BARBADOS: David Warner smashed a rapid 72 as Australia beat India by 49 runs in their opening Super Eight match at the World Twenty20 on Friday.
Australia showed just why they are considered tournament favourites as they smashed India in all directions in the first innings – piling up 184 for five – and induced a batting collapse in the second, routing India for 135 with Dirk Nannes and Shaun Tait bagging three scalps each. Warner faced just 41 balls and struck seven of the innings’ 16 sixes, putting on 104 for the first wicket in 11 overs with fellow opener Shane Watson after India won the toss and elected to field.
Left-arm spinner Yuvraj Singh checked Australia’s progress, doing well to keep them under 200. He had Warner well caught by wicketkeeper and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Brad Haddin was stumped. Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who started the match with a maiden, a remarkable achievement in view of what followed, conceded just 15 runs from his four overs. Jadeja’s nightmare Australia’s openers were severe on left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja, whose two overs went for 38, including six consecutive sixes, split across those two overs, with both Watson and Warner striking three in a row.
Watson clouted Jadeja’s fourth ball for six, pulled the fifth high over midwicket and sent the sixth soaring over deep backward square. Jadeja returned for the tenth over and probably wished he had not as Warner flat-batted his first ball back for six over long-on. The second ball, tossed up, was sent soaring into the gap between mid-wicket and long-on, with the third driven straighter. On the Indian end, the team was able to muster up a total of 135. More than half this score was made by Rohit Sharma who scored 79 runs. Other than Sharma and Harbhajan, who scored 14 runs, none of the other batsmen were even allowed to enter double digits.