England produced a stunning batting display to dump India out of the T20 World Cup. Shashwat Kumar looks at the records that tumbled and how convincingly England dispatched India’s challenge.

The build-up to the England and India T20 World Cup semi-final was dominated by the prospect of India and Pakistan meeting again in the summit clash at the MCG. Alex Hales and Jos Buttler, though, had other ideas. Set 169 for victory, the pair demolished India and showed the rest of the world why England were cast as one of the frontrunners for the title.

They put on an unbeaten 170-run stand, which is now the highest partnership for any wicket at the men’s T20 World Cup. Their partnership is also the highest in all India-England T20Is. Hales, who was not originally in England’s squad (until Jonny Bairstow’s freak injury), played a major role, smashing 33 runs in the powerplay.

The 33 runs he scored was the most any batter has ever managed in a T20 World Cup game in the powerplay against India. Fourth on that list is Buttler, who ransacked 28 runs of his own at the Adelaide Oval, propelling England to 63 runs after the first six overs. India, in contrast, crawled along to 38-1 at the end of their batting powerplay.

The unbroken 170-run partnership is also the fourth-highest unbeaten opening stand in successful run-chases. England have managed to chase down a total in excess of 100 and win by 10 wickets only thrice in their T20I history. Hales has been the bedrock of each of these successes.

Buttler and Hales also registered their second-highest individual scores at the T20 World Cup. The latter notched up his fourth T20I score of 80 and above in a winning run-chase, drawing level with Virat Kohli. For context, no batter in men’s T20Is has more scores of 80 and above than Hales and Kohli in winning run-chases.

The most impressive aspect about this display, though, was not the number of feats they accomplished. It was the ease with which victory was attained. Hales might not have been in Australia altogether had injury not ruined Bairstow’s dream summer. He could have still been benched for Phil Salt, England’s long-term opening incumbent. But when Hales got his chance, he delivered, and how.

As for Buttler, well, it’s getting to a point where superlatives don’t seem enough. He, much like this England side, did not begin the T20 World Cup in pristine fashion. A nervy run-chase against Afghanistan was followed by a shock defeat to Ireland. England only hit two sixes in their opening couple of games too.

But when put under pressure, Buttler and England have twice responded resoundingly. Against New Zealand, their skipper turbocharged them to an above-par total. And against England, Buttler and Hales ensured that India never had a sniff in the second innings. India and New Zealand, by the way, looked in excellent shape during the Super 12 stage and were even touted to go all the way. So, Buttler, Hales and England thumping them in this fashion will reverberate across the globe, and ensure their place in cricketing folklore.

After the peaks they scaled on Thursday, nothing else would have sufficed anyway. They came to play, and batted as if they owned the place. This is a performance that ranks as high as any England display in recent memory. And the records that tumbled were just a by-product.

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