October 24, 2017

India seal win despite Ponting century

Brett Lee gave it everything in his final World Cup appearance for Australia.

India has moved into the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup with a tense victory over champions Australia in Ahmedabad.

Under fire Australia captian Ricky Ponting answered his critics with a sensational anchor innings of 104. He batted for 38 overs and saw Australia through to an imposing 260 for 6 wickets in their 50 overs.

Earlier Brad Haddin had scored a fluent 53 to keep Australia’s innings moving. Recalled David Hussey provided some grunt at the end of the innings with an unbeaten 38 runs.

With all the media speculation over Pontings captaincy future, it was a credit to him that he answered the critics in the best way possible by scoring his 30th One Day International hundred.

India were steady in reply. Sehwag fell for only 15 runs, but Sachin Tendulkar went on to score yet another half century. He was out soon after though. A good partnership between Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli was broken with Kohli’s demise for 24, with the team total on 143 for 3 wickets.

Then things started to wobble for India. Gambhir reached his half century then perished with a sensless runout, having only just survived a senseless runout the ball before. It was a sign of the immense pressure both teams were under.

MS Dhoni made only 7 runs and with India teetering at 187 for 5 with 12 overs to go, it looked like the Australians might mount another of their legendary fightbacks.

Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina stepped up to the mark though and played with power and intelligence to ensure that India set up a dream semi-final against Pakistan.

Singh reached an unbeaten 57, stroking the ball to the boundary to bring up the winning runs with two overs remaining. Suresh Raina was 38 not out at the other end.

The bowlers from both sides had tried their hearts out but no one dominated the bat. In the end the key difference between the teams was Australias lack of a quality spin attack.

Well done Australia for setting the benchmark in One Day International cricket for so long. Three consecutive World Cup victories are an outstanding achievment. This Austrlaian team handled defeat like gentlemen and were generous in their congratulations to the Indian team.

If this is indeed Ricky Pontings last game for Australia as captain and maybe even as a player, then it was a fitting stage for him to exit on.

Well done to India for handling the pressure especilly towards the end when the considerable expectations of a nation were riding on the shoulders of Yuvraj and Suresh.

Newswarped can’t wait for India v Pakistan. Will Shahid Afridi implode or explode?

India 261 for 5 (Yuvraj 57*, Tendulkar 53, Gambhir 50) beat Australia 260 (Ponting 104, Haddin 53, Ashwin 2-52, Yuvraj 2-44) by 5 wickets