India Won by 5 Wickets and will meet Pak ...

India Won by 5 Wickets and will meet Pak in Semis

Tags: World Cup 2011, 2nd Quarter Final - India v Australia at Ahmedabad - Mar 24, 2011, Australia, India, ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, Toss, Semi Final, Pakistan

Published on: Mar 24, 2011

Scorecard | Commentary | Graphs

India avenged their and their fans' defeat of the 2003 World Cup final as Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina wiped those tears with their heart-warming approach and played like brothers-in-arms to give the millions of Indians a moment they will hold tight to their heart for times immemorial.

India avenged their and their fans' defeat of the 2003 World Cup final as Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina wiped those tears with their heart-warming approach and played like brothers-in-arms to give the millions of Indians a moment they will hold tight to their heart for times immemorial.

The Australians who broke the Indian hearts in 2003, had theirs in two pieces today as India shut the door on the 'former' World Champions to be just two stations away from their destination at the podium in the centre of Wankhere Stadium in Mumbai, holding aloft the World Cup trophy at Mumbai on April 2.

For the moment though, after this five-wicket win over the Aussies sinks in, India will clear their throats and shout Pakistan a dare at Mohali when they meet them in the semifinals on March 30th.

Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina took India to the brink of victory in their quarter-final encounter against Australia at Ahmedabad on Thursday.

Earlier, A flurry of boundaries by Yuvraj gave India the advantage after skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was caught brilliantly by Michael Clarke of Brett Lee's bowling.

Gautam Gambhir gift-wrapped his wicket and presented it to the opposition in a comedy of errors after surviving two run-out chances and finally getting out on the third one as Australia clawed their way back.

The Indian chase got off to a dramatic start as Ricky Ponting reviewed a not-out decision against Virender Sehwag in the first over of the innings bowled by Brett Lee, but it turned out to be unsuccessful as the openers got off to quickish start.

Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar then took control of the opening exchanges of their chase with a partnership of 44 runs.

Just when it looked the two had worked out Aussie bowlers, Sehwag miscued a pull shot that went high up in the air but not further than Michael Hussey at short square leg who lapped it up to send Sehwag back for just 15 runs.

But No. 3 Gautam Gambhir got off to a scratchy start; however, he was calmed by a fluent and majestic Tendulkar at the other end who looked assured during his stay.

At the score of 45, Tendulkar crossed another milestone to become the first man to reach 18,000 runs in one-day internationals and a half century was accomplished in due course.

Seeing Tendulkar at ease against the pacers, Ponting pressed Jason Krejza into service. And while Gambhir eased as well against spin, ligtening struck at the other end where an until then erratic Shaun Tait made up for his waywardness with the prize scalp of Tendulkar (53).

But it wasn't without a drama as the umpire asked a 'walking' Tendulkar to stay while he checked for a no-ball. The replays weren't conclusive as Tait seemed to be pretty close both on the popping crease as well as the side crease; however, the decision was upheld by the third umpire.

Virat Kohli was promoted ahead of a India's in-form No. 4 Yuvraj Singh. To his credit, the youngster got going straight away, which also gave Gambhir the confidence to concentrate on milking Australian slow bowlers Krejza and Michael Clarke.

Ponting then introduced his third part-timer David Hussey, who struck gold right away as Kohli hit a dead full toss straight to Clarke at mid-on after scoring a confident 24 off 33 balls, which also ended a 49-run third-wicket partnership.

Gambhir then brought up his fifty and took the score to 168/3 along with Yuvraj Singh, who hit the first ball he faced to the fence.

But Gambhir (5) created harakiri in a David Hussey over where, after surviving a dead run-out chance, he almost gift-wrapped his wicket with a suicidal run-out off the very next ball to let the Aussies clawe their way back when India looked to be closing out the game for the visitors.

Earlier, Ponting's welcome return to form with a century helped his side register a competitive 260 runs for the loss of six wickets.

Ponting ended with 104 runs off 118 balls, which included seven fours and one six, as he paced his innings nicely to help Australia reach a challenging total.

In the afternoon, MS Dhoni chose to press a spin-pace combination into service with the off-spin of R Ashwin and spearhead Zaheer Khan after Australia won the toss and elected to bat first.

Aussie openers Brad Haddin and Shane Watson approached the innings cautiously for a start but were aided by a warning to Zaheer, who was cautioned for running onto the pitch. The Indian speedster then chose to bowl from around the wicket, thereby becoming less effective in his opening spell.

Haddin and Watson looked settled after a sedate start of 40 in the 10th over but Ashwin was able to find a way through Watson's defences to bowl him after he had scored 25.

Ricky Ponting strode in as Watson fell and Dhoni probably let a chance to attack the out-of-form Aussie skipper go by as he brought on Munaf Patel, who was hit for 13 runs, including three boundaries, by Haddin.

Ponting and Haddin then played sensibly by taking ones and twos with an occasional boundary against the Indian spinners to strengthen Australia's score with a partnership of 70 runs.

But just when it looked Australia were taking the game away from India, Yuvraj struck to dismiss Haddin (53), who was smartly caught by Suresh Raina.

That brought vice-captain Michael Clarke onto the wicket, who looked scratchy against the Indian spinners while Ponting seemed to be discovering his touch back.

The partnership reached 30 but couldn't go any further as Yuvraj took his second wicket, this time getting rid of Clarke (8) who looked to hit his way into some form but was caught by Zaheer in the deep.

Soon after Clarke fell, Ponting brought up his half century to get some sort of form back. However, it now was up to Michael Hussey to give his skipper the much-needed support.

At that stage, Dhoni brought back Zaheer who cleaned up Hussey to bring India right back in the match as Australia went from 110/1 to 150/4.

Fearing loss of partners, Ponting chose to launch an attack. But while he looked to be taking on the Indian bowlers and putting them under pressure, Zaheer struck again, halting Ponting's charge. The quickie dismissed off-colour Cameron White (12) with a neat caught and bowled.

That wicket forced Ponting to think about the batting powerplay, which he eventually took in the 44th over.

David Hussey turned out to be the partner Ponting was looking for as both picked up the scoring rate with some decisive blows, including a six by Hussey off Ashwin.

While they took 44 runs off the five overs of batting powerplay, they lost no wickets and brought up a quick 55-run partnership that took them to 244/6 in 48 overs.

With two overs left, Australia had no option left than to use the long handle but Ashwin, who bowled the 49th over, foxed centurion Ponting whose ambitious reverse sweep was caught by Zaheer at short third-man.

Barring a wayward wide that went for a boundary, Harbhajan bowled a decent last over as India restricted Australia to 260/6 in 50 overs.

For India, Ashwin, Zaheer and Yuvraj shared the spoils with a two-wicket haul each.

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