The hosts of the World T20 2016, India were knocked out by a spirited West Indies side as the team from the Caribbean once again proved that they rule the T20 format.
Going into the game on a the only pitch in the tournament that has produced high scores, West Indies won the toss and put India into bat first and it looked like it was a mistake as Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli lifted the Indian side to a score of 192 in the first innings.
Ajinkya Rahane, who took Shikhar Dhawan’s place in the side for this game made a useful 40 at the top of the order while Sharma and Kohli batted around him to post a decent target on the board gave the conditions of the ground.
India’s in-form batsman Kohli produced yet another sizzling knock of 89 from just 47 balls playing some superb shots all around the ground all throughout the innings.
However, it was not going to be an easy task for the men in blue to defend a target of 193 on a ground where over 230 runs were chased earlier in the tournament.
West Indies had a terrible start to their chase as Chris Gayle walked back early for just 5 runs after Jaspreet Bumrah castled his stumps of his first delivery of the game.
Marlon Samuels also followed him back to the pavilion next over leaving his team struggling at 19/2 off the first three overs.
However, the visitors were in no mood to take the chase lightly as they continued to pile the pressure on with boundaries galore in every over.
Charles and Simmons, two batsmen who have not played too much cricket recently settled in and completed their 50 run partnership in no-time as they managed to keep the required run rate in check.
Then came the first turning point in the game. With the Windies running away, India needed some wickets quickly and they thought they got one when Simmons edged one to Bumrah who took a superb catch at the short-third man.
However, replays showed that Ashwin had over-stepped giving the batsman not only a reprive but also a free hit.
Charles continued on his merry way picking up boundaries with ease while Ashwin and Jadeja were not allowed to settle down.
Both the spinners went for more than 10 runs an over and never troubled the batsmen in the middle.
The hero of the first innings Virat Kohli provided India with an all important break-through of his first ball as he picked up Charles to turn the game back into India’s favor.
This pushed the required rate to over 12 an over and the next batsman Andre Russel had just one thing in mind.
Following Charles’ 52 off 36 balls, Russel launched into the Indian attack straight away as West Indies picked up more than 10 runs for the next 6 overs.
India never looked like being able to control the scoring and just as they were looking down and out, Pandya, who was going all around the park picked Simmons up on a full toss.
But nothing was going right for the Indian’s on the night as replays once again showed that the bowler over-stepped the popping crease giving West Indies yet another free-hit.
Simmons and Russel put on 50 runs in no time and just ran away with the game and India almost bought themselves a lifeline when Ravindra Jadeja seemed to have pulled off a stunning catch with help from Kohli right on the boundary.
However, the left-arm spinner was seen touching the boundary rope which saw the Windies pick up 6 crucial runs just as Bumrah looked like tightening the screws.
Dhoni also had problems at the end and with just 8 needed off the final over, he had to turn to Kohli who although tried his best, went the distance as Russel and Simmons started to celebrate knocking the favorites out of the competition.
The Indian spinners gave away 68 runs in just 6 overs with Ashwin bowling just two overs. It looked like Dhoni missed a trick by not using Ashwin but all such discussions are now moot as West Indies will face England in the finals of the World T20 this year.
The famous Wankhede stadium bore a silent look as the Men in Blue marched away in distress and with no ICC events in India anytime soon, Dhoni may have just lost a chance to pick up yet another trophy in his time as the Indian skipper.