Axar Patel's 'perfectly-timed' one-handed blinder that changed India's fortune in Australia Super 8 clash to make semis | Crickit
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Axar Patel's 'perfectly-timed' one-handed blinder that changed India's fortune in Australia Super 8 clash to make semis

Jun 25, 2024 08:22 AM IST

It was one moment of magic that changed the entire course of game with Axar Patel pulling off a one-handed stunner to dismiss Mitchell Marsh.

They say catches win you matches. On Monday, at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in Gros Islet, St Lucia, it was one single catch that probably won India the game in the Super Eight clash against Australia and make the semifinals of the T20 World Cup for the second time in a row.

Axar Patel's stunning one-handed catch against Australia
Axar Patel's stunning one-handed catch against Australia

In the might chase of 206, with the semifinal spot at stake, Australia did incur an early blow as David Warner departed for just six runs in the opening over. But the Aussies bounced back in stunning fashion with captain Mitchell Marsh ably assisting Travis Head to script an 81-run stand in just 48 balls, providing them the perfect platform to build towards the big chase.

However, it was one moment of magic that changed the entire course of game with Axar Patel pulling off a one-handed stunner to dismiss Marsh. It happened in the final ball of the ninth over when the right-handed rocked back to pull the length ball from Kuldeep Yadav behind square. While it seemed destined for another boundary for Australia, Axar, stationed at deep mid-wicket, "perfectly timed" his jump, as put together by former India head coach Ravi Shastri on-air, to pluck a hand, and it stuck. It was also his non-dominant right hand. India had dropped Marsh twice before, and it took a stunner to dismiss him.

Was the catch India's game-changing moment?

Speaking to Cricbuzz after the match, former India cricketer Virender Sehwag reckoned that had Axar not taken that catch, it would have gone for a six and Australia would claimed a victory.

“It was a do-or-die situation there. Had he not timed his hump, it would have hit his hand and bounced over the rope for a six and then India would have lost the match. So it was an excellent catch. He timed his jump perfectly and had enough sense that he did not touch the boundary rope after that,” he said.

It remained Australia's only big partnership in the match as the remainder of the line-up crumbled in the second half of the chase with Arshdeep Singh picking three wickets and Kuldeep snaring another as the 2021 champions were restricted to 181 for seven.

With the win, India headed to the semifinal as Group 1 leaders and will take on England on June 27 in Guyana, while Australia's fate depends on the final Super Eight game between Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

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