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Friday, March 20, 2015, Chaitra 6, 1421 BS, Jamadi ul Awwal 28, 1436 Hijr


India escape Tigers clutch to reach WC semi-finals
Published : Friday, 20 March, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 15

Sydney, Mar 19: India cruised into the World Cup semi-finals Thursday with a crushing 109-run win over Bangladesh, setting up a possible showdown with bitter rivals Pakistan for a place in the final.
Rohit Sharma's 137 helped the defending champions shake-off Bangladesh's shackles to pile-up 302 for six at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
In reply, and trying to become the first team to successfully chase a 300-plus run target to win a one-day international at the MCG, Bangladesh were never in contention, slipping to 193 all out in the 45th over.
Nasir Hossain top scored for the Tigers, playing in their first quarter-final, with a modest 35 as India celebrated a seventh win in seven games at this World Cup.
Fast bowler Umesh Yadav took four for 31, while captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni celebrated his 100th ODI victory as skipper.
India will play Pakistan in the semi-finals in Sydney on March 26 if their bitter rivals defeat Australia in a quarter-final in Adelaide on Friday.
The other semi-final, to be played in Auckland on March 24, will feature South Africa against either New Zealand or the West Indies, who meet in Wellington on Saturday.
Sharma hit a seventh ODI ton and shared a crucial fourth-wicket partnership of 122 with Suresh Raina (65) after India had struggled to 115 for three in the 28th over.
The opener was eventually out, bowled by Taskin Ahmed, with three overs left, for 137 off 126 balls, having hit 14 fours and three sixes.
However, he had a lucky escape on 90 when he was caught in the deep off the impressive Rubel Hossain only for the delivery to be called a no-ball after the umpires adjudged it to be above waist height, even though TV replays suggested otherwise.
"I think this is right up there as my most important innings. I wanted to bat for as long as possible to put the team into a good situation and the bowlers did a fantastic job as they did in the league stage," said Sharma.
"I wanted to make the most of it. I'm happy with the way we performed as a team. We now have two games to go (to win the title)."                                   AFP









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