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Mar 25, 2011

India end Australia dominance at World Cup Cricket

Yuvraj Singh was India's hero yet again as the hosts ended Australia's 12-year reign as World Cup champions with 5 wicket quarter-final win on Thursday.

Yuvraj Singh 's unbeaten 57 -- his 4rth fifty of a tournament where he is averaging over a hundred -- saw his team home after they'd been wobbling at 187 for five.

India reached their target of 261 with 14 balls to spare and victory set up a dream semi-final against Pakistan in Mohali on March 30.

Australian skipper Ricky Ponting scored his 1st international century in over a year in a total of 260 for six.

But it wasn't enough to maintain his team's bid for an unprecedented fourth straight World Cup title and fifth in all.

Ponting credited Yuvraj and Suresh Raina for the win.

India, aiming for a first World Cup title since 1983, needed 54 to win off the final 10 overs.

Yuvraj eased fraying home nerves with a square-driven four off Brett Lee and, with erratic speedster Shaun Tait conceding 13 runs in the 41st over, the target became well under a run-a-ball.

Raina struck a brilliant straight six off Lee then Yuvraj ending the match with a four off Lee.

He was well-supported in an unbroken sixth-wicket partnership of 74 by Raina (34 not out).

Opener Sachin Tendulkar had earlier looked in sublime touch.

But Australia denied him his 100th international hundred when he was caught behind off Tait for a fluent 53 during which he became the first batsman to score 18,000 one-day international runs.

Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli batted steadily in a stand of 49 before Kohli (24) slapped a full toss from part-time spinner David Hussey straight to Michael Clarke at short mid-wicket.

Now the question was could the remaining batsman avoid panic. Unfortunately for India, left-hander Gambhir couldn't. One ball after surviving a run-out, he set-off for a non-existent single and was well-beaten by Cameron White's throw to David Hussey having made 50.

Instead, at 168 for four, the pressure was back on India and that only increased when captain Dhoni fell for seven after a cut off Lee was well caught by a diving Clarke at point.

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