In the tip, a wave of feelings swept the group. Yuvraj Singh sank to his knees, set free a cry of triumph. His eyes had been shut and his visage mirrored reduction, pleasure and an excellent sense of accomplishment.
“It’s for moments like these that I play cricket,” mentioned the influential southpaw after an engrossing ICC World Cup quarterfinal of a number of fortune twists in a packed enviornment at Motera.
The build-up to the conflict had been extraordinary. India-Australia duels have thrown up some charming matches and a way of anticipation was unmistakable in Ahmedabad.
The site visitors snarls resulting in the stadium — vehicles moved slower than individuals on foot — confirmed the importance of the duel. The whole metropolis, it appeared, was headed for the Sardar Patel Stadium.
The safety, predictably, was tight. It was a battle of the heavyweights and the stakes had been excessive. Both sides needed to conquer the worry of failure in a perform-or-perish state of affairs.
India lived however was getting ready to elimination. The match modified course because the hunter grew to become the hunted. The crowd discovered its voice once more.
-Ricky Ponting’s nice century went in vain-
The Aussies had been closing in for the kill when Mahendra Singh Dhoni departed to go away India, pursuing a stiff goal of 261, gasping for breath at 187 for 5 in the 38th over.
Then, an impressed Yuvraj (57 not out) and comeback child Suresh Raina (34 not out) turned the duel on its head. The aspect with larger perception emerged victorious.
Yuvraj has taken flight in this World Cup. He has been resilient in the cauldron, been considered together with his stroke-play, and brought on immense accountability. Banishing the demon of self-doubt, he has grown in confidence. “I wanted to bat till the end, play all along the ground,” mentioned Yuvraj after the end underlining his rising maturity.
The southpaw is studying conditions higher and has been decisive together with his response. And his left-arm spin has been of immense worth to a aspect desperately looking for multi-dimensional cricketers.
Yuvraj’s bowling — he prised out a well-set Brad Haddin and Michael Clarke — has actually advanced. He is utilizing his physique extra in his motion and ripping the ball more durable. Yuvraj is luring batsmen to get on to the entrance foot and is nailing them when they don’t get to the pitch of the ball or try to strike towards the flip. The one which goes by means of straight is pretty misleading as properly.
Raina, picked over Yusuf Pathan, justified the religion of the team-management. The Aussie pacemen bounced at Raina however the left-hander not solely held agency however even pulled a fired-up Lee past the ropes. When Raina, in a fashion that was rousing, lifted Lee effortlessly over the long-on fence, the competition was going to finish just one manner.
The choice of Raina additionally lifted the standard of the Indian fielding. Along with Virat Kohli, he made telling stops in the circle, and there was a spring in the steps of the bowlers. The batsmen had been underneath larger stress.
The ultimate moments of a well-known Thursday won’t fly away simply. A resurgent India had ended Australia’s outstanding run in the championship stretching from 1999 when Steve Waugh’s males scaled the height in Old Blighty.
Subsequently, Ricky Ponting led Australia to title triumphs in South Africa and the West Indies. This time round, the Aussies returned empty-handed.
“We are devastated,” mentioned Ponting on the finish. These easy phrases minimize by means of the air like knife. Under immense stress himself, Ponting had constructed a priceless 104 — his 30th ODI century — after successful an important toss on a dry pitch anticipated to supply rising flip to the spinners.
Australia captain Ricky Ponting appears on in the course of the 2011 World Cup quarterfinal towards India – REUTERS
The skipper held the innings collectively, gave the aspect hope. The onus was on the bowlers. The Aussie tempo pack of Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson and Shaun Tait let rip. Even on a quintessential sub-continental observe, the trio managed to extract elevate.When it mattered although, Australia was let down by the dearth of high quality spinners. Off-spinner Jason Krejza, the lone specialist spinner in the XI, was discovered wanting. This aspect lacked steadiness. Australia missed its legends and game-changers who had left the scene. This aspect was with out Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden. The replacements have clearly not been even remotely ok.
Even an impressive innings of accountability, composure and footwork from Ponting didn’t galvanise the aspect. At the tip of all of it, the Aussies walked again shattered.
The end result confirmed the shift in the steadiness of energy in world cricket. The Australians face a important interval in the times forward and some powerful selections could should be made.
Eventually, the superior staff effort from India carried the day. Left-arm paceman Zaheer Khan, employed in quick spells by Dhoni, bowled with craft and management. His yorkers had been on track and the slower ball that dismissed Michael Hussey was completely bowled.
Off-spinner R. Ashwin operated properly in tough phases and Harbhajan was unfortunate to not strike. Then, half centuries from maestro Sachin Tendulkar and the left-handed Gautam Gambhir put India heading in the right direction. It was essential from an Indian perspective to not lose early wickets.
The reminiscences of the sport in entrance of a frenzied crowd at Motera will endure. It was an evening of excessive drama when Australia was lastly dethroned.
Second quarterfinal, Ahmedabad, March 24. India received by 5 wickets.
Australia: S. Watson b Ashwin 25; B. Haddin c Raina b Yuvraj 53; R. Ponting c Zaheer b Ashwin 104; M. Clarke c Zaheer b Yuvraj 8; M. Hussey b Zaheer 3; C. White c & b Zaheer 12; D. Hussey (not out) 38; M. Johnson (not out) 6; Extras (lb-2, w-9) 11. Total (for six wkts., in 50 overs) 260.
Fall of wickets: 1-40, 2-110, 3-140, 4-150, 5-190, 6-245.
India bowling: Ashwin 10-0-52-2; Zaheer 10-0-53-2; Harbhajan 10-0-50-0; Munaf 7-0-44-0; Yuvraj 10-0-44-2; Tendulkar 2-0-9-0; Kohli 1-0-6-0.
India: V. Sehwag c M. Hussey b Watson 15; S. Tendulkar c Haddin b Tait 53; G. Gambhir (run out) 50; V. Kohli c Clarke b D. Hussey 24; Yuvraj Singh (not out) 57; M. Dhoni c Clarke b Lee 7; S. Raina (not out) 34; Extras (lb-3, w-16, nb-2) 21. Total (for 5 wkts., in 47.Four overs) 261.
Fall of wickets: 1-44, 2-94, 3-143, 4-168, 5-187.
Australia bowling: Lee 8.4-1-45-1; Tait 7-0-52-1; Johnson 8-0-41-0; Watson 7-0-37-1; Krejza 9-0-45-0; Clarke 3-0-19-0; D. Hussey 5-0-19-1.
(From the Archives)