India captain MS Dhoni expressed his delight after his side set up a mouthwatering semi-final against Pakistan with a five wicket victory over Australia in the quarter-final of the Cricket World Cup.
Australia had set a respectable total of 260, with captain Ricky Ponting returning to form to score a century, but Yuvraj Singh continued his fantastic run in the competition with a much needed half-century at a time when India seemed to be struggling in their chase.
Suresh Raina also played his part, scoring 34 not out to help India over the line and into the semi-finals, and Dhoni was delighted with the two players who saw India home.
“These were the two guys who needed to score the runs, with Yuvraj going well I thought we’d make it,” he said. “It was about managing the pressure as well as the technical aspects. We didn’t bowl as well as we needed to but we competed hard and I thought we were in with a bit of a chance.
“It doesn’t really get better than an India v Pakistan semi-final in the sub-continent, every game is the same for us irrespective of whether we play Australia or Pakistan.”
Ponting’s knock of 104 had given the Australians a starting point, but the captain was not happy with the team’s effort in the field.
“260 was a reasonable total but the bowling wasn’t what we needed today,” he said.
“With 15 overs to go it was really touch and go but Yuvraj and Raina played well, we needed to get into their tail and we were unable to do that.”
The defeat ends an amazing run by Australia who were beaten finalists in 1996 and then won the next three tournaments, an imposing run that included a run of 34 matches without defeat.