Rahul blitz keeps India alive with crushing win at T20 World Cup

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·3 min read
Ravindra Jadeja was congratulated by Virat Kohli after taking the wicket of Matthew Cross (AFP/Aamir QURESHI)
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KL Rahul's 50 off 19 balls helped India stay alive in the Twenty20 World Cup with an eight-wicket thrashing of Scotland inside seven overs on Friday as birthday boy skipper Virat Kohli claimed: "We've got our mojo back."

Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami took three wickets each to help bowl out Scotland for 85 in 17.4 overs after India put the opposition into bat in the Super 12 contest in Dubai.

Rahul and Rohit Sharma, who hit 30, then took the Scotland bowling apart as India raced to their target in 6.3 overs to radically improve their run-rate.

They still need to win their last game against Namibia on Monday and depend on the result of Sunday's New Zealand-Afghanistan match to have any chance of making the final four.

Rahul smashed six fours and three sixes in his batting blitz as he raised the fifty in 18 balls before getting out to Mark Watt.

Sharma fell lbw to Brad Wheal who ended the 70-run opening stand.

Suryakumar Yadav hit the winning six with Kohli, on his 33rd birthday, relishing the huge win at the other end.

"A dominating performance. It was something we were striving for again," said Kohli after a second successive win followed defeats to old rivals Pakistan and New Zealand.

"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."

Pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah bowled Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer afer the batsman's seven-ball struggle at the crease. It was a maiden wicket for Bumrah.

George Munsey counter-attacked as he smashed Ravichandran Ashwin for three successive boundaries but Shami cut short the opener's stay on 24.

Jadeja came on to bowl after the first six overs of powerplay and made an instant impact with twin strikes to send back Richie Berrington, bowled without scoring a run, and Matthew Cross trapped lbw for two.

"We just looked to play a good brand of cricket," said Jadeja.

"If we play like this, nobody can beat us. In T20s, we have to play like this, that is for sure."

With Scotland's top four back in the dugout at 29, Calum MacLeod and Michael Leask put up some resistence during a 29-run stand.

Jadeja broke through with his left-arm spin as he sent back Leask lbw for 21 and Ashwin got Chris Greaves for one.

MacLeod, who made 16, and Mark Watt also attempted to bring some respect to the total but Shami returned to pick up two wickets in one over and Bumrah wrapped up the innings in 17.4 overs.

"A tough day at the office, we were outclassed in every department," admitted Scotland skipper Coetzer.

Earlier Friday, New Zealand stayed on course for the semi-finals with a 52-run win over Namibia.

Group 2 leaders Pakistan have already made sure of a semi-final place with four wins in four games.

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