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Former Ireland coach's West Indies side stun India to reach World Twenty20 final

Phil Simmons’ charges will take on an England outfit captained by Dubliner Eoin Morgan on Sunday.

West Indies coach Phil Simmons.
West Indies coach Phil Simmons.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

FORMER IRELAND COACH Phil Simmons’ West Indies side have stunned India in Mumbai to set up a World Twenty20 final against England on Sunday.

Simmons, who coached Ireland from 2007 to 2015, which coincided with a number of major-tournament wins for the Irish cricketers, is highly respected for the role he played in raising the profile of the game in this country.

And his Windies side will face off against an England team captained by Dubliner Eoin Morgan, one of his former players, in Kolkata in three days’ time.

The West Indies were set a difficult target of 193 to chase but reached that goal with seven wickets, and two balls, to spare.

Simmons’ nephew, Lendl Simmons, who arrived in India only days ago as an injury replacement, was the star man for the West Indies as the powerful 31-year-old smashed 82 runs off 51 balls.

West Indies’ talisman Chris Gayle went for just five runs but the likes of Simmons, Johnson Charles (52 runs off 36 balls) and Andre Russell (43 off 20) stood up when called upon.

Earlier, Virat Kohli, who has had an incredible tournament, top-scored with 89 for the hosts as they posted a competitive 192-2 off their 20 overs.

When the Windies lost Gayle early on it looked like they had a mountain to climb. But thanks to the power-hitting of Charles, Simmons and Russell, and a crucial no-ball decision when Simmons was caught on 50, the Windies had enough in the tank to book their spot in the final and silence the crowd.

In a cruel twist, it was off the bowling of Kohli that Russell smashed the winning six into the stands.

Source: Peshawar Zalmi/YouTube

It is a surprise final pairing but one that will have plenty of spice; a Gayle-inspired Windies crushed England in the pool stages, the global star smashing an unbeaten century in just 47 balls as the Caribbean side claimed a six-wicket win.

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Alan Waldron

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