Friday, March 25, 2011

Yuvraj knock carry into semis final

India knocked defending champions Australia out of the cricket World Cup with a thrilling five-wicket victory to set up a mouth-watering semi-final clash against arch rivals Pakistan in Ahmedabad on Thursday.Team India after restricting Australia to 260 for 6, largely built around Ricky Ponting's 104, the Indians held their nerves to overhaul the target with 14 balls to spare with Yuvraj Singh 57 not out, Sachin Tendulkar 53 and being the star batting performers.A scintillating of a contest,where fortune fluctuated from one team to the other before Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina 34 with their steady knock put balance in India's favour with an unbeaten 74 run partnership to send a capacity crowd at the Sardar Patel stadium into a frenzy in Ahmedabad: A clinical display by the Indians as they ended Australia's reign as world champions and have given a huge boost to their campaign to regain the coveted trophy after a gap of 28 years.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 match against Pakistan:

Ponting 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.

The Indian innings began with a flourish as both Sachin 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 despatched to the boundary. He also bowled a few wides and no balls to compound the problems for Australia.Sehwag, who was not in his destructive best, survived a caught behind appeal in the very first over off Brett Lee. The Australians asked for a review and the television replays suggested that there was no edge.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 he 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 Gautam 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.A few minutes later, Tendulkar unleashed a delectable flick towards the square-leg region for two runs to notch up his 94th ODI half century to get a thunderous applause from the capacity crowd.

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