Half-centuries from David Warner and Shane Watson, and splendid bowling by Dirk Nannes, saw Australia crush India by 49 runs in the Super Eights of the ICC World Twenty20, in Barbados, on Friday.
Chasing a mammoth 185 for victory, India were dismissed for 135 in 17.4 overs, their first loss in the tournament.
Rohit Sharma was the only bright spot for India, as he slammed an unbeaten 79 from 46 balls, inclusive of six sixes and four boundaries. Harbhajan Singh (14) was the other batsman to get to double figures, as the top and middle order came undone against Australia's pacers.
Nannes crippled the Indians early on, claiming three for 25 in his four overs, while Shaun Tait took three for 21.
Earlier, it rained sixes at the Kensington Oval as Australia posted a huge 184 for five in their 20 overs, the innings including 16 sixes and six boundaries.
Warner and Watson's quickfire half-centuries laid the foundation for the huge total. Watson slammed 54 from 32 balls, with the help of six sixes and a boundary, before he was bowled by Yusuf Pathan. He added 104 runs in a mere 65 balls for the opening wicket with Warner to put Australia in the driver's seat.
Warner played a sparkling innings of 72 from 42 balls, hitting seven sixes and two boundaries, before he was caught behind off Yuvraj Singh.
Harbhajan Singh shone among the ruins, giving away just 15 runs in his four overs, inclusive of a maiden.
Ashish Nehra, who took two for 31, and Yuvraj Singh (two for 20) chipped in with vital wickets at the end to restrict Australia in the final few overs.
Ravindra Jadeja suffered the ignominy of being hit for six sixes in a row, as Watson and Warner hit three each in his two overs.Australia:
Harbhajan Singh again opened the bowling and finished with a maiden over against Shane Watson.
David Warner took no time to get going and hit Ashish Nehra for a boundary through point off the first ball he faced. Watson also made up for the previous maiden over by slamming Nehra over wide long-on for the first six of the innings.
Watson (7) got a lifeline when Ravindra Jadeja dropped a difficult chance at square leg, as the batsman looked to play the sweep shot against Harbhajan, in the third over.
After that dropped catch, Jadeja let his team down with a poor first over. The left-arm spinner was introduced early, but the move backfired, as Watson hit him for three back-to-back sixes. Watson twice hit him for six over midwicket followed by another over the square leg region as Jadeja dropped it short on each occasion and went for 19 runs from the over.
After a slow start, Watson suddenly cut loose with a barrage of sixes to race to 34 from 21 balls and take the total to 43 after five overs.
Finally, Dhoni introduced his most experienced bowler, Zaheer Khan, but even he suffered, as Warner hit him down the ground for his first six.
The left-arm pacer went for plenty in his next over too. Warner hit a full delivery wide off the fielder at long-on for a boundary and Watson followed that up with another big hit over long-on for his fifth six of the innings.
Surprisingly, Dhoni brought back Jadeja into the attack and again he suffered. Warner welcomed him to the crease with three huge sixes down the ground as the left-arm spinner was hit for six sixes in a row, three coming in his previous over.
Jadeja was smashed for 42 runs in his two overs, including six sixes, as Australia raced to 95 in ten overs. Warner was unbeaten on 48 from 30 balls, while Watson slammed 47 from 29 balls, with both batsmen hitting a total of nine sixes and three boundaries.
Warner brought up his half-century from 33 balls with a single on the off-side, but Watson brought up his fifty in some style, carting Yusuf Pathan for a six over midwicket.
But Pathan had his revenge off the next delivery when Watson was bowled as he attempted the slog sweep yet again.
Watson had given Australia control with a blazing knock of 54 from 32 balls, with the help of six sixes and a boundary, adding 104 runs in 65 balls for the opening wicket with Warner.
David Hussey continued the six-hitting spree as he hit Nehra over the midwicket region off the third ball he faced. Pathan's final over also proved costly as Warner and Hussey hit him for a six each, as Australia reached 128 for one after 13 overs, with already 13 sixes being hit by the Aussie batsmen.
Dhoni took another gamble by bringing in part-timer Yuvraj Singh, but it hardly mattered for the Aussies. It continued to rain sixes in Barbados, with Warner hitting Yuvraj twice through the leg side for another two sixes.
But it was Yuvraj who struck with the important wicket of the high-flying Warner, who by then had a sparking knock of 72 from 42 balls, having hit seven sixes and two boundaries. The left-hander was beaten by the extra bounce from Yuvraj, and edged it behind to wicketkeeper Dhoni.
Harbhajan shone among the ruins as he gave away just 15 runs in his four overs, including a maiden, while all others around him were taken to the cleaners.
Yuvraj brought more cheer to the Indian team as he had Brad Haddin stumped for eight in his second over.
Nehra also redeemed his figures somewhat with the wicket of Hussey, caught at long-on by Murali Vijay, after a quick 35 from 22 balls.
India stopped the flow of runs towards the end by bowling a good line and length as Australia struggled to find the boundaries.
Nehra claimed his second wicket, when he bowled Michael Hussey with a fast yorker for eight in the final over of the innings.
Just 23 runs came from the last four overs, but Australia posted a huge 184 for five in their 20 overs, the innings including 16 sixes and six boundaries.
Zaheer, rested for the previous match, seemed to have lost his rhythm completely as he went for 45 runs in his four overs. Nehra finished off well with two tight overs, claiming two for 31, while Yuvraj took two for 20 in two overs.
Jadeja had a nightmarish outing with the ball, giving away 38 runs in two overs, which included six sixes in a row spread over his two overs.
Australia's opening bowlers, Nannes and Tait, troubled the Indian openers with the new ball by using the short one to good effect.
Nannes crippled India right at the start with two wickets in his second over. Murali Vijay was caught off a leading edge at cover for two, and a few deliveries later Gautam Gambhir mistimed a pull shot and was caught at midwicket for nine.
Suresh Raina also was done in by the short delivery. He tried to take on a quick bouncer from Tait but only got a top edge and was taken by Michael Clarke for five, as India were left reeling at 17 for three after four overs.
Yuvraj Singh also perished cheaply, beaten all ends up by a fast yorker from Nannes and was bowled for one.
Nannes registered wonderful figures of three for 10 in his three overs, reducing India to 23 for four after five.
After playing and missing, Rohit Sharma finally found the middle of the bat and slammed Mitchell Johnson over midwicket for the first six of the innings.
Leg-spinner Steven Smith struck in his first over, claiming the big wicket of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who holed out to the fielder at long-on, for two, as India slipped to 37 for five after eight overs.
Yusuf Pathan also looked in a wild rush as he looked to hit Johnson over the off-side and was caught by Warner, running in from point, for one.
At the halfway stage, India were reduced to 47 for six, facing the impossible task of scoring 138 from the last ten overs for victory.
Jadeja's poor game continued as he failed with the bat too. The left-hander (4) was guilty of throwing his wicket away; he strolled across the pitch before sprinting towards the end and was caught short by David Hussey's direct hit from mid-on.
Rohit was the only batsmen to reach double figures, while the others around him departed in quick succession. The Mumbai batsman gave his fans something to cheer about as he hit Watson for a six over fine leg and a boundary through midwicket off successive deliveries, in the 11th over.
Rohit was waging a lone battled as he slammed leggie Smith for two sixes over long-off to bring up his half-century from 33 balls, having hit four sixes and two fours.
Harbhajan Singh also looked to join the party as he carted Watson down the ground for a six. But the bowler had the last laugh when Harbhajan perished off the very next delivery for 14, attempting a similar shot.
Rohit continued finding the boundaries and slammed Watson for a four and six off successive deliveries to take India to 107 for eight after 15 overs.
Zaheer Khan also went on the attack straightaway and launched Smith over the long-on fielder for a six.
Even Nannes suffered at the hands of Rohit in his final over, the batsman getting a boundary off an edge before slamming one straight down the ground for a six.
India managed to reduce the margin as they reached 132 for eight after 17 overs, needing 53 from the last three for victory.
Tait claimed the wicket of Zaheer for nine, caught on the off-side, trying to hit a big shot down the ground. The Australia pacer then ended India's innings when he bowled Ashish Nehra with a fast yorker for a duck.
Sharma finished unbeaten on 79 from 46 balls as India were bowled out for 135 in 17.4 overs and lost by a big margin of 49 runs.
Tait (3 for 21) and Nannes (3 for 25) shone with the ball to set up Australia's huge win after a convincing display with the bat.
India need to win their remaining two matches by big margins to make it to the last four, while Australia surely rank as the favourites after this convincing win.