Cricket

India meets Pakistan in the semifinals

Yuvraj Singh celebrates with Suresh Raina after hitting the winning runs in India's five-wicket victory over Australia in Ahmedabad. Photo: K.R. Deepak   | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

India held its nerve to overcome defending champion Australia in the quarterfinals of the Cricket World Cup at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad on Thursday.

Chasing Australia's 260 for six, a score made possible by a magnificent captain's knock from Ricky Ponting (104), India achieved the target with 14 balls to spare and set up a semifinal clash with Pakistan.

After Sachin Tendulkar (53) and Gautam Gambhir (50) appeared to put their side in a position of strength, India lost soft wickets to slide from 143 for two to 187 for five.

The dismissal of Gambhir, who was run out bizarrely after two close calls, could have spread panic.

But Yuvraj Singh (57 n.o.) swung the momentum by counter-attacking brilliantly. Suresh Raina (34 n.o.) lent Yuvraj excellent support – the pair raised 74 in 10.1 overs to eliminate Australia, which has won the last three editions of the World Cup. Yuvraj won the Man of the Match award.

“There was pressure, and it was about managing pressure,” said Indian captain M.S. Dhoni after the five-wicket win. “I knew if they [Yuvraj and Raina] batted the overs, we could make it, but they did very well.”

Masterly knock

Earlier, Ponting, under pressure because of a poor run of form, batted masterfully to make his 30th ODI century.

He shared in partnerships of 70 with Brad Haddin for the second wicket, 40 with Cameron White for the fifth wicket, and 55 with David Hussey for the sixth wicket before being dismissed in the 49th over. But it wasn't enough for Australia.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 3:44:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/India-meets-Pakistan-in-the-semifinals/article14959876.ece

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