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Images: India end Australia's 12-year reign

Last updated on: March 24, 2011 23:52 IST

India deliver knock-out punch to Aus

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Title aspirants India knocked defending champions Australia out of the World Cup with a thrilling five-wicket victory to set up a mouth-watering semi-final clash against archrivals Pakistan in Ahmedabad on Thursday.

- Scorecard

After restricting Australia to 260 for 6, largely built around Ricky Ponting's 104, the Indians held their nerve to overhaul the target with 14 balls to spare, Yuvraj Singh (57 not out), Sachin Tendulkar (53) and Gautam Gambhir (50) being the star batting performers.

In a cracker of a contest, fortunes fluctuated from one team to the other before Yuvraj and Suresh Raina (34 not out) tilted the balance in India's favour with an unbeaten 74-run partnership to send a capacity crowd at the Sardar Patel stadium into a frenzy.

Barring a few lapses here and there, it was a clinical display by the Indians as they ended Australia's reign as World champions and gave a huge boost to their campaign to regain the coveted trophy after a gap of 28 years.


Image: Yuvraj Singh celebrates after the quarter-final match against Australia
Photographs: Getty Images
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Ponting's century goes in vain

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Yuvraj Singh slammed Brett Lee to the boundary to bring about the dramatic victory as the Indian players and officals hugged each to celebrate the triumph amidst deafening cheers from nearly 43,000 spectators.

India will now travel to Mohali for the much-anticipated semi-final against bitter foes Pakistan.

Opting to bat first, Ponting notched up his 30th ODI century and his fifth in the World Cup to not only silence his detractors but also guide Australia to a decent total on a rather slow and turning track at the Sardar Patel stadium.

Apart from Ponting's 118-ball 104, Brad Haddin (53) and David Hussey (38 not out) were the other notable performers for the defending champions.

For the Indians, Yuvraj Singh (2/44), R Ashwin (2/52) and Zaheer Khan (2/53) were the wicket-takers.


Image: Australia's Ricky Ponting react after losing his quarter-final match against India
Photographs: Getty Images
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India off to a good start

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The Indian innings began with a flourish as both Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag went on the offensive and unleashed a flurry of boundaries in the first five overs.

Speedster Shaun Tait came in for some harsh punishment as he repeatedly strayed in line and length and was promptly dispatched to the boundary. He also bowled a few wide deliveries and no-balls to compound problems for Australia.

Sehwag, who was not at his destructive best, survived a caught behind appeal in the very first over off Brett Lee. The Australians asked for a review but television replays suggested that there was no edge.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar plays a pull shot during his knock against Australia
Photographs: Getty Images
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Watson snaps Sehwag

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The duo put on 44 brisk runs for the opening wicket before Shane Watson provided the breakthrough by evicting Sehwag (15), who paid the price for playing a poor shot to a bouncing delivery.

Sehwag was cramped for room but still went for the pull shot and top-edged the ball for Michael Hussey to take a simple catch at square leg region.

The left-handed Gambhir, who joined the action after Sehwag's dismissal, was quite content in playing second fiddle to Tendulkar, who completed a mind-boggling 18,000 ODI runs when he reached 45.

Tendulkar was rather lucky to get a reprieve when his late cut landed just short of Jason Krejza, who appeared to be a bit slow in coming forward. Lee was the unlucky bowler.


Image: Virender Sehwag walks back to the pavillion after being dismissed by Shane Watson
Photographs: Getty Images
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Tendulkar registers 94th half-century

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A few minutes later, Tendulkar unleashed a delectable flick towards the square-leg region for two runs to notch his 94th ODI half century and got a thunderous applause from the capacity crowd.

Australia captain Ponting introduced his spinner, Jason Krejza, in the 18th over of the innings and the Indians immediately attacked him, and his first over yielded eight runs.

Just when they seemed to be cruising along comfortably, the Indians suffered a huge jolt as Tait got the prized scalp of Tendulkar with a superb delivery.

Tendulkar nicked an outgoing delivery and Brad Haddin made no mistake behind the stumps, though the umpires had to check whether it was a no-ball before declaring him out.


Image: Tendulkar plays a shot during his knock against Australia
Photographs: Getty Images
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Kohli-Gambhir steady India

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Gambhir and Virat Kohli added 49 runs for the third wicket before Kohli perished to a rank bad shot. It was a full toss and he threw his bat wildly only to find the ball going straight to Michael Clarke at the mid-wicket region.

Gambhir, who survived a couple of run-out attempts, returned to the pavilion trying to steal a suicidal run, leaving India at a tricky 168 for four. His knock of 50 came off 64 balls and contained two boundaries.

The hosts plunged into more trouble when captain Dhoni also fell to Lee, who came back for his second spell.

Dhoni went for a cut but could not control the shot and Clarke took a smart catch at point to leave the crowd in shock.


Image: Gambhir plays a square cut during his knock
Photographs: Getty Images
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Ponting leads from the front

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Earlier, Ponting stole the thunder as he showed tremendous character and resilience to make a mark in such a crucial game. He held the innings together and was dismissed in the 49th over as the Aussies lost wickets at periodic intervals.

The Aussies, realising that the wicket was not conducive for strokeplay, curbed their stroke-making instincts to a large extent and were quite content in working for their runs on the slow and dry track.

Spinner Ramachandran Ashwin opened the bowling for India and produced a tidy first over, giving away just three runs, while paceman Zaheer Khan gave one run in his first over.

Watson played the first aggressive shot of the innings by slog-sweeping Ashwin to the mid-wicket boundary and then cracked another boundary off Zaheer's next over.


Image: Australia's Ricky Ponting reacts after completing his century against India
Photographs: Getty Images
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Aussie openers off to a good start

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Both the Aussie openers, Watson and Haddin, played cautiously in the intial stages before opening to play some big shots. Haddin lifted Ashwin for a six over wide long-on to try and break the shackles.

Harbhajan was introduced into the attack in the 9th over in place of Ashwin, who was brought in from the other end for Zaheer Khan.

The move paid dividends immediately as Ashwin drew first blood by evicting the dangerous Watson (25) with a superb delivery.

Watson went for the slog sweep to a tossed up ball but missed the line completely and saw his stumps being dislodged much to the delight of the Indians.


Image: Shane Watson plays a shot during the quarter-final match against India
Photographs: Reuters
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Haddin takes the attack to Indians

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With runs coming slowly, the Aussies chose to attack Munaf Patel and his first over yielded 13 runs, Haddin picking him for special treatment, clobbering him for three boundaries.

Haddin and Ponting, who was not among the runs, consolidated the position for the team as they took the score beyond the 100-mark without losing any more wickets.

Haddin, who looked quite comfortable in the middle, notched his 15th ODI half century by slamming Munaf to the boundary.

But Haddin returned to the pavilion soon after, Yuvraj Singh providing the breakthrough with Suresh Raina pulling off a brilliant diving catch. Haddin tried to go for the cover drive to a turning ball but failed to time it properly.

Desperate to get a wicket, Dhoni also turned to Sachin Tendulkar, who bowled his leg spinners. The last time Tendulkar bowled in an ODI was in Guwahati in November 2009.


Image: Bradd Haddin plays a shot on the leg side
Photographs: Getty Images
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Zaheer's magnificent spell

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Yuvraj came to the rescue of his team again by getting rid of Michael Clarke (8), who paid the price for a poor shot as he top-edged his slog-sweep and Zaheer latched on to a well-judged catch in the mid-wicket region.

Zaheer, who returned for his second spell in the 31st over, dismissed Michael Hussey with a gem of slow ball that knocked down the stumpsl leaving Australia in a spot of bother at 150 for four.

Cameron White, who was not too comfortable in the initial stage of his innings, survived a confident appeal for caught behind off Ashwin.

Umpire Marais Erasmus was unmoved even as the entire stadium went up in appeal for the catch. White went for the sweep and appeared to get it off the glove for Dhoni to take a catch behind the wicket. India went for the review, and it showed that the ball came off the forearm.

But White did not survive for long as he fell soon, with Zaheer accounting for his dismissal, taking a smart return catch off a slower delivery.


Image: Zaheer Khan celebrates after picking the wicket of Mike Hussey
Photographs: Getty Images
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