WT20: Shane Watson masterclass sets up Australia win over India
Australia join Pakistan at the top of group two after comprehensively defeating India by nine wickets.
Shane Watson's all-round brilliance proved too much for the Men in Blue as Australia cruised to a 9-wicket victory over India in a group two Super Eight match of the World Twenty20 in Colombo on Friday.
Man of the match Watson scored a magnificent 72 that included seven sixes and took three wickets to almost single-handedly take the match away from India.
Set 141 to win, Australia controlled the game throughout with their openers carting the India bowlers to all parts of the park and hitting sixes at will.
Watson and David Warner's domination meant Australia were scoring at a phenomenal 10 runs per over. The Aussies raced away to 100 by the 10th over and overtook the target with 5.1 overs to spare.
Watson was the more dominant partner scoring 72 off 42 balls before falling to Yuvraj Singh. Warner was more sedate, as he remained undefeated at 63 runs from 41 balls. The two shared an opening stand of 133 .
Earlier, Watson and Pat Cummins shared five wickets as Australia restricted India to 140-7 .
Watson finished with 3-34 to lead Australia's bowling attack after Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat on a slow wicket at the Premadasa stadium.
Makeshift opener Irfan Pathan top-scored with 31, while Suresh Raina boosted the total towards the end with 26 off 19 balls.
Raina put on 30 for the sixth wicket with Dhoni and 33 for the seventh with Ravichandran Ashwin, who remained unbeaten on 16 off 12 balls.
India dropped seasoned opener Virender Sehwag to play five specialist bowlers, including three spinners, and sent all-rounder Pathan to open the innings with Gautam Gambhir.
Pathan hit two fours and a six, but India lost three wickets in seven balls to slip from a comfortable 70-2 to 74-5.
Watson claimed two wickets in one over, forcing Yuvraj Singh to hole out in the deep before getting Pathan caught in the covers.