by 10 wickets in T20 World Cup in Dubai.