It won't go down as a night to remember for Virat Kohli, but the Indian batter established himself as an all-time great during his side's T20 World Cup semi-final loss to England.
Though Kohli's contributions with the bat on Thursday evening were overshadowed by a thunderous run chase from England openers Alex Hales and Jos Butter, his 50 from 40 deliveries was enough to see him surpass Brian Lara as the most prolific visiting run scorer at the Adelaide Oval.
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Eclipsing the West Indian batting great wasn't all Kohli accomplished despite India's underwhelming semi-final performance.
Kohli also became the first cricketer to surpass 4000 runs scored in ICC T20 matches, firmly establishing himself as the top run-scorer of the T20 era.
The 34-year-old's knock on Thursday was actually his lowest ever score in a T20 international at the Adelaide Oval, having scored unbeaten innings of 90 and 64 in his previous visits.
England's 10-wicket triumph marked a bitter end to India's campaign, and left fans on the subcontinent dismayed that a dream grand final between Pakistan and India didn't come to fruition.
Instead, Pakistan will face England for all the marbles, after the former dispatched New Zealand in the other semi-final earlier in the week.
India posted 6-168 with Hardik Pandya (63 from 33 balls) smacking five sixes and Kohli making his fourth half-century from six knocks in the tournament.
Fans sympathised with Kohli, after another strong performance at the T20 World Cup fell agonisingly short of the ultimate success.
Gotta feel for Virat Kohli. Three brilliant #T20WorldCup tournaments from him but yet to lift the trophy.
— Sripad (@falsewinger) November 10, 2022
— Ramesh Solanki🇮🇳 (@Rajput_Ramesh) November 10, 2022
Kohli is still the favourite contender for Player of the Tournament. Would be his third T20 World Cup POTM award if he gets it.
Only something special from Shadab and Curran in the final can take it from him.
— Sreshth Shah (@sreshthx) November 10, 2022
Sometimes, individual brilliance will win you games. Kohli & Surya have had a brilliant #T20WorldCup & Arshdeep, Shami & Bhuvi have been very good overall. But individuals win matches, not tournaments. #INDvENG #INDvsENG 🇮🇳🏴🏏
— Nikesh Rughani (@NikeshRughani) November 10, 2022
— Rahul Sharma (@ImRahulSharma3) November 10, 2022
Hales and his captain Jos Buttler (80no from 49 balls) launched an audacious chase: they took 63 runs from the initial six overs and reached a century stand from just 10.1 overs.
Hales was banished from England's white-ball set-up after a second failed drugs test for recreational substances ruled him out of the 50-over World Cup in 2019.
He didn't play for his country again until less than two months ago when recalled to the T20 squad after prolific run-scoring in Australia's Big Bash League.
The powerful opener, who was also involved in Ben Stokes' brawl in Bristol in 2017, stunned India with a daring innings featuring seven sixes and four fours.
"To get the chance to play for England again at a time when I feel like I am playing the best T20 cricket of my career is a great feeling," Hales said.
"It's maybe a chance I didn't think would come around again."
England power past India thanks to unblemished opening stand
Hales' knock overshadowed his skipper Buttler's superb contribution: the skipper set the tone in the opening over of the chase by smacking Bhuvneshwar Kumar for three boundaries.
India, despite enjoying majority support in the 40,094-strong crowd, never recovered as Hales and Buttler (nine fours, three sixes) shredded their bowlers.
The pair put on the highest-ever partnership in T20 World Cups.
Their feat was also England's highest opening stand in T20 cricket and the nation's second-largest union for any wicket in the shortest format.
"Their partnership was fantastic, they put the pressure on us," said India coach Rahul Dravid.
Earlier, Kohli boosted his tournament record to 296 runs at an average of 98.67.
And Hardik provided late fireworks as India smashed 68 runs from their last five overs.
Hardik cracked five sixes and four fours in an onslaught which ended on the last ball of the innings when he trod on his stumps facing Chris Jordan (3-43).
Jordan replaced fellow paceman Mark Wood (stiffness) in England's side while Phil Salt was summoned for Dawid Malan (groin).
Both are rated a chance of recovering for Sunday night's final against Pakistan, who downed New Zealand by seven wickets on Wednesday night.
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