Steven Smith's brilliant century propped up Australia before Indian bowlers staged a comeback of sorts but the hosts still managed to post a commanding 328 for seven in the second semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday.
This was the highest total by any team against India in this edition of the mega-event as the Australian batsmen dominated proceedings for the major part to become the first team to post a 300-plus score in a World Cup semifinal.
This was also the only time that Indian bowlers failed to take all 10 wickets of the opposition team and the rivals managed to score a 300 plus score after winning the toss.
Smith batted like a man possessed as the Indian attack looked pedestrian for the first time in front of the local boy whose 105 came off only 93 balls with 11 boundaries and two sixes.
Aaron Finch, who played the role of sheet anchor to perfection with a patient 81 off 111 balls that had seven fours and a six, added 182 off 31 overs for the second wicket with Smith.
Later, Mitchell Johnson played a superb little cameo scoring 27 off 9 balls (4x4, 1x6) that helped the hosts cross the 320-run mark.
It was the first time that Indian pace attack was put to sword as the trio of Umesh Yadav (4/72 in 9 overs), Mohammed Shami (0/68 in 10 overs) and Mohit Sharma (2/75) were hammered into submission due to some poor planning as well as execution.
However, it was Ravichandran Ashwin, who walked away with honours with decent figures of 1/42, which included the prized scalp of dangerous looking Glenn Maxwell (23, 14 balls) with a well thought out trap.
It was because of Ashwin that India could stop Australia from racing away to a total in the range of 350 which looked possible when Maxwell started tonking the seamers.
The Australian innings was all about Smith's approach and the manner in which he tackled the Indian bowling which has been a dominant force throughout the tournament.So simple yet effective was Smith's approach at the crease that it never seemed he was scoring at a rate of more than run-a-ball yet he did it with elan. The 100 came off 89 balls.