Ravichandran Ashwin (right) took four wickets for India © AFP
By Nishad Pai Vaidya
Mar 30, 2014
Although India’s passage through to the semi-final of the ICC World T20 2014 was sealed after their victory against Australia, they kept the momentum going with a comprehensive 73-run victory over Australia at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur. After being put in to bat, India had a mini-collapse before Yuvraj Singh blazed away to 60 and helped India put up 159 for seven in their 20 overs. In reply, the Australians collapsed to an Indian bowling unit that has taken a liking to the conditions at Mirpur.
This match belonged to Yuvraj one would say. The result was inconsequential and this game was an ideal one for him to get back into his rhythm. Although he struggled initially, even slipping twice during some uncertain running between the wickets, he came back strong with a convincing innings. In the 12th over, India were in trouble at 66 for four, when MS Dhoni joined him in the middle. In the next seven overs, they ended up scoring 84 runs, with Dhoni contributing only 24 of those.
One can say that James Muirhead helped Yuvraj into some form. In the 14th over, he pitched two deliveries short and Yuvraj duly pulled them into the stands quite easily. Thereafter, he was unstoppable. Even when the bowlers pitched it short, he was ready to pull. He also went over the covers to clear the ground and got to his fifty by sending a full toss from Shane Watson into the stands. It took him only 37 balls to get there.
In the midst of that carnage, Australia did well to hit back towards the end when they took the wickets of Yuvraj and Dhoni. India only managed 10 runs in the last two overs and looking at the total, one felt it could have been a good game had Australia’s batsmen come to the party. But then, the tough run continued for them.
The Indian bowlers kept the Aussie batsmen in check from the outset. While Mohit Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar took a wicket apiece early on, the slower bowlers have to be given credit for this victory. Glenn Maxwell was the only batsman who threatened for a brief while when he swept three sixes into the stands on the leg-side. One of those sixes went into the second tier. But, once he fell while attempting an audacious reverse sweep.
Most of the Australians were out while trying to play some aggressive strokes. While their previous defeats were close, this one will push them towards deep introspection. The batting line-up just collapsed and it isn’t something one expected from them in this tournament.
India 159 for 7 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 23, Yuvraj Singh 60, MS Dhoni 24; Brad Hodge 1 for 13, Glenn Maxwell 1 for 20) beat Australia 86 in 16.2 overs (David Warner 19, Glenn Maxwell 23; Ravichandran Ashwin 4 for 11, Amit Mishra 2 for 13) by 73 runs.
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(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)