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World Cup PHOTOS: Smith stars as Australia down India to reach final

Last updated on: March 26, 2015 18:48 IST
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Steven Smith

Steve Smith celebrates after reaching his century. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Steven Smith slammed a brilliant century before Australia's pacers shone with the ball to outclass India by 95 runs in the second semi-final and knock the defending champions out of the ICC World Cup at the Sydney Cricket Ground, on Thursday.

- Scorecard

In an engrossing semi-final clash, four-time champions Australia rode on Smith's classy 105 to post an imposing 328/7 before bundling out India for 233 in 46.5 overs to set up a summit clash with trans-Tasmanian rivals and co-hosts New Zealand in Melbourne on Sunday.

After a dream run which saw them win seven matches on the trot, India's quest for a second successive World Cup title was finally thwarted by the formidable Australians, who outplayed the visitors in every department at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Check out the images from the second semi-final match:

Umesh Yadav (centre) celebrates with his team mates after taking the wicket of David Warner. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Australia captain Michael Clarke had no hesitation in electing to bat after winning the toss. Opener David Warner signalled his intention very early, driving Yadav's first ball down the ground for four before he smashed his final delivery over the square leg rope for six. However, the pacer got revenge in his next over when Warner's (12) attempted pull off Yadav skied up to Virat Kohli, who completed an easy catch on the off-side.

Aaron Finch of Australia bats. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Finch, who came into the match after a run of poor scores, started off slowly and took his time to get going. India's bowlers had done a great job slowing Australia's run rate before Smith smashed Yadav for four boundaries in the 10th over to take the score to 56 for one.

The right-hander survived a confident shout for LBW against Ravindra Jadeja in the 23rd over despite the Indians taking a review.

Steven Smith

Steve Smith hits a boundary. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

The Indian bowling once again came undone against Smith. He started off aggressively and never let the bowlers dry up the runs despite Australia losing an early wicket.

Smith raced to his fifty from 53 balls having hit six fours in the 19th over to continue his good recent which includes at least 50 in each of his last four innings. At the other end Finch took his time as he completed his half-century from 82 balls.

Steven Smith

Steve Smith celebrates after reaching his century. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Smith plundered 14 runs off Mohammed Shami in the 33rd over, a six and a four off successive balls taking him to his first century of the World Cup. It came in 89 balls with 10 fours and two sixes.

India's bowlers managed to pull back things with a few quick wickets. Yadav returned to the attack and got the key wicket of Smith for 105 with the first delivery of his new over.

Ravichandran Ashwin is congratulated by team mates after dismissing Glenn Maxwell. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Smith tried to hook the bouncer but got a top edge which was caught by Rohit Sharma at deep square leg after a cracking innings of 105 from 93 balls, laced with 11 fours and two sixes. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin won his duel with Glenn Maxwell when the batsman swept the ball to Ajinkya Rahane at deep backward square leg to depart for 23 off 14 balls.

Mohit Sharma (left) celebrates with his team after taking the wicket of Michael Clarke. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

The crowd, the majority wearing the blue of India, were roused and Finch soon departed as Yadav's third victim with Michael Clarke (10) and James Faulkner (21) following him back to the dressing room as Australia tumbled to 284 for six.

Even the experienced partnership of Shane Watson and Brad Haddin (seven not out) was unable to steady the ship as Australia tried to balance the imperative of scoring quickly with making sure they did not run out of batsmen.

Watson departed for 28 to give Mohit Sharma his second wicket and it was left to paceman Mitchell Johnson, who slammed a quickfire 27 not out off nine balls, to bolster Australia's tally 328 for seven in their 50 overs with his.

It was the first time in eight matches at the World Cup that India had failed to dismiss their opponents.

Shikhar Dhawan of India bats. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Chasing a huge target of 329, India might have fancied their chances of chasing the target down after making a solid start on a good pitch in perfect weather conditions and backed by the majority of a noisy crowd of 42,330 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The Indians started off with a flourish with Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma adding 76 runs for the first wicket in 12.5 overs.

Josh Hazlewood celebrates dismissing Shikhar Dhawan. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Dhawan hit a fluent 45 from 41 balls before he gifted his wicket with a reckless shot. He came down the track to pacer Josh Hazlewood but ended up mishitting it straight to Glenn Maxwell at deep extra cover.

Mitchell Johnson celebrates after taking the wicket of Rohit Sharma. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Mitchell Johnson's double strikes left India reeling as he claimed the wickets of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in successive overs.

Kohli (1) went for a pull and but got a top-edge that ballooned up and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin had all the time in the world to position himself under the ball and complete an easy catch.

Rohit fell a couple of overs later when he inside edged one back on to his stumps to be dismissed for 34 and leave India in a spot of bother at 91 for three after 18 overs.

James Faulkner (2nd right) celebrates with team mates dismissing Suresh Raina. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

James Faulkner made it worse for India with the wicket of Suresh Raina, who nicked a delivery to perish caught behind for seven.

Australia's players celebrate after winning the World Cup semi-final match against India. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ajinkya Rahane (44) set about rebuilding the innings with a partnership of 70 but when the captain was run out ambling down the wicket by a direct hit from Glenn Maxwell, the die was cast.

Faulkner added a flourish by bowling Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohit Sharma in successive deliveries to finish with 3-59 but Umesh Yadav blocked the hat-trick ball.

Mitchell Starc finished off the Indian innings when he bowled Umesh Yadav for a duck as the defending champions folded for a disappointing 233 in 46.5 overs.

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