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World Cup 2015: Brilliant ton by Smith as Australia score 328/7 against India


World Cup 2015: Brilliant ton by Smith as Australia score 328/7 against India Steven Smith's brilliant century propped up Australia before Indian bowlers staged a comeback of sorts but the hosts still managed to post a commanding 328 for seven in the second semifinal of the ICC Cricket World Cup on Thursday. 
This was the highest total by any team against India in this edition of the mega-event as the Australian batsmen dominated proceedings for the major part to become the first team to post a 300-plus score in a World Cup semifinal. This was also the only time that Indian bowlers failed to take all 10 wickets of the opposition team and the rivals managed to score a 300 plus score after winning the toss. 

Smith batted like a man possessed as the Indian attack looked pedestrian for the first time in front of the local boy whose 105 came off only 93 balls with 11 boundaries and two sixes. 

Aaron Finch, who played the role of sheet anchor to perfection with a patient 81 off 111 balls that had seven fours and a six, added 182 off 31 overs for the second wicket with Smith. 

Later, Mitchell Johnson played a superb little cameo scoring 27 off 9 balls (4x4, 1x6) that helped the hosts cross the 320-run mark. 

It was the first time that Indian pace attack was put to sword as the trio of Umesh Yadav (4/72 in 9 overs), Mohammed Shami (0/68 in 10 overs) and Mohit Sharma (2/75) were hammered into submission due to some poor planning as well as execution. 

However, it was Ravichandran Ashwin, who walked away with honours with decent figures of 1/42, which included the prized scalp of dangerous looking Glenn Maxwell (23, 14 balls) with a well thought out trap. 

It was because of Ashwin that India could stop Australia from racing away to a total in the range of 350 which looked possible when Maxwell started tonking the seamers. 

The Australian innings was all about Smith's approach and the manner in which he tackled the Indian bowling which has been a dominant force throughout the tournament. 

So simple yet effective was Smith's approach at the crease that it never seemed he was scoring at a rate of more than run-a-ball yet he did it with elan. The 100 came off 89 balls. 

The floodgates opened in the 10th over of the Australian innings bowled by Yadav when Smith smashed him for four boundaries. Umesh's first spell of five overs went for 39 with six boundaries and a six taken off his bowling. 

It started with a cover drive and ended with a hat-trick of pull-shots as Yadav repeatedly erred in length bowling too short. 

With each and every shot, the common Australian sports anthem 'Come on Aussie Come on' sang by a motley bunch had more impact than the 'Jeetega bhai Jeetega' from the Indian fans. 

The Australian innings started to gain momentum after that. While Finch worked out the singles and doubles with occasional boundary, Smith pulled anything that was slightly short in length. The chip over mid-wicket off Ravindra Jadeja was sheer class. 

Not for once did he look troubled by Indian bowlers as he reached from 86 to 100 with a two boundaries with a six in between. 

The normally disciplined Indian pace attack bowled too short as seven out of 11 boundaries hit by Smith came off pull shots. 

It was a short ball that finally ended a wonderful knock when Smith couldn't control the hook shot off Yadav's bowling to be holed out at deep square leg. 

Once Smith departed, Maxwell teed off but it was Ashwin's clever bowling and good captaincy by Mahendra Singh Dhoni that brought about the hard-hitting Aussie's downfall. 

Ashwin flighted one and Maxwell wanted to muscle it over deep square leg boundary found the only fielder placed at that position. 

Maxwell's departure saw a mini collapse as Australia slumped from 233 for two to 248 for five before Shane Watson (28) and James Faulkner (21) added 36 runs at a quick clip in only 4.2 overs as Australia posted a more than a decent total in a crunch match. 

The Indians conceded 87 runs in the last 10 overs.
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