World Twenty20 round-up: India crushed by Watson show

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The Independent Online

Australia made surprisingly short work of India last night, beating the champions of the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007 by nine wickets with more than five overs to spare.

MS Dhoni won the toss and decided to bat as his side were made to work hard for what seemed initially to be a near-par total of 140 for 7. Irfan Pathan top-scored with 31 while India opened with Gautam Gambhir, again chosing to leave out Virender Sehwag.

Australia never allowed India to break free with Shane Watson's intelligent medium pace the pick of the bowling as he took 3 for 34.

George Bailey's batting line-up has been accused of being too reliant on openers Watson and Dave Warner. That lack of depth was not exposed yesterday, however, as the pair showed why they are so revered and smashed 10 sixes between them in a partnership of 133. Watson fell for 72 off 42 balls to leave Warner, 63 off 41 to steer his side home with 5.1 overs remaining.

In yesterday's other Super Eight Group F match, Pakistan were indebted to the hitting of Umar Gul to defeat South Africa by two wickets.

The Proteas struggled with Pakistan's varied and wily spin attack to post 133 for 6, led by top-scorer JP Duminy's 48. Pakistan's chase was precariously placed at 76 for 7 in the 15th over, when Gul joined Umar Akmal with 58 needed in five overs.

When Gul was out, Pakistan were left with nine to win off six balls. Akmal smashed Morne Morkel for six and Saeed Ajmal edged a boundary past the wicketkeeper for the winning runs with two balls to spare.

Results & fixtures

Yesterday: Group F (both Colombo):

Pak 136-8 [Akmal 43*] bt SA 133-6 [Duminy 48] by two wickets.

India 140-7 [Pathan 31] lost to Aus 141-1 (S R Watson 72, D A Warner 63*) by nine wickets.

Today: Group E (both Pallekele)

England v New Zealand (11am BST)

Sri Lanka v West Indies (3pm)

Tomorrow: Group F (both Colombo)

Australia v South Africa (11am)

Pakistan v India (3pm)