Nehra bowling a rare first over and LOC group getting ready to type it all out. The other which makes its presence felt while a match is on is the YoungGuns. It almost feels as if we are watching the match together. Nehra goes for a boundary first ball and then comes back strongly with some swing in the first over. Bumrah still recovering from what happened against Bangladesh is being taken to the cleaners. Australia is off to a swift start and India needs to bring spin to control the run flow.
Mohali is a fast pitch and full of runs, which is good news for the strong Indian batting line up but in a knockout match like this it just makes the task so much difficult as the pressure makes sure hat the margin for error is so low. Aus going after Ashwin and 22 runs in his over has to be a record. Nehraji draws the first blood for India but not before Khwaja dented a good blow to India's morale.
India started as a favorite to win the World Cup and now struggling to keep alive. I think Dhoni summarised it well the other day when he said that there are no scripts in a game. When the match starts there are no favourites, there are no contenders.
After 7 overs, Aus still ahead by a huge margin and India need to continuously and slowly pull it back. They need to believe. They have the skills and the temperament to defeat this strong Australian team.
The groups are keeping silent as India is slowing it down, pegging the opposition down. There are so many of them in this Aussie batting line up.
Yuvraj Singh brought into the attack and he gave India reasons to smile with his first delivery. I am pleasantly surprised by Pandya's economical over.
93/3 in 12 overs. This is unofficially the mid point of the innings and Aus will look to double the score but Pandya is delivering another decent over. If your opposition gets a boundary after 5 overs in a 20 overs match you are doing well but... There's a big but because the players are Finch and Maxwell. Pandya removes Finch, the best ranked batsman in the world after being hit for a boundary. Yuvi on a roll in the first game he is bowling in this tournament. India keeping pressure on the current ODI champs and this match is now evenly balanced.
The match will be decided by the team which will assess the pitch better than the other.
What looked like a team rocketing over to well above 200 runs which could have been above par score has been restricted to 160. As I type this Pandya gave away 15 runs to tip the score to 160.
Okay, now we begin the chase. I wonder if Rohit and Dhavan ever told each other, "Let's go out and win this one without losing any wickets."Rohit started with a single while Dhavan drives it to the boundary. Aus seems to missing on the X-factor when it comes to the bowling department. India has beaten them in 5 T20s in a row and this one is also looking good for them. 7 of the first over and with blood circulation going with running between the wickets it will help them settle down into a rhythm which is so important in such games at such a stage.
While a rare silent over slipped in by Courtenile, we got cracking with a intriguing question on YoungGuns what's app group. One of the Young Guns wanted to know what would a batsman do when needs to go to the loo in middle of an innings. While we solved her query, Dhavan gets into the act and puts Hazlewood sailing into the crowd. India after seeing off the first couple of overs now slowing opening up and hitting the ball with greater control. Rohit Sharma hits a six but Dhavan succumbs to the short ball in the same over to concede the advantage back to Aus.
Over the years, Kohli has grown into stature and have filled the biggest shoes in world cricket left behind by Sachin. Arguably a better chaser than even the god of cricket and the man to depend on when it matters. He starts off in his natural flair with couple of boundaries and the match is back into India's control. Key to India's success is to keep Kohli in the middle as long as possible while other batsmen can build the winning strategy around him. Rohit is also due for a long time and he should join the party tonight.
The match may prove to be the last one for Shane Watson, i.e. if India goes on to win, pushing Aus out of the WorldCup. He's been such a influence in the IPL and in so many ways on Indian cricket as well. And he does it again by bowling Rohit Sharma who looked like he was bored with the way things were going; tried to do something special and perished in the attempt. With Raina gone as well, Watson is showing that he's not done yet and willing to play another couple of games to have the last hurrah!
India inching towards the target but not in a comfortable way. Yuvi just twisted his ankle and his struggle in his home ground is now compounded. After 9 overs Ind is doing just okay but may be lost a wicket more than they would have loved to.
Raina not doing a favor to his supporters by continuously missing out the opportunity to score important runs.
As Yuvi denying some tight and crucial runs with Kohli, Kohli is getting a lesson in patience. He is at times not looking at Yuvi and that can't be good for India. Kohli goes after Maxwell and a miss hit goes to maximum both to the surprise of batsman and bowler. Yuvi goes with India still needing over 11 runs an over for next 6 overs.
Dhoni and Kohli- the masters of the chase are in the middle and since it is going to be close, I am taking off from here. Before I sign off let me predict this.... India will win this close encounter.
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