West Indies' allrounder Andre Russel smashed a four and a six off the third and fourth deliveries of the final over to propel the Caribbean side to 196 for 3 and a seven-wicket win over India in their Twenty20 World Cup semi-final match at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday.
The victory saw the men imitate their female counterparts, who beat New Zealand in their semi-final match at the same ground earlier, and progress to the final of the Twenty20 World Cup.
The Caribbean side won the toss and asked the host to bat and captain Darren Sammy was probably left wondering if he had made the right decision as India powered their way to 192 for 2 with Virat Kohli, 89 not out off 47 deliveries, Rohit Sharma, 43, and Ajinkya Rahane, 40, putting the West Indian bowling to the sword.
Kohli struck 11 boundaries and a six while Sharma belted three boundaries and three sixes. Rahane stroked two boundaries in his 35-ball stay at the crease. Samuel Badree, with figures of 1 for 26 off four overs, was the pick of the bowlers for the Caribbean unit.
West Indies reply did not get off to a good start as hard-hitting opener Chris Gayle departed early, bowled with a low full toss by medium pacer Jasprit Bumrah for five with the score on six. They were in further trouble when Marlon Samuels also fell cheaply, caught at cover by Rahane off Ashish Nehra with the score on 19. He made eight.
However, opener Johnson Charles would steady the innings with a third-wicket partnership of 97 with Lendl Simmons. Charles struck seven much-needed boundaries and two maximums in his 36-ball knock of 52 before he became the third wicket to fall, hoisting Kohli's first delivery of the match to Sharma running in from long off. He departed in the 14th over with the score on 116.
Russell joined Simmons in the middle and his arrival signalled the start of the fireworks. The pair put on an unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of 80 runs in just 39 balls as Simmons blasted seven boundaries and five sixes in reaching 82 off 51 balls while Russell spanked three boundaries and four massive sixes in a quickfire 43 off 20 deliveries.
Russell's six of Kohli in the final over gave his team victory with two balls to spare and a date with England in Sunday;s final.
India 192 for 2 off 20 overs (V. Kohli 89 n.o, R. Sharma 43, A. Rahane 40; S. Badree 1 for 26) vs West Indies 196 for 3 off 19.4 overs (L. Simmons 83 n.o, J. Charles 52, A. Russell 43 n.o; V. Kohli 1 for 15 - West Indies won by seven wickets.