Australia will face off against New Zealand in Sunday’s Cricket World Cup final, a century after the two nations stood beside each other in the trenches of Gallipoli, following their emphatic defeat of India in the world cup semi-final at the SCG on Thursday night.
India were all out for 233 in the 47th over, chasing Australia’s 7/328, giving the home side a 95 run win over the 2011 champions, who will be glad to finally leave Austraia after a bleak summer.
The turning point was Glenn Maxwell’s freakish run out of India’s match-winning captain, MS Dhoni, on 65, at the bowler’s end, with a shy at the stumps from mid on. As Dhoni ambled to his crease for a single, Maxwell had only on stump to aim at and was spot on.
Dhoni had just begun to accelerate, smashing two sixes in a row off Shane Watson, but when his innings came to an end, India faced the impossible task of 100 runs in six overs, with just three wickets remaining.
James Faulkner had his revenge after being hammered for 29 in his opening two overs when he cleaned up the tail and was on a hat-trick after bowling both Ashwin and Sharma. He also raided the top end, dismissing Suresh Raina for 7, to finish with 3-59.
Mitchell Johnson and Josh Hazlewood did the damage early on, just when India were looking good at 0-76 in the 13th over.
Hazelwood struck first when Shikhar Dhawan tried to smash him to the cover boundary, only to place the ball in Glenn Maxwell’s hands, out for 45.
After keeping Virat Kohli pinned down for nearly two overs, he lashed out to a ball from Johnson, skied it, and was caught by Haddin for 1, and India were suddenly 2 for 78.
Johnson nabbed Rohit Sharma for 34, bowling him the next ball after being belted for six.
When Ajinkya Rahane flashed at a ball outside the off stump it looked like a near miss but Haddin, prompted by Steve Smith, called for a review and the third umpire found a noise on snicko as the ball passed bat. He was out for 44 and India’s innings was unravelling fast at 5-178 and the large swathes of blue in the 42,000-strong crowd were falling silent.
Steve Smith had another brilliant game, running out Ravindra Jadeja with a shy from backward point, setting India’s daunting target with 105 off 93 balls in Australia’s 7-328, a record for a World Cup semi-final.
Aaron Finch was a brilliant accomplice with 83 off 119 and Mitchell Johnson’s cameo at the end, with 27 off just 9 balls, only added to his reputation as an all-rounder.
The win puts Australia in its seventh World Cup final, chasing its fifth title against the co-hosts at the MCG on Sunday.
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