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Defining moments! How Team India outsmarted Australia to clinch semis berth | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: India rode on skipper Rohit Sharma‘s scintillating 41-ball 92 and an all-round bowling display to beat Australia by 24 runs in their final Super 8 fixture and qualify for the semifinals of the T20 World Cup in St Lucia on Monday.
With the win, India entered their fifth semis and also recorded most wins at the ICC’s T20 showpiece.
Batting first, Rohit fired on all cylinders powering India to an imposing 205 for five.
Chasing a steep total, former champions Australia gave a tough fight in a see-saw second half but India players held on to their nerves to eventually emerge on top and avenged their last year’s ODI World Cup final defeat.
The game had quite a few twists and turns but an all-round India proved to be better than the Aussies in most of them to secure a win.
Here’s a look at some of the key moments of the India-Australia clash:
Early Kohli fall and Rohit’s counter-attack
India lost opener Virat Kohli for yet another single-digit score — a 5-ball duck — but Rohit was in the mood for a special knock. Despite the early fall of Kohli in the second over, the India skipper went out in all out attack mode, smashing the Aussie bowlers left-right and centre.
Paceman Mitchell Starc, in one of his overs inside powerplay, was dealt severely by Rohit as he smashed 4 sixes and a four in it. He then went on to score the fastest fifty of this World Cup — off 19 balls.
Rohit-Pant stand
For the second wicket, skipper Rohit and Rishabh Pant shared a phenomenal 38-ball 87 stand to leave the Aussies in a disarray. With the help of 7 fours and 8 sixes, Rohit was in carnage mode and spanked the bowlers to all corners of the park at will. Missing out on a well-deserved ton, Rohit departed for 92 but he had set the platform for a big total.
After Rohit’s fall, the Australian bowlers somewhat managed to restrict India batters but the likes of Suryakumar Yadav (31), Shivam Dube (28) and Hardik Pandya (27*) ensured India crossed the 200-run mark.
Early Warner blow and dropped catches
Chasing a steep total, Australia had to go hard from Ball 1 and they were rattled early as Arshdeep Singh dismissed explosive opener David Warner in the first over itself for 6.
India then had a couple of fielding lapses as Rishabh Pant and Arshdeep dropped skipper Mitchell Marsh twice as he rode on his luck to build a solid stand with Travis Head.
The Axar stunner that turned the tide in India’s favour
As Marsh and Head threatened to take the game away with a sizzling 48-ball 81 stand, Axar Patel’s stunner at the fence ended the former’s stay for 37. Pulling off one of the best catches of the tournament, Axar plucked a Marsh catch out of thin air to hand India a much-needed breakthrough. As Marsh perished on the final ball of the ninth over, brakes were put on a cruising Australia.
Head Fall
Despite losing Marsh, Australia had Travis Head in the middle, who looked at his fluent best in the chase. With 9 fours and 4 sixes during his stay in the middle, Head stitched another 41-run stand, this time with Glenn Maxwell to keep Australia alive in the chase. But India then had Kuldeep Yadav knocking over Maxwell for 20 and in-form Marcus Stoinis followed him soon back to the pavilion as quick wickets rattled Australia.
Head still looked threatening but as he ran out of partners at the other end, pressure kept building on him. Arshdeep then returned in the 17th over to dismiss Head for 76 (43 balls) as India tightened their grip on the game. With required rate going out of hands, Matthew Wade (1), Pat Cummins (11*) and Mitchell Starc (4*) weren’t able to take their side across the finish line. The Aussies were eventually stopped at 181 for 7.

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