Yuvraj holds his nerve to set up tantalising Pakistan semi-final

Australia 260-6 India 261-5 (India win by five wickets)

Australia's remarkable 12-year reign as world champions was brought to an abrupt end to the sheer delight of the home nation yesterday, and there was nothing Ricky Ponting could do about it. Australia's captain, his tenure seemingly on its last legs, produced one of his gutsiest innings, a century assembled out of sheer bloody mindedness, to give his side hope of a place in the last four, but he lacked support and India's much-vaunted batting line-up delivered to earn them a semi-final against Pakistan.

Ponting's innings, his 30th one-day international century (and quite probably his last), took Australia to a challenging 260, but India bat a long way down and after Sachin Tendulkar had taken his tally of ODI runs beyond 18,000, some lusty hitting from Yuvraj Singh sparked wild celebrations across the 48,000 crowd. It sets up a fevered build-up to Wednesday's semi-final in Mohali. "It doesn't really get better than an India v Pakistan semi-final in the subcontinent," said MS Dhoni, India's captain.

The defeat may signal the end of Ponting's career. There have been calls back home for him to be relieved of the captaincy. He said: "It's disappointing that we are bowing out now – we are probably the better team than we showed to tell the truth. We played a reasonable game today but not good enough. Full credit to India the way they played and good luck to them.

"260 was a reasonable total but the bowling wasn't what we needed today. With 15 overs to go it was really touch and go but Yuvraj and [Suresh] Raina played well, we needed to get into their tail and we were unable to do that."

Batting first, Ponting and Brad Haddin, with a briskly assembled stand of 70, ensured Australia's total exceeded their captain's expectations despite India using seven bowlers, including Tendulkar who last rolled his bowling arm back in 2009 against the same opponents.

Yuvraj underlined his worth as a part-time bowler by dismissing Haddin and Michael Clarke, and Mike Hussey's stay was cut short by Zaheer Khan but his brother David walloped 38 from 26 balls to give the innings some late impetus. Ponting's fall, reverse sweeping, was not in keeping with a carefully constructed innings of 104 from 118 balls that contained only seven fours and a six. It was not his best innings and he was far from at his fluid peak but for sheer determination he has produced few better in this form of the game.

In contrast, Tendulkar was his usual smooth self and seemed cruising to his 100th international century but the otherwise erratic Shaun Tait managed to induce an edge that sailed into Haddin's gloves and a deathly silence descended on the crowd. Gautam Gambhir had just reached his 24th fifty when he ran himself out after an almighty mix-up with Yuvraj, having survived two such comical communication breakdowns immediately before the dismissal.

Yuvraj, however, kept his cool and ushered India to victory, sharing a stand of 74 with Raina. "Beating the three-time world champions is special but the semi-final will be even more special," Yuvraj added.

Ahmedabad scoreboard

Sardar Patel Stadium (one day): World Cup quarter-final: India beat Australia by five wickets; Australia won toss

Australia

S R Watson b Ashwin 25/0/5/38/38

†B J Haddin c Raina b Yuvraj Singh 53/1/6/62/93

*R T Ponting c Khan b Ashwin 104/1/7/118/170

M J Clarke c Khan b Yuvraj Singh 8/0/0/19/28

M E K Hussey b Khan 3/0/0/9/12

C L White c & b Khan 12/0/0/22/32

D J Hussey not out 38/1/3/26/41

M G Johnson not out 6/0/0/6/5

Extras (lb2 w9) 11

Total (for 6, 50 overs) 260

Fall 1-40, 2-110, 3-140, 4-150, 5-190, 6-245.

Did not bat J J Krejza, B Lee, S W Tait.

Bowling R Ashwin 10-0-52-2, Z Khan 10-0-53-2, Harbhajan Singh 10-0-50-0, M M Patel 7-0-44-0, Yuvraj Singh 10-0-44-2, S R Tendulkar 2-0-9-0, V Kohli 1-0-6-0.

India

V Sehwag c M E K Hussey b Watson 15/0/2/22/45

S R Tendulkar c Haddin b Tait 53/0/7/68/102

G Gambhir run out 50/0/2/64/114

V Kohli c Clarke b D J Hussey 24/0/1/33/35

Yuvraj Singh not out 57/0/8/65/87

*†M S Dhoni c Clarke b Lee 7/0/1/8/18

S K Raina not out 34/1/2/28/47

Extras (lb3 w16 nb2) 21

Total (for 5, 47.4 overs) 261

Fall 1-44, 2-94, 3-143, 4-168, 5-187.

Did not bat Harbhajan Singh, R Ashwin, Z Khan, M M Patel.

Bowling B Lee 8.4-1-45-1, S W Tait 7-0-52-1, M G Johnson 8-0-41-0, S R Watson 7-0-37-1, J J Krejza 9-0-45-0, M J Clarke 3-0-19-0, D J Hussey 5-0-19-1.

Umpires M Erasmus (SA) and I J Gould (Eng).

Fixtures

Quarter-finals Today: New Zealand v South Africa (Mirpur); Tomorrow: Sri Lanka v England (Colombo).

Semi-finals Tuesday 29 March: TBC v TBC (Colombo); Wednesday 30 March: India v Pakistan (Mohali)

Saturday 2 April World Cup final (Mumbai).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'