England hampered by rain after taking two early India wickets

England took two early wickets in their T20 World Cup semi-final against India before rain intervened to dampen their enthusiasm in Guyana.

The defending champions had their opponents 65 for two after eight overs at the Providence Stadium, Reece Topley cleaning up Virat Kohli with the new ball and Sam Curran neutralising the dangerous Rishabh Pant.

But England know they must beat the weather as well as the world’s number one side if they are to set a date with South Africa in Barbados on Saturday. Should the match be washed out, India would progress to the final thanks to their superior performance in the previous round.

Reece Topley jumps to celebrates the dismissal of Virat Kohli, who walks off the field
Reece Topley celebrates the dismissal of Virat Kohli (Ramon Espinosa/AP)

With no reserve day built into the schedule, England were desperate for the skies to clear.

The match had already started 75 minutes late due to morning showers but when the covers came off captain Jos Buttler kept up a handy record at the toss, winning for the sixth time in eight games.

After sending India in to try and exploit any early assistance from the pitch Jofra Archer almost delivered the big wicket of Rohit 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.

Topley made up for that missed opportunity at the other end, knocking over Kohli’s leg stump for nine as the A-lister continued a positively C-list run of form. Topley was admirably unfazed by a big swing for six two balls earlier, dragging back his length and threading the gap between bat and pad.

The ball knocks off the bails as Virat Kohli is bowled
Bails go flying as Virat Kohli is bowled (Ramon Espinosa/AP)

Rohit survived a couple of mis-hits before finding his timing with a couple of sweet strikes off Topley but England picked off another when 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, finishing a tidy over to leave India 46 for two at the end of the powerplay and relying on their captain.

With rain starting to fall, India scored 19 off the next two overs as Rohit (37 not out) took two fours off Adil Rashid and new man Suryakumar Yadav scooped Chris Jordan for six over fine-leg.

As the downpour got heavier, the umpires suspended play with the game finely poised.