Australia crush sorry India to advance to another World Cup Final
March 26, 2015 05:03 pm
India’s defence of their ICC Cricket World Cup title came to a disappointing end at the hands of Australia on a spin-friendly wicket at Sydney as the hosts cruised to a 96 run win to advance to their 7th World Cup final.
Australia won an important toss in the morning and made the easy decision to bat first on what looked like a belter of a wicket at the SCG. Both teams came into this game unchanged, with the underdog Indians hoping to pick up their first win in 4 months against Australia.
David Warner gave Australia a typically brisk start, smashing a four and six among the 7 balls he faced before falling to an innocuous delivery from Umesh Yadav that looped up off the outside edge of Warner’s bat as he attempted to hit the ball across the line. He fell for 12.
That was about as good as it got for India for the next couple of hours as Steve Smith, who has had an outstanding summer against India, struck a typically strokeful century and shared a 178 run partnership with Aaron Finch, who made 81. Both men also fell to Umesh Yadav, who finished with 4 wickets for 72 runs from 9 overs.
Ravichandran Ashwin was the pick of the bowlers for India, putting the skids on the scoring rate in the middle overs, and also picking up the key wicket of Glenn Maxwell for 23, but Australia had got a good enough start to ensure that their batsmen could throw their bats at virtually every delivery in the last 15 overs, and posted an imposing total of 328-7 in their 50 overs.
A cameo 27 from just 9 balls from Mitchell Johnson towards the fag end of the innings proved crucial to help Australia ease past 300 after they lost wickets in a bunch in the middle of the innings.
Dhoni might have missed a trick by not bowling his part-time spinners in the game, with the pitch taking prodigious turn, but shockingly Suresh Raina not turning his arm over even once.
India came out to bat chasing a monumental target, and were a tad fortunate early on with Shane Watson taking a suspect catch in the slips on the half-volley and Shikhar Dhawan being dropped by Brad Haddin as he divided across first slip for what would have been a regulation chance for Watson.
By not losing early wickets, India kept themselves very much alive in this contest and at 76-0 in the 13th over were in the game.
However, Dhawan’s adventurous nature got the best of him as his decision to continue to take on Josh Hazlewood, approaching what would have been the end of his spell, cost India dearly with Maxwell taking an easy catch in the deep.
The Indian batting then suffered a dramatic collapse with Virat Kohli (1), Rohit Sharma (34) and Suresh Raina (7) falling in quick unison as the game slipped away from India’s grasp as they slid to 108-4. Mitchell Johnson removed both the right handers, while Faulkner got rid of Raina, playing a nothing shot outside his off-stump.
Australia 328/7 (50.0 overs, 6.56rpo)
S Smith 105 (93) U Yadav 4-72 (9)
A Finch 81 (116) M Sharma 2-75 (10)
India 233 all out (46.5 overs, 4.97rpo)
MS Dhoni 65 (65) J Faulkner 3-59 (9)
S Dhawan 45 (41) M Starc 2-28 (8.5)
Australia win by 95 runs