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India on slippery ground after abandoned game against Aussies

cricket Updated: Sep 29, 2009 00:23 IST
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India's semifinal chances on Monday suffered a big jolt as incessant rain led to the abandonment of their Group A Champions Trophy match against Australia, forcing them to split points at SupertSport park in Centurion.

Now India will have to beat the West Indies by a big margin on Wednesday and pray that Pakistan too beat Australia by a good margin on the same day.

Today's result cleared Pakistan's way into the last-four stage.

Australia were cruising comfortably at 234 for four in 42.3 overs when heaven opened up. The unrelenting rain turned the stadium into a virtual pool and lightning struck one light tower as well.

Electing to bat, Australia flourished on some fabulous partnerships after getting off to a slow start.

Skipper Ricky Ponting led from front with a crafty 63 and conjured up two crucial partnerships with Tim Paine (56) and Michael Hussey (67) to lay a solid platform for a big score.

Indian pacers Ashish Nehra and Praveen Kumar, who replaced RP Singh, bowled in tandem to give their side a decent start as they conceded just 23 runs in the first eight overs and also dismissed Shane Watson for a duck.

Australia broke the shackles in the eight over by milking the gangly Ishant for 16 runs as Paine hit him for a six and four and Ponting also drove him for a sweet four through the covers.