England face challenging chase to reach T20 World Cup final

England faced a stiff target of 172 to claim a place in the T20 World Cup final after a finely poised first innings against India in Guyana.

Regular wickets meant the defending champions did not allow their opponents to dominate in this semi-final, despite a crucial stand of 73 between Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav, but a testing surface at the Providence Stadium means chasing 171 for seven promises to be anything but straightforward.

With slow turn and low bounce in play, free-flowing strokeplay is unlikely to be easy as they attempt to book their date with South Africa in Barbados.

The match was twice delayed by rain, with two-and-a-half hours lost to the weather in total, but clear skies in Georgetown suggested the game would reach its conclusion.

Chris Jordan took three for 37, including two in two balls at the death, while spinners Adil Rashid and Liam Livingstone found conditions to their liking during tidy spells.

After sending India in to try and exploit any early assistance from the pitch, Jofra Archer almost delivered the big wicket of Sharma for just five in his first over. But, as the ball skewed up towards point, Phil Salt appeared to lose sight of it as it sailed over him at catchable height.

Reece Topley made up for that missed opportunity at the other end, threading the gap between bat and pad to knock over Virat Kohli’s leg stump for nine as India’s A-lister continued a positively C-list run of form.

Virat Kohli reacts with disappointed as Reece Topley celebrates his wicket
Virat Kohli was bowled by Reece Topley (Ramon Espinosa/AP)

Sharma survived a couple of mis-hits before finding his timing with a couple of sweet strikes off Topley but England picked off another when Rishabh Pant hacked across the line at Sam Curran and picked out short midwicket.

The all-rounder bellowed in celebration as the ball stuck in Jonny Bairstow’s hands, leaving India 46 for two at the end of the powerplay.

The rain returned with India 65 for two off eight overs, Yadav scooping Jordan for six just before the break. India added 106 for five when they resumed for the last 12, a handy score in trying circumstances.

Rohit Sharma is bowled out by Adil Rashid
Rohit Sharma is bowled out by Adil Rashid (Ramon Espinosa/AP)

Livingstone was a surprise package, getting through four overs for 24 and allowing just one six and one four. Rashid conceded only one run more but also snapped up the key scalp of Sharma for 57 off 39 balls, with some treacherous low bounce enough to render his googly unplayable.

India’s key moment came in the 13th over, the returning Curran blasted for 19 as Sharma and Yadav both hammered him over the ropes. With Sharma gone, Yadav was unable to see the innings home – flaying Archer high in the air just a few balls later to exit for 47.

Jordan closed out for England, conceding two sixes and taking two wickets in the 18th as he duelled with Hardik Pandya, and adding Axar Patel with the penultimate ball of the innings.