India will play England in the T20 World Cup semi-finals after thrashing Zimbabwe by 71 runs in Melbourne to win Group 2.
Rohit Sharma’s side were already certain of a place in the last four after South Africa’s surprising 13-run defeat to the Netherlands at Adelaide Oval in Sunday’s first fixture.
India’s subsequent thumping win over Zimbabwe, in which they posted 186-5 before skitting their opponents for 115 in 17.2 overs, ensured they finished top of their pool, two points ahead of Pakistan, who beat Bangladesh to take the second semi-final spot in Group 2 following South Africa’s slip up.
India will now play Group 1 runners-up England in Adelaide on Thursday (8am UK time) with Pakistan meeting Group 1 winners New Zealand in Sydney on Wednesday (8am UK time).
KL Rahul (51 off 35) and Suryakumar Yadav (61no off 25) starred with the bat for India, before Ravichandran Ashwin (3-22), Hardik Pandya (2-16) and Mohammed Shami (2-14) picked up a combined seven wickets.
Rahul clinched a 34-ball fifty with a six in the 13th over, while Suryakumar completed a 23-ball half-century in the 20th as India plundered 79 runs from their final five overs.
Suryakumar, who was supported by Hardik Pandya (18 off 18), struck two fours off Blessing Muzarabani in the 16th and a six and a four off both Richard Ngarava in the 17th and Tendai Chatara in the 18th.
The top-ranked T20I batter in the world then nailed three spectacular leg-side boundaries off Ngarava in a 21-run final over, including two jaw-dropping sixes, as he notched his third fifty of the tournament.
Virat Kohli was unable to score his fourth, out to the impressive Sean Williams (2-9) for 26, but then made an immediate impact in the field with a diving catch at cover to remove Wesley Madhevere (0) off Bhuvneshwar Kumar from the first ball of Zimbabwe’s chase.
Zimbabwe lost their second wicket in the second over when Arshdeep Singh cleaned up Regis Chakabva (2) and were 36-5 in the eighth over before Sikandar Raza (34 off 24) and Ryan Burl (35 off 22) shared a stand of 60 from 35 balls for the sixth wicket.
Burl’s efforts with the bat followed a brilliant catch in the field, as he took a leaping grab on the wide long-on boundary to dismiss Rishabh Pant (3) in the India batter’s first appearance of the competition.
When Burl was bowled by Ashwin, Zimbabwe went on to lose their last five wickets for 19 runs.
Watch the T20 World Cup semi-finals live on Sky Sports Cricket on Wednesday and Thursday.