A stunning semifinal performance from Australia both with bat and ball defeated India in Sydney on Thursday. The two tournament hosts Australia and New Zealand will now meet in the final on Sunday in Melbourne.
Australia will face co-hosts New Zealand in the ICC Cricket World Cup Final on Sunday after a dominating performance saw them beat India by 95 runs. Australia now has a chance to win it's fifth World Cup title in Melbourne at the weekend.
Australia and India met on Thursday in Sydney with a place in the final against New Zealand at stake. The number one ranked One-Day International (ODI) team had an unprecedented record in 14 ODI's against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground, losing just once. With four World Cup titles for Australia and two for India, the stage was set for a tussle between two of cricket's all-time best.
After opting to bat first, Australia lost opener David Warner in the fourth over. They weren't to be bogged down though, with the in-form Steve Smith, accompanied by Aaron Finch, taking Australia to 197 with a 150 run partnership. Smith scored 105 runs in just 93 balls before Umesh Yadav claimed his second wicket.
The hosts then lost three wickets for just 51 runs as Glenn Maxwell ,Michael Clarke and Finch were taken out. James Faulkner and Mitchell Johnson added quick-fire runs to push the hosts to a record breaking total of 328 for 7 from their 50 overs, making them the first team to score over 300 hundred in a World Cup semifinal.
Too much to handle for India
Having started their record chase with composure, losing their first wicket on 76 runs sparked a collapse from India. Virat Kholi, Ishant Sharma and Suresh Raina all lost their wickets in the space five overs and India were 108 for 4. Captain MS Dhoni and Ajinkya Rahane steadied the flow before Rahane fell to Mitchell Starc after 37 overs. Dhoni stood firm against the powerful Aussie bowling and guided his team over 200 with a 50 before Ravindra Jadeja was run out superbly by Steve Smith with India on 208.
Dhoni was eventually stopped on 65 after he, like Jadeja, was run out leaving India with little hope. James Faulkner took two wickets in two balls, with Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohit Sharma his victims. The hat-trick ball didn't deliver the winning wicket but it came soon after, as Mitchell Starc bowled Umesh Yadav to seal a 95 run win for the co-hosts.
"It's going to be amazing to play in a World Cup Final against New Zealand," said man of the match Steve Smith after the game. "They have played some very good cricket."
"I think overall they played very good cricket, over 300 was a difficult score to chase but I thought it was around par," said India captain MS Dhoni. "I will think about my future over the next year. I would also like to thank the fans over here, we have been here for over four months and the support has been amazing."
The two co-hosts Australia and New Zealand will now play in front of a sell-out Melbourne crowd on Sunday in the final, with the match starting at 4:30 UTC.