Australia ruin host’s party

There will be no Asian participation in the semi finals of the ICC Champions trophy after favourites Australia knocked hosts India out of the Champions Trophy with a six-wicket win in Mohali to take their place in the final four.

Damien Martyn celebrates Australia's win
Damien Martyn celebrates Australia's win

Veteran Glenn McGrath was in vintage form as he claimed 2-34 from 10 overs as India were restricted to 249-8 after electing to bat, despite half-centuries from Virender Sehwag (65) and captain Rahul Dravid (52).
The world champions were always in control and they cruised past the target in the 46th over of  the day-night international with opener Shane Watson making 50,  skipper Ricky Ponting 58 and Damien Martyn an unbeaten 73.
The result sets up a Trans Tasman battle as Australia now clash with New Zealand in the first semi final on Wednesday.
Group B champions South Africa will meet holders West Indies in the second semi-final in Jaipur on November 2.

Rahul Dravid: Not what the locals wanted

Rahul Dravid: Not what the locals

India’s defeat means that for the first time since the inaugural World Cup in 1975 no Asian team with participate in the semi-finals.  

“It looked an easy win but it was not so easy,” said Ponting. 

“Credit must go to the bowlers who kept the Indians in check on what was a very good wicket.
“We know the conditions here and are well-prepared for the semi-final. I don’t forsee many changes for that game.”

“Big let down”
Defeated captain Rahul Dravid said the failure to reach the semi-finals was a “big let down” for the hosts.
“Nothing is satisfying when you lose. We did not play well. We needed early breaks but they got a very good start. This has been a very disappointing tournament for us.
“Hopefully, we will learn the lessons well in the months ahead before the World Cup in March.”
A rare sell-out crowd for this tournament of around 45,000 at the Punjab Cricket  Association stadium watched the impressive Australian progress to the last four as they continue their quest for their first ever Champions Trophy title.
Adam Gilchrist and Watson laid the foundation by smashing 61 for the opening wicket by the ninth over.

“A big let down”

“A big let down”

Seamer Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, who replaced the injured Ajit  Agarkar, made the breakthrough when Gilchrist slashed a short ball  to Suresh Raina at point.
But there was no relief for the Indians as Ponting added 50 for the second wicket with Watson and 74 for the third with Martyn.
India, who were 186-3 after 40 overs, were restricted to 63 runs in the last 10 overs despite Mahendra Dhoni’s typically aggressive 28 off 23 balls.

McGrath led the spot-on Australian attack, ably supported by Brett Lee and Nathan Bracken who finished with two wickets apiece.

Source : AFP

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