Yuvraj Singh’s excellent unbeaten half-century steered India to an exciting five-wicket win with 14 balls to spare over exiting champions Australia in their World Cup quarterfinal in Ahmedabad on Thursday.
48th over – Yuvraj blasts a full ball from Brett Lee through the covers for four and India have won! Yuvraj goes down on his knees and roars, and then he and Suresh Raina almost get gridlock on their helmets in a prolonged hug.
47th over – Australia have bowled too short to Suresh Raina, whatever his reputation, and the left-hander hops inside an attempted bouncer from Mitchell Johnson and tucks it to fine leg for four.
46th over – Raina starts the batting powerplay in imperious fashion as he launches Lee over long-on for six.
45th over – Yuvraj Singh goes to a tremendous half-century off 54 balls and the fifty partnership with Raina is also up, off just 43 deliveries.
43rd over – Shane Watson drops short and Yuvraj swivels on his hook shot, getting the ball fine. Lee, who has been superb on the boundary all innings, sprints across, dives, but can only deflect the ball on to his eyebrow and away for four. Lee’s eyebrow his split, blood is pouring and he has to leave the field for medical attention.
40th over – Lee bounces Raina, the left-hander waits for it well and a muscular pull then sends the ball racing away for four. Yuvraj then digs out a yorker and manages to steer it wide of third man for four. Yuvraj then ends the over in style with a superb square-drive for four, it went like a bullet.
39th over – Yuvraj cracks a short ball from Shaun Tait over point for a powerful boundary.
38th over – Lee returns and claims a key wicket as Mahendra Singh Dhoni (7) slams a cut uppishly to backward point, where Michael Clarke hangs on to a sharp catch.
37th over – Yuvraj unfurls a magnificent on-drive for four off Johnson.
36th over – A long hop from David Hussey and Dhoni smashes it through the covers and through the hands of a diving Ricky Ponting for four. That hurt the Australian captain’s injured left hand … and looks damn sore.
34th over – Gautam Gambhir is nearly run out on the first ball of the next over as the ball deflects off Yuvraj’s pads and there is utter confusion over the calling. Australia fortunately throw to the wrong end. Gambhir eventually succeeds in committing suicide on the next ball. Yuvraj steers off-spinner David Hussey to short third man and Gambhir charges down the pitch like a lunatic. But the single was never on and Yuvraj stays put, allowing Cameron White to throw the ball to Hussey and run out India”s anchor for 50.
33rd over – Gambhir completes his half-century off 63 balls but then completely loses his head with some crazy running between the wickets. It starts in this over when Yuvraj flicks Johnson strongly off his toes, but Ponting makes a brilliant stop at midwicket. Gambhir has charged off from the non-striker’s end, is stranded and is only saved because Ponting, unusually, misses his shy at the stumps.
30th over – Jason Krejza pitches outside leg to Yuvraj and the left-hander shovels the ball fine for four.
29th over – India are cruising but Kohli then gifts his wicket to a terrible high full-toss from part-time off-spinner David Hussey, belting it straight to a straight midwicket. Kohli scored 24. Hussey’s next ball, after the drinks break, is another full toss and new batsman Yuvraj pulls it, just clearing midwicket to get off the mark with a boundary first ball.
28th over – Left-arm spinner Michael Clarke over-pitches outside off stump and Kohli lashes him through the covers for four.
19th over – A great knock by Tendulkar is nipped in the bud by Tait! Tendulkar is out for 53 off 68 balls as he edges a back-foot drive at a short delivery through to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.
18th over – Off-spinner Krejza comes on and gets away with three short balls, before Gambhir eventually swats one through wide mid-on for four.
17th over – Tendulkar reaches his half-century off 62 balls, with seven fours, as he flicks Tait off his pads for a couple of runs.
15th over – Gambhir shuffles down the pitch, keeping leg-side of the ball, and lashes Watson over the covers for four.
12th over – Tendulkar starts the over with an incredible shot, whipping a perfectly good ball from Johnson from outside off stump in front of midwicket for four. The bowler has a look of grudging respect. The next ball leaves Johnson openly scratching his head as Tendulkar waits on the back foot to a slightly shorter delivery and cuts it with supreme timing and placement for four.
9th over – An out-of-sorts Virender Sehwag is out for 15 off 22 balls as Watson starts his second over with a nippy bouncer. Sehwag tries to hook from outside off stump, is late on the shot and top-edges it to midwicket. Tendulkar then drives Watson classically through the covers for four though.
8th over – Johnson tries a short-pitched delivery at Tendulkar, but the Little Master handles it with ease, pull-driving it with disdain in front of midwicket for four.
4th over – Tait strays on to Sehwag’s pads and is whipped through square-leg for four.
2nd over – Tait makes an awful start. His first ball is outside off stump and Tendulkar leans on it, steering it through point and racing away to the boundary. Tait then bowls a wide down the leg side and follows up with a short, wide delivery which Tendulkar upper-cuts for a one-bounce four.
1st over – Sehwag gets off the mark in magnificent fashion as he blazes Lee through the covers for four. Lee ends the over with a superb delivery that nips away late, leaving Sehwag groping. The bowler and the wicketkeeper think there’s an edge, ask for a review, but there it is clear the delivery was too good for Sehwag! Just one review left for Australia in 49 overs …
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