Tue, 16 Jul 2024

Australia on brink of exit after defeat by India

Australia’s T20 World Cup hopes are hanging by a thread after Rohit Sharma’s scintillating 92 led India to a 24-run win in St Lucia.

India finish top of Super 8s Group 1 with a perfect record and will face defending champions England in the semi-finals in Guyana on Thursday (15:30 BST).

Australia will go out if Afghanistan beat Bangladesh in the final group game (01:30 BST on Tuesday), with South Africa waiting in a semi-final in Trinidad.

A win would have put Australia on the brink of the last four, but they were overwhelmed by the brilliance of Rohit, who clobbered eight sixes and seven fours in 41 balls for one of the all-time great knocks at a T20 World Cup.

After Australia won the toss, India reached three figures inside nine overs and Rohit was bowled by Mitchell Starc in the 12th with the score at 127-2. Australia actually fought back well to limit India to 205-5.

David Warner, in probably his last international innings, was caught at slip off Arshdeep Singh in the first over of the Australia reply for six, before Travis Head and captain Mitchell Marsh took the attack to India.

Their stand of 81, from eight overs, was ended by Axar Patel's astonishing one-handed catch on the deep square leg boundary to dismiss Marsh for 37.

Head continued, but boundaries dwindled and the required rate climbed. When Head miscued Jasprit Bumrah to Rohit for 76, the game was up.

Australia lurched to 181-7 and are left hoping for a huge favour from Bangladesh in order to avoid going out. (BBC)

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