Windies crush India by seven wickets to reach final

WEB DESK: Lendl Simmons crushed India with his bat on Thursday at the Wankhede Stadium to lead West Indies to World Cup Twenty20 2016 final, despite Virat Kohli’s unbeaten 89 runs.

West Indies chased down India’s score of 192-2 with two balls to spare to set up a final with England at Eden Gardens on Sunday. Virat Kohli’s rich vein of form could not save India from seven-wicket defeat.

Lendl Simmons awarded Man of the Match. While receiving the award, he said: “I slept the whole flight, I had got a call after the Afghanistan game and they asked if I was fit to play, I said yeah … I played for Mumbai, I enjoy this pitch. I think it was one of my better innings … I got the opportunity to prove myself to my fans … Playing on this pitch I know 180-190 was a par score … the guys said they were ten runs short, I believed that … I got three chances, two no-balls and a six went my way and I cashed in.”

Earlier, West Indies captain Darren Sammy won the toss and opted to field, having in mind the dew factor that could make it difficult for the bowlers to grip the ball later.

Sammy’s attack began strongly, allowing the hosts just two runs in the first couple of overs, but India then took control in front of a stadium filled to the brim with fans wearing the team’s blue jersey.

India, the inaugural champions in 2007, dropped under-performing opener Shikhar Dhawan and the move paid off as Rohit Sharma (43) and Ajinkya Rahane (40) put on 62 for the first wicket.

That laid the perfect foundations for Kohli, who led his side into the last four with 82 not out against Australia in the previous match, as he compiled his third unbeaten half-century of the tournament.

Kohli began nervously, twice going close to being run out, but made the opposition pay for failing to take their chances.

He struck 11 fours and a six in his 47-ball knock, putting on 66 for the second wicket with Rahane and an unbroken 64 for the third with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (15 not out).

West Indies will meet England in Sunday’s final at Eden Garden.