Oct. 1 (Bloomberg) -- India beat archrival Pakistan by eight wickets in the Super Eight stage of cricket’s World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka yesterday. Australia defeated South Africa by the same margin.
Shane Watson made 70 for Australia, picking up his fourth straight man-of-the-match award. Virat Kohli was given that accolade in the other game after scoring 78 not out for India.
Australia leads Group 2 on four points, with Pakistan and India on two each and South Africa none after two defeats. Yesterday’s results in Colombo mean all four nations are in with a chance of advancing to the semifinals.
South Africa ended on 146-5 after being put in to bat, with unbeaten knocks of 32 and 31 by Robin Peterson and Farhaan Behardien and 30 from JP Duminy. Xavier Doherty took 3-20 as the Proteas stuttered to 64-4. Watson picked up two wickets.
Michael Hussey was 45 not out as Australia reached 147-2 with 14 balls left.
“It’s nice that it’s continuing to go pretty well. I know how important my role is, but there’s a hell of a long way to go,” Watson said at the post-match presentation. “Hussey stabilized the innings, he took the pressure off me to score.”
South Africa captain AB de Villiers said the loss of early wickets stopped his team from building momentum.
“Very disappointed, just frustrating when we don’t click,” he said. “I just can’t put my finger on one thing, it went wrong everywhere. Watson is a class player, but it’s not all doom and gloom, hopefully we’ll win on Tuesday against India.”
Shoaib Malik made 28 and Umar Akmal 21 as Pakistan, which won the toss, was restricted to 128 all out. Lakshmipathy Balaji took 3-22, with Yuvraj Singh and Ravichandran Ashwin getting two wickets each.
Pakistan made an early breakthrough in India’s innings, Gautam Gambhir caught and bowled by Raza Hasan with the score on 1. Virender Sehwag, with 29 runs, and Kohli stabilized the batting and India cruised to victory on 129-2 with three overs left. Yuvraj was 19 not out.
“The batsmen couldn’t get going, we were trying to get 150-plus but couldn’t do that,” Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez said. “Virat Kohli played an excellent innings but we couldn’t get the total we wanted to.”
A Pakistan win would have sent India and South Africa out of the competition.
“The team responded really well,” India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said. “Most of the players looked quite relaxed, and Balaji and all the other bowlers contributed. It’s good that Kohli is taking the responsibility” to get runs, he said.
South Africa meets India and Australia plays Pakistan in the final group games tomorrow. Today, West Indies plays New Zealand and defending champion England faces Sri Lanka in Group 1. The top two teams in each group advance to the semifinals.
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