Thursday, March 24, 2011

A New Champion Will Come

It was one of the most riveting World Cup matches ever: India vs. defending champions Australia.

Australia's 34 match dream run at the World Cup had already been destroyed by Pakistan in the last match of the League Stage, but this defeat sent the Aussies packing as India went into the semi-finals.

The match was anything but one-sided. India's bowling was pretty good but when the Aussies managed to cross 250, it was clear that the Indian side was tense. When it came to batting, the Little Master made a half century but failed to reach his 100th cricket century.

When Dhoni was out, the fear in the audience was palpable. It looked, for a few balls at least, as though India was all set to collapse like a pack of cards, much like what happened versus SA. But the duo of Suresh Raina and man of the match Yuvraj Singh held on and played some spectacular shots, including the inning's only six.

That coupled with several crucial boundaries saw India through. Interestingly, the Australian team's lack of experience showed clearly when they started making huge fielding follies once the match began to tilt in India's favour. But of course, this is not the same team that won the previous World Cup.

The next match, although a semi-final, is good enough as a final for most of cricket's fans - Pakistan v India at Mohali, Punjab (the Indian Pubjab). In a previous post, I said that India would come to a standstill during today's match. Well, the entire subcontinent is going to com to a standstill on Wednesday. One team will leave the World Cup - let the battle begin.

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