COLOMBO – Australia, unheralded before the World Twenty20 tournament started, underlined their threat to all-comers with an emphatic nine wicket rout of India in their Super Eight match in Colombo today.
Man-of-the-match Shane Watson led from the front, cracking 72 off 42 balls with seven sixes having earlier returned bowling figures of 3-34 as his side restricted India to 140-7.
“The last couple of games have been pretty good,” Watson said. “It’s nice when things come together like this.”
India captain MS Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat on a slow wicket at the Premadasa stadium but they were never able to escape the shackles of a disciplined, determined Australian attack.
Makeshift opener Irfan Pathan top-scored with 31, while Suresh Raina boosted the total towards the end with 26 off 19 balls.
Pathan hit two fours and a six, but India lost three wickets in seven balls to slip from a comfortable 70-2 to 74-5 with Watson snaring Yuvraj Singh and Pathan in one pivotal over.
With rain in the air, the Australia openers made a circumspect start before opening their shoulders, unleashing clumping blows to all parts of the ground as India’s much-vaunted bowling attack was taken apart.
David Warner, as ruthless as his opening partner, finished unbeaten on 63 as the Australians cruised home with 31 balls to spare, Glenn Maxwell scoring the winning runs after Yuvraj (1-16) finally snared Watson in the shadow of the winning post.
“Rain just came at the wrong time,” said Dhoni.
“A wet ball is not good for spinners. That was the main reason we lost. It is important to look at what mistakes we made.” (Sky)