T20 World Cup: India move to top of Group 2 table with 56-run win over Netherlands
Sydney, October 27, 2022
India stormed back to the top of the Group 2 points table with a thumping 56-run win over the Netherlands in their Super 12 match of the Men's T20 World Cup at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday.
After captain Rohit Sharma (53), Virat Kohli (62 not out) and Suryakumar Yadav (51 not out) hit half-centuries to propel the side to a challenging 179/2, India produced a top-class bowling performance to restrict the Netherlands to 123/9 in 20 overs.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar led India's tight start in power-play with his two overs yielding no runs and castling Vikramjit Singh in the third over.
Max O'Dowd began with nicely timed square drives off Arshdeep Singh to get a brace of fours and flicked Mohammed Shami through square-leg for his third four.
His promising stay at the crease came to an end when, in an attempt to sweep, he moved across and exposed his stumps, only for Axar Patel to rattle his middle stump with a straight delivery. Patel had another wicket to his name when he made Bas de Leede reach out to an outside the off-stump ball and slice it straight to point.
Ravichandran Ashwin made a double strike in the 13th over -- Colin Ackermann holed out to deep mid-wicket and four balls later, Tom Cooper swept straight to deep square leg in a span of four balls.
Tim Pringle hit a cameo of 20 off 15 balls, dispatching Ashwin over long-on for six and flicking Arshdeep for four. But Shami extracted a leading edge off his flick and was caught by mid-off.
In the next over, Bhuvneshwar added another wicket to his name when captain Scott Edwards miscued a slower ball to mid-off. Arshdeep joined the wicket-takers column when Logan van Beek was late to pull a bouncer and was caught behind.
He ended the 18th over by trapping Fred Klaassen lbw with a fantastic yorker and getting the DRS in his favour. Though Arshdeep was hit by Paul van Meekeren for a hat-trick of fours in the last three balls of the innings, the result was a foregone conclusion by then.
Earlier, with Netherlands putting a lid on the scoring rate, India found it difficult to break free on a two-paced pitch. But Rohit (53 off 39 balls) and Kohli (62 not out off 44 balls) shared a 73-run stand for the second wicket despite being scratchy at the start.
Suryakumar (51 not out off 25 balls) then changed the tempo of the innings with his 360-degree style of batting and had an amazing 95-run stand off 48 deliveries with Kohli for the third wicket to set a stiff 180-target for the Netherlands.
After India elected to bat first, K. L Rahul got off the mark with a breezy drive past mid-off off Fred Klaassen. But in the third over, Rahul missed a flick and was trapped lbw by a late inswinger from Paul van Meekeren though replays later showed the ball would have missed hitting leg-stump.
With the Netherlands getting the ball to swing both ways and it stopping on the batters occasionally, India struggled for fluency and timing. Though Sharma pulled van Meekeren for a six over deep square-leg and nailed a square-cut through off-side for four, he wasn't at his best.
Sharma had slices of luck on his side: his miscued pull off Klaassen in the fifth over was dropped by Tim Pringle at mid-on, and in the next over, his uppish flick off van Meekeren landed just in front of Pringle again at short fine leg.
Post-power play, with Kohli struggling to find boundaries, Sharma cut loose by pulling Logan van Beek for a six over wide long-on. Luck again fell in his favour as he successfully survived an lbw appeal on the very next ball.
From there, Sharma found his groove, uppishly cutting Bas de Leede through backward point for four, followed by a six through top-edge off the pull for successive boundaries in the tenth over.
Sharma then hit Pringle for back-to-back fours through leg-side to get his fifty in 35 balls. But in the next over, he was caught at deep mid-wicket off Klaassen while swiping across the line.
Suryakumar's arrival opened the floodgates for India, as he used the crease well and showed his impeccable wrist work to hit three fours in his first seven balls. He upped the ante against de Leede in the 16th over, striking him for successive fours through the off-side.
Kohli also joined the boundary party by heaving de Leede over short fine leg and then lofted Klaassen over mid-off for four more in the 17th over. He then enthralled the crowd with a superbly timed loft over extra cover for six to bring up his second fifty on the trot in 37 balls.
Suryakumar carved two more delightful boundaries before ending the innings with a beautifully flicked six over deep backward square leg off Logan van Beek to get his fifty in 25 balls and walk off the field unbeaten with Kohli by his side while holding their arms aloft as India got 112 runs off the last ten overs.
Brief scores: India 179/2 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 62 not out, Rohit Sharma 53; Paul van Meekeren 1/32, Fred Klaassen 1/33) beat Netherlands (Tim Pringle 20, Colin Ackermann 17; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2/9, Axar Patel 2/18) by 56 runs