Australia v India, World T20, Group 2, Mirpur March 30, 2014

Yuvraj, Ashwin deliver clean sweep


India 159 for 7 (Yuvraj 60) beat Australia 86 (Ashwin 4-11, Mishra 2-13) by 73 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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We've been expecting you, Mr Singh. Many an India fan wanted Yuvraj Singh out because he had been plodding and prodding around this tournament even though he took most wickets and scored most runs for India between the two World Twenty20s. India, though, persisted with him, even giving him an extra chance at the expense of Shikhar Dhawan who made way for Ajinkya Rahane who simply had to be tried. Yuvraj struggled here again, reaching 13 off 21 before he exploded to end up with 60 off 43, showing just why MS Dhoni has shown so much faith in him. That innings provided a middling innings the acceleration it needed, after which R Ashwin's wily spin triggered an almighty collapse from Australia, who were already out of the tournament and weren't quite there in the chase.

Pakistan's win over Bangladesh earlier in the day had already knocked Australia out, but India still had a lot of interest in this match. All their previous wins had come winning the toss and bowling first, so they wanted to bat first and also wanted to play around with their combination a little. Rahane's inclusion and Mohit Sharma's were the decisions made before the toss, and even though Dhoni finally lost a toss - his first in 13 internationals - India got their wish when George Bailey inserted them in.

India's worst first 10 overs of the tournament followed as Rohit Sharma fell early, and Rahane and Virat Kohli failed to convert starts. Suresh Raina didn't look at home either, and at 66 for 4 in the 12th over, India were struggling for the first time in the tournament. Yuvraj had only just about start timing the ball, and in the next over Brad Hodge provided him a long hop to get away a bit. James Muirhead came on to bowl the 14th. Australia's spinners had suffocated India by then, conceding just 40 in seven overs.

This time, though, the legspinner missed his length two balls in a row. You couldn't have got away with that against the vintage Yuvraj. You couldn't get away with that against this Yuvraj either. He sent them both sailing over midwicket for sixes. He had seen blood now. Some of his silken yet brutal shots came out in the end, most notable of which was his movement away from the stumps to get under a full ball outside leg and send it inside-out over long-off for six.

All of a sudden, the bowlers were the ones fumbling, not sure where to bowl because missing the areas even by inches resulted in sixes. Seventy runs came in five overs starting with the 14th, and even though Yuvraj didn't finish off in style he had given India what looked a fighting total, especially given the form of India's attack.

The only problem with the total was you had to make allowance for the fact that India were up against a side that had nothing to lose. It showed in how Aaron Finch threw his arms at the first ball of the chase, and got four for it. However, Australia were too reckless and India too disciplined for this to become a blitz of any sort. The daredevilry of a side that was on its way out was all there, but the execution wasn't. After India had bowled a few tight overs at the top, keeping them down to 19 for 1 in four overs, it was all six or out.

Yes, there were five sixes, but there were five dismissals doing that as Ashwin spun his way to the best figures by an Indian spinner in Twenty20 internationals, and Australia crashed to their third-worst defeat. Now if the New Zealand-Sri Lanka match is not washed out in the other group, India will face South Africa in the semi-final.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ESPN on March 31, 2014, 20:48 GMT

    Is there any complains left for india haters.. Especially for @mzm149 nd electric_loco.. India roaring at tge moment and hope they do same till the end of tournament.. Keep up nd gud luck team india

  • Lalith on March 31, 2014, 11:12 GMT

    I am pretty sure SA will beat India in Semis.

  • ESPN on March 31, 2014, 9:05 GMT

    India to play with South Africa for sure and with them they have very good bating line up all there scores were 170 plus India May need one more good hitter for last overs

  • ESPN on March 31, 2014, 7:58 GMT

    Frankly speaking, I was beginning to feel that Yuvraj Singh has begun to lose the edge and charisma of being the Vintage performer he was five years ago. But as the saying goes: "Fortune favours the Brave." M.S.Dhoni's persistence with his team's most dangerous batsmen (Yes he is) brought significant resuts for India. Another significant point to make is that many people have questioned the Indian bowling attack, as far this Tournament goes, India have been the most successful and dangerous Bowling Unit giving away 6.79 runs per match on an average. The return of Yuvraj and the form of the bowlers and batsmen, mean that India are on course for a cracking Semi-Final vs South Africa. If India does go on to the Finals, we all know about M.S.Dhoni's record in the Finals, as he cherishes these big games. All I can say is Best of luck to the teams that will face India.

  • Android on March 31, 2014, 5:44 GMT

    ash is the best

  • Android on March 31, 2014, 5:12 GMT

    i dont know whats with people saying still india not at their best or we have problems.What do these guys want a half century by everyplayer in every match and a four for by every bowler at an economy of 3.well wake up and have a reality check that does happen.A good team is that in which when one player fails other perform and covwr for it thats the whole point of a team.Haters just need a useless reason to bash.Yes we are not still well capable of winning in foreign conditions but isnt that the story of every team performing in familiar conditions and collapsing in unfamiliar ones like mighty aussies in this tournament.But people just need to bash india just because they are almost invincible in sub continent conditions.Thats some logic hate them when they dont perform and bash them when they perform.

  • Android on March 31, 2014, 4:51 GMT

    india sa sl & pak sf teams ..asian teams is best

  • Android on March 31, 2014, 4:15 GMT

    Haters will nvr die wondering which will beat India next.. They said Australia will crush India..look what happened..

  • Android on March 31, 2014, 2:55 GMT

    The way India won this match clearly shows how in-form team this is.. Batting, bowling, fielding, catching everything is absolutely top class to say the least.. SA is a dangerous side but if Indian bowlers pick up Amla and De villiers wicket early than India will win it just like they won yesterday cz SA's bowling attack doesn't look that potent except Steyn but again Indian batsmen have played Steyn well in the past..Tahir is doing well but against India(which plays spin exceptionally well) he will find it very difficult to take wickets.. India looks to be on the road to win another wt20 trophy or say world tournament..JEETEGA BHAI JEETEGA! INDIA JEETEGA!

  • D on March 31, 2014, 1:52 GMT

    Just wanted to give Dhoni kudos for sticking with Yuvraj. Personally, I felt it was perfectly justifiable to give Yuvi another chance given his past exceptional performances. For starters, the man isn't old yet (still has a few years left of professional play in front of him). So taking a chance at whether he could regain form seemed reasonable. However, given how much criticism this move would attract I have to praise Dhoni for sticking to his guns and following through on his beliefs. He was eventually proven right but it certainly took a lot of guts.