Buttler proud of England’s unity amid adversity as T20 World Cup title defense grinds to a halt

India cruised to the final of the T20 World Cup in style on Thursday, beating defending champions England by 68 runs.

In a rain-delayed semi-final at the Guayana National Stadium, a collapse in England’s batting combined with lethal bowling performances from Kuldeep Yadav (3-19), Axar Patel (3-23) and Jasprit Bumrah (2-13) saw that favorites India will take on South Africa in the decider on Saturday.

Captain Rohit Sharma hit 57 and Suryakumar Yadav plundered 47 as India scored 171-7 from their 20 overs.

England’s chase started well when skipper Jos Buttler delivered a string of fours in quick succession, but his stand lasted just fifteen deliveries.

And after losing Buttler on the 19th ball of their innings, England’s top order capitulated, with Phil Salt, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali and Sam Curran all following their captain to the pavilion inside seven overs.

Harry Brook offered more resistance with a spirited 25, but the damage had been done by the time he was dismissed in the 11th over.

Liam Livingstone and Adil Rashid were dismissed within three balls and although Jofra Archer made a comeback with two sixes, England’s bad day ended when he was bowled leg-before-wicket by Bumrah.

It marked a momentous triumph for India as they got some revenge for their 10-wicket loss to England at the same stage in 2022, and the Proteas – who defeated Afghanistan earlier in the day – are all that stands between them and the trophy stands.

Data Debrief: Recent history means nothing

India had lost the last two semi-finals of the T20 World Cup, having also batted first on each of those occasions, but this time they banished those demons in emphatic fashion.

England had won three of the last four such matches, having bowled first in each of them, but that record did not stand.

Buttler’s future is uncertain, but he has brought with him a bit of history: with his 23rd goal, he became the fourth English player to score 1,000 runs at the T20 World Cup (1,013).