Virat Kohli scored yet another half-century to help India get to a challenging total © AFP
Virat Kohli scored yet another half-century to help India get to a challenging total © AFP

Virat Kohli hammered a belligerent 89 not out off 47 balls to lead India to a commanding 192 for 2 against West Indies in the second semi-final of ICC T20 World Cup 2016 at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. India, who have been unchanged throughout the tournament, made two changes to their line-up in the all-important semi-final. One was forced, with the injured Yuvraj Singh being replaced by Manish Pandey. The other change was a deliberate one, with the misfiring Shikhar Dhawan replaced by Ajinkya Rahane as opener. The latter change was an instant success. India’s openers put on a fifty-plus stand for the first time in the T20 World Cup 2016. Rohit got the ball rolling early, laying into the lacklustre bowling to hit 3 fours and 3 sixes in a 31-ball 43. India were 62 when Rohit was dismissed in the eighth over. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs West Indies, ICC World T20 2016, 2nd Semi-Final match at Mumbai

That brought in India’s talismanic No. 3 Virat Kohli. Unlike his last few innings, Kohli did not look in complete control early on. He was nearly run out three times in 2 balls early in his innings, but Denesh Ramdin and Dwayne Bravo missed the chances though, and Kohli soon calmed down. After that it Kohli settled into his innings and started bringing out the trademark drives and flicks. FULL CRICKET UPDATES: India vs West Indies, ICC World T20 2016, 2nd Semi-Final match at Mumbai

At the other end, Rahane was batting serenely. His role seemed to be to churn the strike around to let the more fluent batsmen get the runs, and he performed the role with aplomb. Rahane did not bat quickly, but his innings was vital in setting up India’s total. He scored 40 off 35 balls with 2 fours, adding 62 and 66 with Rohit and Kohli respectively. His dismissal, caught in the deep by Dwayne Bravo off Andre Russell, brought in MS Dhoni. READ: Virat Kohli’s top 5 T20I chases

The Indian skipper promoted himself up to No. 4 ahead of both Suresh Raina and Manish Pandey. Dhoni showed his intent off the second ball he faced, moving outside off stump to paddle the ball to the fine leg boundary. But with Kohli batting wonderfully at the other end, Dhoni did his best to give him the strike. The duo ran like demons, converting singles to doubles and — in one insane instance — a 2 into 3. Kohli started finding the fence with regularity, hitting Carlos Brathwaite and Dwayne Bravo for two boundaries each in the 17th and 18th overs. READ: Virat Kohli’s top 5 ODI chases

Russell, bowling the penultimate over of the innings, was clubbed for a six over long-on, a four over extra cover, and another four to long on. Dwayne Bravo bowled an excellent final over, but even then he conceded 12 as Kohli and Dhoni ran wonderfully. Kohli managed to find a boundary as well, and India ended at a commanding 192 for 2.

Brief scores:

India 192 for 2 in 20 overs (Rohit Sharma 43, Ajinkya Rahane 40, Virat Kohli 89*; Samuel Badree 1 for 26) vs West Indies.

Full Scorecard

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is an animal lover and comic, film and TV geek. A fast bowler at heart, he enjoys watching a good, low-scoring game of cricket. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)