Australia v India, World T20 2012, Super Eights, Colombo

Watson and Warner destroy India

The Report by Brydon Coverdale

September 28, 2012

Comments: 681 | Text size: A | A

Australia 141 for 1 (Watson 72, Warner 63*) beat India 140 for 7 (Pathan 31, Watson 3-34) by 9 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Shane Watson was in blistering form, Australia v India, World T20 2012, Colombo, September, 28, 2012
Shane Watson was again Man of the Match © AFP
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Australia's captain George Bailey doesn't think his side is over-dependent on Shane Watson. Who'd be able to tell? Watson has hardly given any of his team-mates a chance so far in this tournament, and that continued in Australia's first Super Eights match as they crushed India by nine wickets in Colombo. To be fair, David Warner was also outstanding and Pat Cummins played a key role with the ball. But Watson was again the stand-out performer, as he has been in all of Australia's matches in the World Twenty20.

Chasing 141, the Australians reached their target with 31 balls to spare. India's decision to pick three spinners - Virender Sehwag was left out to accommodate a fifth bowler - did not work, although there was little distinction between the slow bowlers and the fast men. They were all monstered by Watson and Warner. Yuvraj Singh picked up the only wicket, when Watson drove to cover with eight runs still needed and it meant India narrowly avoided their first ten-wicket defeat in a T20.

Watson had made 72 from 42 deliveries with two fours and seven sixes. He cleared the boundary straight down the ground, over midwicket and over square leg. A pair of enormous consecutive sixes pulled over midwicket off Irfan Pathan showed Watson's power, but also highlighted India's poor bowling. Short balls on the leg side to Watson made about as much sense as dropping Sehwag.

In slightly slippery conditions the spinners also failed to have any impact and were routinely dispatched by both Watson and Warner, whose 133-run partnership was their second century stand in a T20 international this month, and the Australian record for any wicket. Warner muscled three sixes of his own, including two in a row off Harbhajan Singh, whose two overs cost 20 runs. Rare though it may be, Warner was the quiet partner.

He still managed 63 not out from 41 deliveries, striking seven fours and playing a key role in demoralising India early in the chase. They remained disheartened throughout the innings, and the comprehensive nature of the result will make it hard for them to drag themselves back into form for their next match. But they must do so to have any chance of progressing to the semi-finals. And to do that, they need not only to bowl much better, but to bat with more conviction as well.

Smart stats

  • Australia won the match in 14.5 overs, which is the fewest overs in which a team has successfully chased a target of more than 140 in a Twenty20 internationals.
  • India lost with 31 balls to spare, which is their second-worst defeat in Twenty20 internationals. Their worst loss was also against Australia, when they were beaten with 52 balls to spare in Melbourne in 2008.
  • The 133-run partnership between Shane Watson and David Warner is the highest for any wicket for Australia in this format, and the joint fifth-highest opening stand for any team.
  • Watson and Warner have become the first pair to score more than 1000 partnership runs in Twenty20 internationals.
  • On 15 occasions when he has batted in a run-chase, Watson has scored six fifties, and averages 37.76 at a strike rate of 158.38. When batting first he averages 25.25 at a strike rate of 144.28.
  • This was Watson's seventh Man-of-the-Match award in Twenty20 internationals, which equals the record, which is also held by Shahid Afridi. However, while Afridi has played 53 matches, Watson's played only 33.

Their batsmen struggled for firepower and stammered to 140 for 7, which seemed like just a moderately competitive total. That India managed only two sixes said a lot about their performance. Cummins was especially difficult for the batsmen to score from and his pace and accuracy brought him 2 for 16 from his four overs, while Watson picked up 3 for 34 and jumped to the top of the wicket tally for the tournament, with eight from three games.

A few late boundaries from R Ashwin and Suresh Raina helped India push their total up but at no point did their batsmen dominate. Gautam Gambhir picked up a few early boundaries before he was run out for 17 from 12 deliveries, the victim of a fine piece of footwork from the bowler Cummins, who soccered the ball onto the stumps at the striker's end in his follow through.

Pathan and Virat Kohli added 35 for the second wicket before Kohli top-edged Cummins and was caught for 15, and Yuvraj Singh (8) also succumbed to a top-edge when he was taken at deep midwicket off Watson's bowling. Watson struck again in the same over when Pathan (31) chipped to midwicket and things didn't get better for India any time soon.

Rohit Sharma was done in by the angle from around the wicket of the left-armer Mitchell Starc, who bowled him for 1, and at 74 for 5 India were in trouble. Dhoni and Raina steadied with a 30-run partnership but neither man really went on the attack and a build-up of pressure from the Australians eventually brought the end for Dhoni, who drove Cummins to cover for 15.

Ashwin clubbed Starc over midwicket for six and Raina found the boundary twice in the last over from Watson before he holed out to long-off. They at least gave India's bowlers something to defend, but the way India bowled and the way Watson and Warner batted, Australia could have chased down 200. Australia will now enter their second Super Eights match against South Africa full of confidence. And maybe someone other than Watson will get a go next time.

Innings Dot balls 4s 6s Powerplay 16-20 ov NB/Wides
India 52 15 2 50/1 39/2 0/6
Australia 40 9 10 47/0 N/A 0/2

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 11:40 GMT)

India are just an ordinary team :)

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 11:12 GMT)

The way 2w's (Watson and Warner) are playing it seems that they will take Australia to win the cup this time

Posted by div09 on (September 30, 2012, 22:02 GMT)

@SL-123.......I hope you remember the Ind V SL series just 3 months ago, I think the score was India 4 - 1 in ODIs and India 1 - 0 in T20, so I think SL should be playing the intercontinental cup because losing this badly at home is just embarrassing.

Posted by Smack-DAT on (September 30, 2012, 16:59 GMT)

@To all SL fans and specially SL_123: Dont know how many times you people will eat the humble pie but there is a five letter word in english called "SHAME"..and if it is left even a bit of it then please..please..please..dont ever take us from granted..take that

Posted by   on (September 30, 2012, 10:48 GMT)


Posted by   on (September 30, 2012, 8:44 GMT)

I think even its a very humiliated defeat, no body (even not some illogical Indian fans too, who everyday snatch the test status from BD) would claim for snatching the test status from India & give it to the team like Ireland & Afghanistan.....hahahaha

Posted by   on (September 30, 2012, 8:39 GMT)

Where is Abhishek Purohit now? Shouldn't you now consider writing the article named- "Enough is enough for inconsistent India" ???

Posted by recycle-bin-is-empty on (September 30, 2012, 8:12 GMT)

well played Aus u deserved to win this match. India will surely bounce back

Posted by sutherland22 on (September 30, 2012, 6:43 GMT)

I think ICC should arrenge two WCs. One for the super 7s & one for the minnows like India.

Posted by amilag on (September 30, 2012, 5:55 GMT)

India's test status should be stripped off and it should be given to Afganistan or Ireland. Those teams are very much better than this pathetic Indian india..LOL

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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