T20 World Cup Road to Semis (Group 2): How India and Pakistan booked their places in the knockout stages | Cricket News


NEW DELHI: The group matches of the Super 12 stage ended on Sunday, with India clinching the top spot in Group 2 after a win over Zimbabwe in the final league match in Melbourne. India and their arch-enemy Pakistan have advanced to the next stage of the ongoing T20 World Cup of the group in contrasting fashions in Australia.
India, the only team to have four wins in the league stage in both groups, started with two straight wins, while Pakistan had the exact opposite, suffering two defeats in their first two matches. India were already assured of the semi-finals before their last league match, and the last league match was a virtual quarter-final for Pakistan.
India needed a win in the last match to secure the top spot in the group, while Pakistan needed many other results to go in their favor to reach where they are now. As India await their semi-finals against England in Adelaide on Thursday, and Pakistan’s against New Zealand in Sydney on Wednesday, let’s trace the journey the two teams took to progress to the knockout stages.
India’s road to semis

(ANI photo)
Match 1: October 23 — Pakistan vs India at Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
A ‘breaker’ contest opened India’s campaign in Australia as they recorded a thrilling 4-wicket win over arch-rivals Pakistan. India invited Pakistan to bat first and the latter posted a competitive 159/8 in 20 overs on half-centuries from Shan Masood (52* off 42) and Iftikhar Ahmed (51 off 34). India were then reduced to 31/4 in 6.1 overs after excellent bowling from Haris Rauf (2/36) and Naseem Shah (1/23), before Virat Kohli (82* off 53) played an innings to remember. Kohli along with Hardik Pandya (40 off 37) took India home in a last-ball thriller.
Result: India (160/6) beat Pakistan (159/8) by 4 wickets | INDIA – 2 points
Match 2: October 27 — India v Netherlands at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
After a thrilling win against Pakistan, India registered an impressive 56-run win over the Netherlands to make it two from two in the tournament. Opting to bat first, India posted a challenging 179/2 with captain Rohit Sharma (53 off 39), Virat Kohli (62* off 44) and Suryakumar Yadav (51* off 25) putting on a fifty in Sydney hit Netherlands were never in the chase from the start, losing wickets at regular intervals and managing to score 123/9 in their allotted 20 overs. The big win gave India not only two points but a boost to their Net Run Rate (NRR).
Result: India (179/2) beat Netherlands (123/9) by 56 runs | INDIA – 4 points
Match 3: October 30 — India vs South Africa at Perth Stadium, Perth
India’s batting might get a reality check against a potent South African attack on a nimble Perth pitch in their third group game. India elected to bat again but this time Lungi Ngidi (4/29) and Wayne Parnell (3/15) wreaked havoc. It was Suryakumar Yadav’s gallant 68 off 40 balls that took them to a paltry 133/9 in 20 overs. But it was not enough in the end as South Africa chased down the target with 5 wickets in hand and two balls to spare. David Miller (59* from 46) and Aiden Markram (52 ​​​​from 41) scored match-winning fifties for the Proteas.
Result: South Africa (137/5) beat India (133/9) by 5 wickets | INDIA – 4 points
Match 4: Nov 2 – India vs Bangladesh at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
After the loss to South Africa, India needed a win against Bangladesh to increase their chances in the semi-finals and they achieved it with a little help from the rain. Invited to bat first, India posted a challenging 184/6 with Virat Kohli (64* off 44) and KL Rahul (50* off 32) hitting quickfire fifties. Litton Das (60 off 27) then gave India a big shock before rain interrupted the match in Adelaide. The chase was reduced to 151 in 16 overs, and Bangladesh fell short by 5 runs (DLS) in the end, giving India all two points.
Result: India beat Bangladesh by 5 runs (DLS) | INDIA – 6 points
Match 5: Nov 6 — India v Zimbabwe at Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
India were already assured of a semi-final when they took the field against Zimbabwe in their last group match in Melbourne. But the standings were yet to be decided as Pakistan jumped to the top of the table with a win against Bangladesh. In the end, it turned out to be a comfortable 71-run win for India as they topped the group by 8 points and set up a semi-final date with England. Batting first, Suryakumar Yadav (61* off 25) and KL Rahul (51 off 35) powered India to 186/5, before bowling out Zimbabwe for 115 in 17.2 overs.
Result: India (186/5) beat Zimbabwe (115) by 71 runs | INDIA – 8 points

Pakistan’s road to semis


(AFP photo)
Match 1: October 23 — Pakistan vs India at Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
Pakistan made an emotional start to their campaign after losing to arch-rivals India in a thrilling encounter in Melbourne. Sent in to bat, Pakistan set a competitive target of 160 runs for India with the help of half-centuries from Shad Masood (52* off 42) and Iftikhar Ahmed (51 off 34). They looked in control as India stumbled at 31/4 in the 7th over, before Virat Kohli (82* off 53) and Hardik Pandya (40 off 37) put on a match-winning 113 runs for the fifth wicket. Pakistan lost the last ball thriller by 4 wickets.
Result: India (160/6) beat Pakistan (159/8) by 4 wickets | PAKISTAN – 0 points
Match 2: October 27 — Zimbabwe v Pakistan at Perth Stadium, Perth
A day after Ireland stunned England, Pakistan suffered a major upset in the Super 12 stage when they lost by 1 run to Zimbabwe in Perth. Pakistan was in all kinds of trouble after two consecutive defeats. Zimbabwe elected to bat but were restricted to 130/8 with Mohammad Wasin Jr. who took 4 for 24 for Pakistan. The chase was never in control for Pakistan as they lost wickets at regular intervals and eventually fell short by just 1 run, scoring 129/8 in 20 overs. Sikandar Raza (3/25) and Brad Evans (2/25) shone for Zimbabwe with the balls.
Result: Zimbabwe (130/8) beat Zimbabwe (129/8) by 1 run | PAKISTAN – 0 points
Match 3: October 30 — Netherlands vs Pakistan at Perth Stadium, Perth
Pakistan got their campaign back on track with a comprehensive six-wicket win against the Netherlands. The win opened Pakistan’s account in the Group 2 standings. Netherlands opted to bat on a fast Perth pitch and were restricted to a lowly 91/9 in 20 overs. Mohammad Rizwan (49 off 39) top scored for Pakistan as they chased down the target in just 13.5 overs with six wickets behind. The big win also boosted their NRR.
Result: Pakistan (95/4) beat Netherlands (91/9) by 6 wickets | PAKISTAN – 2 points
Match 4: Nov 3 — Pakistan vs South Africa at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
In another do-or-death match, Pakistan got the better of South Africa to keep their slim hopes alive in the tournament. After electing to bat first, Shadab Khan (52 off 22) and Iftikhar Ahmed (51 off 35) struck a quickfire fifty to take the team to 185/9 in 20 overs. South Africa were 69/4 after 9 overs when rain stopped proceedings in Sydney, and when play resumed the target was revised to 142 in 14 overs, leaving the Proteas to score 73 from 30 balls. Pakistan restricted South Africa to 108/9 in 14 overs to record a 33-run win.
Result: Pakistan beat South Africa by 33 runs (DLS) | PAKISTAN – 4 points.
Match 5: Nov 6 — Bangladesh vs Pakistan at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
On the final day of the league stage, the tournament saw arguably the biggest upset to date as the Netherlands stunned South Africa to keep both Pakistan and Bangladesh alive in the semi-finals. The result also secured a semi-final spot for India, while the match between Bangladesh and Pakistan made it a virtual quarter-final. Batting first, Bangladesh were restricted to 127/8 despite their opener Najmul Shanto (54 off 48) hitting a fifty. Shaheen Afridi took 4 for 22 to lead the Pakistan attack. With the semi-place in line, Pakistan finished the chase with 11 balls to spare and 5 wickets in hand. The win took Pakistan into the last four stages – an unlikely result after their two consecutive defeats in the first two matches.
Result: Pakistan (128/5) beat Bangladesh (127/8) by 5 wickets | PAKISTAN – 6 points


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