SYDNEY – Australia will play New Zealand in the Cricket World Cup final after beating India by 95 runs in the second semi-final in Sydney. Steve Smith scored 105 from 93 balls – passing fifty for the fourth consecutive World Cup game – as Australia set India a tough target of 329. It could have been tougher though as Australia lost their way with three wickets falling for only 16 runs across 30 balls just as they were looking to accelerate in the final 10 overs. But a Mitchell Johnson cameo of 27 from nine balls helped fire Australia to 328-7, before he then took 2-50 in India’s reply in typically fired-up fashion.
MS Dhoni’s run-a-ball 65 and handy contributions from ShikharDhawan (45 off 41 balls) and Ajinkya Rahane (44) gave faint hope of an India win but Australia had too much for them in the field, with two run outs – one accounting for Dhoni – helping book Australia’s place in Sunday’s final in Melbourne. Australia won the toss and chose to bat first in front of a packed crowd at the SCG. Faulkner (3-59) bowled Ashwin and Sharma in consecutive balls to be on a hat-trick, but it was Starc who picked up the final wicket as India fell to 223 all out and Australia confirmed their World Cup final spot. (Adapted from Sky Sports).