Mohali, October 29:

Favourites Australia knocked Asia’s last hope India out of the Champions Trophy with a six-wicket win on Sunday to take their place in the semi-finals.

Glenn McGrath claimed 2-34 as India were restricted to 249-8, despite half-centuries from Virender Sehwag (65) and captain Rahul Dravid (52). Australians chased the target in the 46th over with opener Shane Watson making 50, skipper Ricky Ponting 58 and Damien Martyn an unbeaten 73.

Australia topped group A ahead of the West Indies on net run-rate and will clash with New Zealand in the first semi-final here on November 1. Group B champions South Africa will meet holders West Indies in the second semi-final in Jaipur on November 2.

India’s defeat meant none of the Asian teams made it to the semi-finals of a major ICC event for the first time since the inaugural World Cup in 1975.

Adam Gilchrist and Watson provided a rollicking start by smashing 61 for the opening wicket by the ninth over. Shanthakumaran Sreesanth made the breakthrough when Gilchrist slashed a short ball to Suresh Raina at point.

But there was no relief for the Indians as Ponting added 50 for the second wicket with Watson and 74 for the third with Martyn. Watson was trapped leg-before by Dinesh Mongia and Ponting was caught in the slips by Sachin Tendulkar off Sreesanth.

India, who were 186-3 after 40 overs, were restricted to 63 runs in the last 10 overs despite Mahendra Dhoni’s aggressive 28 off 23 balls. McGrath led the spot-on Australian attack, ably supported by Brett Lee and Nathan Bracken who finished with two wickets apiece.

Sehwag contributed 31 in an opening stand of 46 with Tendulkar (10). Dravid reached his 72nd half-century in the 41st over by pulling Lee for his sixth boundary but holed out to Michael Clark off the next ball.

Lee struck again in his next over by bowling Mohammad Kaif for 30 before Bracken removed Raina for 13 and Dhoni off the last ball of the innings.

SCOREBOARD

INDIA

V Sehwag lbw b Johnson 65

S Tendulkar c Gilchrist b McGrath 10

D Mongia c Hussey b Watson 18

R Dravid c Clarke b Lee 52

M Kaif b Lee 30

M Dhoni lbw b Bracken 28

S Raina c Watson b Bracken 13

I Pathan c Martyn b McGrath 10

H Singh not out 5

Extras: 18 (lb5, nb4, w9)

Total: 249/8 (50 overs)

FoW: 1-46, 2-89, 3-126, 4-186, 5-197, 6-224,

7-239, 8-249

Australia bowling: Lee 10-1-54-2,

McGrath 10-1-34-2, Bracken 10-2-56-2,

Johnson 8-0-33-1, Watson 9-0-48-1,

Symonds 3-0-19-0

AUSTRALIA

A Gilchrist c Raina b Sreesanth 23

S Watson lbw b Mongia 50

R Ponting c Tendulkar b Sreesanth 58

D Martyn not out 73

A Symonds b Pathan 20

M Clarke not out 2

Extras: 26 (lb8, w18)

Total: 252/4 (45.4 overs)

FoW: 1-61, 2-111, 3-185, 4-230

India bowling: Pathan 7-0-42-1,

Patel 8.4-0-61-0, Sreesanth 8-1-43-2,

Harbhajan 10-0-49-0, Mongia 9-0-36-1,

Sehwag 3-0-13-0