By Rex Clementine

India cruised to the finals of the ICC T-20 World Cup with a comprehensive 68 run win over England in Guyana and will head to Barbados to meet South Africa in the grand final on Saturday. India have been unbeaten in the competition and played like true champions with their all-round ability proving to be too strong against England.

It was a slow pitch with some balls keeping low and Jos Buttler surprised many by opting to field first. India depended heavily on their spinners with Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav sharing six wickets between them but Buttler’s decision not to bring on Moeen Ali for even a single over was strange.

Virat Kohli fell cheaply once again but Rohit Sharma cashed in making 59 off 37 balls with six fours and two sixes. The Indian captain had assessed the conditions well and took his time to settle in. Suryakumar Yadav made 47 in 36 balls with four fours and two sixes and the 73-run stand between him and Rohit laid the platform for India’s innings.

It was evident that a total of 140 was going to be a match winning one on this track, but India pushed it beyond 170 as the lower middle order produced several big hits.

Jos Buttler had to score big if England were to have any chance in the game and he went about things purposefully hitting 23 off 15 balls. But introduction of spin brought about his downfall as he attempted to reverse sweep Axar Patel and was caught behind.

Axar ran through the top order accounting for Moeen Ali and Jonny Bairstow and then it was Kuldeep Yadav’s turn to ask questions from the middle order and he ended up with three wicket as well.

Kuldeep didn’t feature in India’s plans in their first-round games and has only played from the Super Eight stage and has taken ten wickets in four games.

India’s fielders backed up their bowlers and there were two run outs in England’s innings as India completely dominated proceedings.

The second semi-final, unlike the first semi-final, did not have a reserve day but there was cushion to finish the game with 250 minutes added to playing time in case of rain. The game did not get underway on time due to wet outfield and then rain kept players indoors, but the game went on without being shortened.