Adelaide: Alex Hales and captain Jos Buttler shone in a record unbroken opening partnership as a ruthless England humiliated India by 10 wickets at Adelaide Oval on Thursday to storm into the Twenty20 World Cup final.England, who won the 50-over World Cup on home soil in 2019, can now become the first team to hold both global trophies in white-ball cricket when they meet Pakistan in Sunday’s final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. They have rehabilitated opener Hales and skipper Buttler to thank as the pair chased down 169 for victory with four overs to spare, leaving a huge crowd of India supporters stunned.Hales finished on 86 not out, and Buttler, who was unbeaten on 80, completed the statement win in style, blasting paceman Mohammed Shami over his head for six. For Hales, it was especially sweet, having missed out on England’s 2019 triumph after a recreational drug scandal.His exile from the England setup lasted more than three years and he was only called up to the squad after Jonny Bairstow was injured in a freak golf accident. “This will be right up there for sure,” said Hales, who has played plenty of domestic T20 cricket in Australia with the Big Bash League.
“It’s a huge occasion playing India in the semi-final of a World Cup … Really happy with the way I played. “It’s a special feeling in a country that I love and I’ve spent a lot of time here, so tonight is one of the best nights of my career.”Jos Buttler, English skipper said, ‘I think the character we have shown since then (England’s loss against Ireland) – it has been amazing. We came here very excited, there was a very good feeling. Everyone from 1 to 11 – stood up today. We always want to start fast and aggressive. Rashid was batting at 11, that’s incredible to know that we have such depth. Hales used the dimensions well and he has shown his form. He was brilliant today. It’s important to enjoy this, it was a brilliant performance from us. I think we need to give special credit to Jordan, to bowl 3 overs at the death coming into the semi-final, it was a tough job. He handled the pressure towards the end pretty well, especially bowling against a world class player like Hardik Pandya.’ Rohit Sharma, said, Pretty disappointed how it turned up today. We batted well at the backend to get that score. We were not upto the mark with the ball, we couldn’t turn up today. It’s all about handling the pressure in knockout games. All these guys have played enough to understand that. These guys have played under pressure in IPL games, it’s all about keeping calm. We were nervy to start with, but you got to give credit to their openers, they played really well. I thought it swung a bit in the first over, but not from the right areas. We know the runs are scored square off the wicke, we were aware about it. When we won the first game, it showed a lot of character. The game against Bangladesh, it was a tricky one. I thought it was difficult defending 85 runs in 9 overs, but we held our nerve and executed our plans. Couldn’t do that today, and when you don’t execute your plans, you are in trouble.