India end Australia’s reign to reach semis

AHMEDABAD, India, (Reuters) – India sparked  jubilant celebrations among its billion plus fans after ending  Australia’s remarkable 12-year reign as World Cup champions with  a thrilling five-wicket win in the quarter-finals today.
Chasing 261 for victory, India fumbled and faltered but  half-centuries from Sachin Tendulkar (53), Gautam Gambhir (50)  and Yuvraj Singh (57 not out) eventually helped them to  overwhelm the target with 14 balls to spare and set up a  mouthwatering semi-final with Pakistan.   Opting to bat first, Australia rode skipper Ricky Ponting’s  30th ODI century to post 260-6 which seemed a strong total at  the Sardar Patel Stadium’s low, spinning track.
Ponting (104) won a good toss and thought 250 would be a  good total.

Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh

Batting first, he and Brad Haddin (53) then ensured the  total exceeded his expectations despite India using seven  bowlers against them, including Tendulkar who last rolled his  bowling arm back in 2009 against the same opponents.
Opener Shane Watson (25) fell after a sluggish start but the  Haddin-Ponting partnership yielded 70 brisk runs to steady the  boat.
Yuvraj was lurking around and underlined his worth as a  part-time bowler by dismissing Haddin and Michael Clarke.
Mike Hussey’s stay was cut short by Zaheer but his brother  David (38 not out) played a cameo in Ponting’s company to keep  the scoreboard ticking.
In contrast, India enjoyed a more fluent start until  Virender Sehwag (15) fluffed his pull shot off Shane Watson.
Tendulkar was his fluent self and seemed cruising to his  100th international century but the otherwise erratic Shaun Tait  managed to induce an edge that sailed into Haddin’s gloves and a  deathly silence descended at the 48,000 seater stadium.
Gambhir had just reached his 24th fifty when he ran himself  out after an almighty mix-up with Yuvraj, having survived two  such comical communication breakdowns immediately before the  dismissal.
Yuvraj, however, kept his cool and batted till end and saw  India through by smashing the winning boundary.

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