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Cricket World Cup matchday 29: India close in on semi-final spot

Kohli’s men look dangerous.

There was a sea of Indian blue at Old Trafford (Mike Egerton/PA)
There was a sea of Indian blue at Old Trafford (Mike Egerton/PA)

India moved to the brink of sealing their place in the World Cup semi-finals by ending the West Indies’ lingering hopes of reaching the knockout stages at Old Trafford.

Virat Kohli’s fourth successive half-century underpinned a total of 268 for seven, with Hardik Pandya and Mahendra Singh Dhoni injecting some late impetus as 81 runs were taken from the final nine overs.

That proved to be more than enough on a used surface offering a hint of movement and appreciable turn as they claimed a 125-run win, with the Windies succumbing to 143 all out after 34.2 overs under glorious blue skies.

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India, who went to the top of the ICC one-day international rankings on Thursday morning, head into this Sunday’s clash against England with their unbeaten record in tact. As against Afghanistan, India’s batting was far from convincing but their pacemen and spinners made up for any shortfall as they moved up to second in the standings to the delight of the sea of blue in the crowd.

Snap shot

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There was a sea of Indian blue at Old Trafford (Mike Egerton/PA)

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It is just showbiz: they are paid to have an opinion, and if they don't have an opinion they get sacked Jonny Bairstow on England's high-profile critics

Stat attack

Jason Holder leaked nothing from his first 14 deliveries, bowling maidens at KL Rahul and then Kohli. Rahul blotted his copybook on the 15th ball Holder bowled with a drive back down the ground, but the West Indies captain would have his revenge by castling the India opener through the gate with a nip backer. Holder would snare Kohli en route to miserly figures of two for 33. Kemar Roach was equally impressive in taking three for 36.

Top of the shots

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MS Dhoni remains a key contributor (Mike Egerton/PA)

From his first 38 deliveries, Dhoni had amassed only 18 runs. This was not one of the countless instances where he finished at better than a run a ball but he did accelerate alongside Hardik Pandya, helping India to 81 runs in the final nine overs. Dhoni took two sixes and a four from the wayward Oshane Thomas in the final over the innings. The best of the sixes was the first, a shorter ball sent into the stands beyond the deep midwicket boundary.

Bowled over

Mohammed Shami picked up where he left off in taking a hat-trick against Afghanistan with a blistering new-ball spell to see off Chris Gayle and Shai Hope. Gayle could have dragged on off the paceman before eventually splicing to midwicket but it was the removal of Hope that was sensational. Shami was able to extract some seam movement off the pitch, Hope missed an expansive drive and the ball sailed through bat and pad to clip the top of off.

What’s next?

June 28: South Africa v Sri Lanka at Chester-le-Street

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