DHAKA: Yuvraj Singh roared back to form with a pugnacious half-century and Ravichandran Ashwin grabbed 4-11 as India hammered listless Australia by 73 runs in the World Twenty20 in Dhaka on Sunday. Yuvraj hit 60 off 43 balls to steer India to 159-7 after they were sent in to bat, before Australia collapsed in spectacular fashion to be bowled out for a paltry 86 in 16.2 overs. India, who had already qualified for the semi-finals, topped group two of the Super-10s with four successive wins. They will meet the number two team from the other group in the last four.
It was Australia’s third loss in a row, leaving them at the bottom of the table along with Bangladesh. Pakistan, who beat Bangladesh by 50 runs earlier on Sunday, will clash with the West Indies on Tuesday to decide the second semi-finalist from the group. South Africa have made it to the knock-out round from group one, while Sri Lanka will face New Zealand in Chittagong on Monday to determine the other semi-finalist. India, whose previous three wins came while batting second, were given first strike by Australian captain George Bailey and found themselves in immediate trouble.
India’s top order faltered after opener Rohit Sharma fell to part-timer Brad Hodge off the fourth ball of the innings and slipped to 66-4 by the 12th over. Left-handed Yuvraj, who made one and 10 in the two innings he got to bat in the tournament, launched a spectacular counter-attack that included five boundaries and four sixes. Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni made 24 during a fifth-wicket stand of 84 off 42 balls with Yuvraj before he was bowled by Mitchell Starc in the penultimate over.
Australia’s batting caved in under lights at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium with Glenn Maxwell emerging the top scorer with 23. Eight batsmen failed to reach double figures against the steady Indian spin attack in which leg-spinner Amit Mishra supported Ashwin with two wickets for 13 runs.
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