India, Pak set up mouth-watering final

Durban, September 23:

Yuvraj Singh scored 70 off 30 balls to help India defeat Australia by 15 runs in the World Twenty20 Championship semi-finals on Saturday. Pakistan also advanced to Monday’s final with a six-wicket win over New Zealand.

Yuvraj’s innings catapulted India’s score to 188-5 after captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni chose to bat first. Australia were restricted to 173-7 in reply after fine performances by the Indian bowlers. India’s batsmen started slowly in the face of a hostile opening spell from Brett Lee, and nagging accuracy from Nathan Bracken. Virender Sehwag was the first to be dismissed, going in the sixth over after only scoring 9 off 13 balls.

Gautam Gambhir made 24 off 25 balls before Yuvraj came on, putting up 94 in partnership with Robin Uthappa for the third wicket. Uthappa was impressive enough with 34 off 28 balls, including a four and three sixes, but he was overshadowed by the hitting of Yuvraj who opened his scoring with a huge six off Lee.

He hit four more sixes and added four fours in his innings, and his hitting

allowed Dhoni to tee off and hit 36 off 18 balls. Mitchell Johnson had the best performance of Australia’s bowlers, picking up two wickets in his four overs for 31 runs.

Australian batsmen started aggressively, with Adam Gilchrist scoring 22 off 13 balls before

S Sreesanth took his wicket. Sreesanth’s second over was a maiden, and he finished with 2-12 off four overs. He also got rid of Matthew Hayden, who finished with 62 off 47 balls, including four fours and four sixes.

After Hayden’s departure, Australia’s batting faltered.

In the first semi-final, Imran Nazir scored his first Twenty20 half-century to lead Pakistan over New Zealand. New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori won the toss at the Newlands Stadium and his team scored 143-8 in its 20 overs. Pakistan chased the target down easily, reaching 147-4 with seven balls to spare.