Kohli keeps India’s run going, while Ireland crash out


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The Independent Online

India maintained their impeccable World Cup record against arch rivals Pakistan as Virat Kohli’s fluent, unbeaten 36 powered them to a seven-wicket victory in the World Twenty20.

Put into bat, Pakistan did not get the flying start they were looking for and could not mount a late assault either against India’s disciplined bowlers, who restricted them to 130 for 7 at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Dhaka.

India made a strong start to their chase, their openers adding 54 runs in eight overs before Shikhar Dhawan (30) fell to Umar Gul, triggering a mini-collapse. Rohit Sharma (24) dragged a Saeed Ajmal delivery onto his stumps before Bilawal Bhatti rearranged Yuvraj Singh’s stumps as India slumped to 65 for 3 in the 11th over.

But Kohli showed the kind of form that has made him the mainstay of Indian batting, playing with characteristic ease and grace to add 66 runs with Suresh Raina (35 no) as they won with nine balls to spare.

Indian cricketers Suresh Raina (L) and Virat Kohli celebrate after winning the ICC World Twenty20 cricket match against Pakistan

Ireland captain William Porterfield was magnanimous after seeing Netherlands’ batsmen snatch away a place in the main draw. The Dutch advanced at the expense of Ireland and Zimbabwe by virtue of a superior run-rate after an explosive win over Porterfield’s men at Sylhet.

Needing to overhaul an imposing target of 190 in just 14.2 overs, Netherlands’ batsmen smashed 19 sixes to win with three balls to spare.

“You’ve got to give a lot of credit to Holland. They came out and struck the ball pretty cleanly from the off,” Porterfield said.