England’s 2010 team levelled their semi-final with Australia’s 1948 side in the Greatest Team Tournament and India’s 2018 side won a thriller with the Australia 2002 to leave both series tied at 1-1 with two matches to play.
James Anderson was the hero for England first up as he took the first six Australian wickets to fall to leave Don Bradman’s side reeling at 46-6 on the first morning.
Thirties from Neil Harvey and Ray Lindwall enabled a small recovery but the final total of 173 was way short of respectability.
It was a situation ready made for the England top order and Andrew Strauss batted for more than five-and-a-half hours to make 125, ably assisted by 87 from Jonathan Trott, with whom he shared a second-wicket partnership of 173.
Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell added an unbroken 179 for the sixth wicket as Strauss declared as soon as the Durham all-rounder completed his century.
Predictably, England found it more difficult second time around, as Bradman completed a century and Lindsay Hassett made 97, but the bowlers stuck to their task, eventually finishing off the innings for 432, Stuart Broad taking five wickets, before England completed their chase of 101 to win without alarm.
Australia falter in fourth-innings chase
In the other semi-final, Virat Kohli won the toss and chose to bat and three of the Indian top four made scores in the forties but were unable to convert to something more substantial – Rishabh Pant ended up top-scoring with an unbeaten 61 in what was a slightly disappointing 283 all out.
Mark Waugh was at his stylish best in Australia’s first innings, stroking his way to 90, and sharing a fourth-wicket partnership of 149 with his twin brother Steve. That partnership proved to be the centrepiece of the Australian reply of 374, giving them a first-innings lead of 91.
Kohli and Rohit Sharma shared a fifth-wicket partnership of 115 in India’s second innings, but both would have been disappointed not to have made a century and with Glenn McGrath and Jason GiIlespie sharing nine wickets, Australia needed just 176 to win.
However, not for the first time in their history, they struggled in a seemingly straightforward fourth-innings run chase.
Matthew Hayden fell first ball, but Justin Langer seemed to be in good form as he completed a half-century. Yet, a flurry of wickets dropped Australia from 69-2 to 74-6 and India were very much in charge.
Damien Martyn and Adam Gilchrist then added a fifty partnership before Mohammed Shami had the last laugh. With echoes of Edgbaston 2005 and with just three runs required, Brett Lee hooked Shami into the hands of Ishant Sharma at long leg to seal a thrilling victory for India and set up the series beautifully with two matches to play.
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