India win cliffhanger, storm into Twenty20 WC final

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Banglore, Sep 23: India trounced Australia by 15 runs to storm into the final of the Twenty20 World Cup at Durban on Saturday.

Yuvraj Singh pounded Australia's attack for 70 off 30 balls as India posted a competitive total for the loss of five wickets. The left-hander, who smashed England fast bowler Stuart Broad for six sixes in a over on Wednesday, sent a packed house at the Kingsmead in raptures with five sixes and as many boundaries.

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who won the toss and elected to bat, chipped in with 36 off 18 balls as India plundered 128 runs in the final 10 overs after a slow start. Yuvraj and Robin Uthappa (34) hammered 84 for the third wicket off just 40 deliveries amid loud support from some 19,000 South African fans.


India plodded to 41-2 by the eighth over, losing openers Virender Sehwag (nine) and Gautam Gambhir (24) to tight Australian seam bowling.

Yuvraj took charge immediately, slamming the first delivery he faced from Stuart Clark for six over square-leg. Andrew Symonds' first over, the 11th of the innings, produced 19 runs as Yuvraj helped himself to a six and four and Uthappa pulled a short ball for six.

Yuvraj brought up his half-century off 20 balls by lofting Clark for his fourth six and Uthappa celebrated his partner's feat by smashing two consecutive sixes off Mitchell Johnson.

The dangerous stand was broken in the 15th over when Uthappa was run out after Yuvraj refused his call for a single and Symonds broke the stumps with a direct throw from covers.

Yuvraj fell in the 18th over at the total of 155 when he pulled left-arm spinner Michael Clarke to deep mid-wicket where Mike Hussey easily caught the skier.

Sreesanth claimed the prized wicket of Adam Gilchrist after the batsman hit a few powerful shots with Matthew Hayden. The former returned to the pavilion for 22. Pathan dismissed Brad Hodge in the ninth over for 11.

Hayden and Andrew Symonds then resurrected the team with massive shots before Sreesanth returned to dismiss the former. Hayden hit four sixes and four boundaries en route his 62 off 47.

A young Indian team, aggressive and irreverent in a format of the game where they have had precious little practice prior to this tournament, continue their golden run and now go on to the final at The Wanderers where they meet traditional rival Pakistan in what will be an even more high-voltage clash.


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