Happy Diwali for India as they thrash Scotland by a huge margin

By Kersi Meher-Homji

Happy days are here again. On Diwali and skipper Virat Kohli’s 33rd birthday, India beat Scotland by 8 wickets with 81 balls remaining at Dubai.

For a chance to enter the semi-final of the T20 World Cup, India had to win by a huge margin and they did exactly that last night / early morning today. Still this is not a certainty. Far from it.

There were many heroes for India in their match against Scotland; fast-medium bowler Mohammad Shami and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja who took three wickets each at an economical rate and opening batters Lokesh Rahul and Rohit Sharma who added 70 electrifying runs off only 30 balls.

Sent in to bat Scotland collapsed and was shot out for 85 runs in 17.4 overs.

Needing 86 to win at an express fast rate for a chance to qualify for the semi-final, the Rohit-Rahul “tornado” hit out sensationally. It did not just “rain” runs, it was an “avalanche” of thundering fours and spectacular sixes. It was as if a twister, thunderstorm and blizzard had hit Dubai simultaneously! So ferocious was the hitting by Rahul and Rohit.

Rahul (50 runs off 19 balls with 6 fours and 3 sixes) and Rohit (30 runs off 16 balls with 5 fours and a six) added 70 electrifying runs and India was victorious by 8 wickets. It was not only victory but the fast run rate gave India a faint chance to enter the semi-final.

It was difficult as to judge who was the Player of the match as Shami, Jadeja, Rahul and Rohit had performed magnificently.

Eventually all-rounder Jadeja got the honour. He said at the presentation, “Enjoyed bowling on this pitch, the odd ball was turning. The first wicket was the special one ”“ whenever you get a batter out on a turning ball, it’s special. We just looked to play a good brand of cricket. We were just looking to play our best game. If we play like this, nobody can beat us. In T20s, we have to play like this. That is for sure.”

Birthday boy Kohli added, “A dominating performance. It was something we were striving to do again. I don’t want to say too much about today because we know how we can play. These little things in T20 cricket (toss, conditions) matter and we’re glad to be back in our mojo.”

On his birthday celebration he said, “I’m over that phase now. My wife and daughter are here and that celebration is enough, the family being here is a blessing in itself.”

Now to the vital question: can India make it to the semi-final? For this to happen, Afghanistan will have to beat New Zealand by a narrow margin tomorrow and India to beat Namibia by a huge margin next Tuesday.

A Hitchcock mystery movie can hardly provide more excitement.

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