Cricket

Awesome Australia beat champions India to reach World Cup final

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Australia moved into the World Cup final with a big 95-run win over champions India in Sydney.

Steve Smith continued his magnificent form with a brilliant 105 off 93 balls with opener Aaron Finch also adding valuable runs with a patient 81 as Australia amassed 328-7 off their 50 overs.

India threatened to chase that total down with a bright start but after a 76-run opening stand the holders lost wickets regularly and were eventually bowled out for a meagre 233.

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Co-hosts to meet in the final

The Aussies now meet rivals New Zealand in the final on Sunday in Melbourne after retaining their 100% semi-final record with seven wins from seven and will be looking for a record fifth World Cup crown.

Australia won the toss and batted first and they immediately tried to signal their intentions early with David Warner striking a couple of boundaries, including one maximum off Umesh Yadav in his first over. However the first ball of the next Yadav over saw Warner dismissed by the short ball bringing Smith and Finch to the crease.

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Smith and Finch turn on the style

The duo put on a superb partnership of 182 which was the second highest stand in World Cup semi-final history with Smith in particular playing a memorable innings, becoming the first Australian to hit a century in a World Cup semi-final.

Smith and Finch's stand was taking the game away from India but Umesh Yadav (4-72) bowled well and removed both Smith and then Finch two overs later, either side of Ashwin's dismissal of Maxwell for a quickfire 23.

Those wickets slowed the innings down and without Mitchell Johnson's late cameo of 27 off 9, the Baggy Greens may well have been looking at below 300.

Johnson delivers with bat and ball

Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma started well but Josh Hazlewood broke that stand and almost set Australia on their way. Mitchell Johnson (2-50) returned to form with some good aggressive bowling and removed Sharma and Virat Kohli in quick succession to leave India 108-4 after previously being on 76-0.

However, a decent partnership of 70 between Ajinkya Rahane and Dhoni kept India in it but during the batting powerplay Mitchell Starc (2-28) got Rahane caught behind for 44 and it was all left down to the skipper to salvage something.

Dhoni tried his best but in the end his excellent innings of 65 was left in vain. At one stage two sixes off the first two balls off a Shane Watson over gave India hope but after Maxwell ran the India skipper out it was job done for Australia with James Faulkner (3-59) and Starc wrapping up the tail.

Australia now have one more game to try and win yet another World Cup against New Zealand, a side who have beaten Australia this tournament as well as winning every other game they've played.

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Topics:
MS Dhoni
Virat Kohli
Australia cricket
Cricket
India cricket
ODI World Cup

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