A brilliant innings by Virat Kohli helped India beat Australia by six wickets in the group 2 decider to go through to the World T20 semifinals.
Kohli stepped up when it really mattered, smashing 32 runs off 11 balls to turn the match around and set up a meeting with West Indies in Mumbai on March 31. He ended with 82 off 51 balls (9×4, 2×6) with five balls left unused.
India had, until the end of the 17th over, been behind the worm, chasing 161 for victory. At that point, they needed 39 off three. It needed something special, and Kohli began by slamming James Faulkner for 16 and followed that up with another 16 off Coulter-Nile in the 18th over.
India had struggled from the moment they were held to 37 in the powerplay for the loss of Rohit Sharma (12) and Shikhar Dhawan (13). Suresh Raina followed soon after for 10 and it was left to Yuvraj Singh, who injured his ankle early in his innings, and Kohli to rebuild. They put on 45, when Yuvraj fell to an excellent catch by Shane Watson off Faulkner for 21 off 18.
By the end of the 15th over, India were 102-4 and the run rate had climbed to 11.8.
MS Dhoni was largely a spectator, but he provided impetus with 18 off 10 as Kohli cut loose.
Earlier, Australia had been given a solid platform by the openers, Usman Khawaja and Aaron Finch, who put on 54 in 26 balls. But India did well to rein them in a bit once Khawaja had been caught behind driving hard at Ashish Nehra for 26. They added just five runs in the rest of the power play, and the wickets of David Warner (6) and Steve Smith (2) fell in quick succession to leave Australia at 74-3 in the 10th over.
Enter Glen Maxwell, once again. He saw the hundred up after 13 overs, at which point Finch was mistimed a pull off Hardik Pandya to be caught at deep mid-wicket for 43 off 34 (3×4, 2×6).
Maxwell went on to run up 31 off 28 (with just one four and one six) while there were useful contributions down the line, including a very valuable 10 off two balls from Peter Nevill. India might have rued the 14 extras they gave away, which included 11 wides. Until Kohli made them irrelevant.