Australia officially eliminated from T20 World Cup after Mitchell Starc makes ugly cricket history

Australia went down to India by 24 runs, before Afghanistan sealed their elimination by beating Bangladesh.

Australia have been eliminated from the T20 World Cup after Mitchell Starc and the Aussie bowlers were punished by Rohit Sharma and India on Monday. Needing a win to advance to the semi-finals, the Aussies went down by 24 runs in St Lucia.

It meant Afghanistan could knock Australia out of the tournament if they beat Bangladesh on Monday night (Tuesday morning Aussie time), and they claimed a stunning eight-run win later in the night. A Bangladesh win would have saved Australia's blushes and seen them advance, but the Tigers fell agonisingly short in a thrilling final match of the Super 8 stage.

Mitchell Starc, pictured here as India beat Australia at the T20 World Cup.
Mitchell Starc copped the bulk of the punishment as India beat Australia at the T20 World Cup. Image: Prime/Getty

Australia only have themselves to blame after some woeful fielding in their shock loss to Afghanistan - which was compounded on Monday when their bowlers were absolutely hammered. Starc conceded the most runs in an over in his T20 international career, going for 29 in six balls as Rohit went large.

The Indian star smashed 92 from 41 balls to help India post 5-205 while batting first, before Travis Head's 76 gave Australia some hope. But the Aussies could only muster 7-181 in reply and must now rely on Bangladesh beating Afghanistan.

"C'mon Bangladesh," Aussie captain Mitch Marsh quipped after Australia's loss. "It's disappointing. We're still technically a chance to go through to the semis but today, India got the better of us. Ultimately they were the better team."

Rohit smashed 29 off the third over of the game off Starc, who was was recalled to the team in place of spinner Ashton Agar. Starc went for 2-45 off his four overs, but he wasn't alone in copping punishment.

Pat Cummins (0-48 off our), Adam Zampa (0-41 off four) and Marcus Stoinis (2-56 off four) all went at more than 10 an over. In a brutal display of hitting, Rohit smashed eight sixes and seven fours, clearing the boundary over cover and mid-wicket with a mixture of timing and power.

Rohit Sharma in action against Australia at the T20 World Cup.
Rohit Sharma acknowledges the crowd after bringing up his half-century. (Photo by Alex Davidson-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

He made 50 off just 19 balls - the fastest half-century against Australia ever - and India were 1-52 when he brought up the milestone. Only Josh Hazlewood was able to slow India down, taking 1-14 off his four and appearing as if he was bowling on a different pitch.

Hazlewood managed to snare the key wicket of Virat Kohli for a duck, contunuing the Indian superstar's lean run with the bat. Starc also did well to rebound late and bowled Rohit with a yorker, but by then the damage was done.

"That's what I have to do at the top of the order, see what the bowlers are trying to do and play accordingly," said Rohit, who was named player of the match. "Bowlers are smart, so you have to open up all sides of the field. That was what was going through my mind."

Aussie players, pictured here walking off the field during their clash with India at the T20 World Cup.
The Aussie players walk off the field during their clash with India at the T20 World Cup. (Photo by Pankaj Nangia-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

David Warner was out for just six in Australia's batting innings in what turned out to be his last dig in international cricket. Marsh offered some hope with a captain's knock of 37 from 28 balls, but the match swung when he was caught by a jumping Axar Patel on the boundary.

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Glenn Maxwell also provided Head some support when he struck 15 off his first four balls, but was bowled by a Kuldeep Yadav (2-24) wrong'un on 20 after charging down the pitch. Head threatened to repeat his heroics from the ODI World Cup final against India from last year, but was eventually caught trying to take on Jasprit Bumrah.

"We had belief when you think about who we had in the changerooms," Marsh said. "If you can keep it at 10 (needed an over) for as long as you possibly can, you're well and truly in the game. But India had some class bowlers at the end that were too good for us."

India head into the semi-finals undefeated and will now face England in the final four. India will be looking for revenge after being knocked out by the defending champions at the same stage in 2022. Afghanistan will take on South Africa for an unlikely place in the final.

with agencies