T20 World Cup: On Kohli’s Birthday, India Toy With Scotland To Stay On Course

Dubai: Team India were on a mission and in a hurry.

They had to beat Scotland by a massive margin to push up the net run rate (NRR) and keep their ever-so-slim semifinal hopes alive. And they did just that.

Skipper Virat Kohli couldn’t have asked for a better birthday gift as first the bowlers and then openers KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma ensured a walk in the park for the men in blue, who have their backs to the wall after losing their first two matches against Pakistan and New Zealand.

Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami captured three wickets each conceding 15 runs, while Jasprit Bumrah got 2 and Ravichandran Ashwin 1 as the Scots were skittled out for 85 in 17.4 overs.

India had to reach the paltry target in 7.1 overs to get ahead of New Zealand and Afghanistan on NRR, but they did it in a mere 6.3 overs. Rahul blasted 50 off 19 balls and Rohit 30 off 16 as India’s net run rate climbed to 1.619 – compared to Afghanistan’s 1.481 and New Zealand’s 1.277.

If India are to advance to the semifinals, they have to beat Namibia convincingly in their last game (which they should) and New Zealand have to lose to the Afghans (less likely) on Sunday.

That will result in a three-way tie for second spot, with India, New Zealand and Afghanistan all finishing with 6 points. The team with the best NRR will join Pakistan in the last-four stage from Group 2.

Scores: Scotland 85 in 17.4 overs. India 89/2 in 6.3 overs.

Result: India won by 8 wickets.

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