7:31 a.m. EDT: It was a match of ebbs and flows, but Australia’s final flurry, led by Mitchell Johnson, at the end of their innings left India with just too much to do. While the defending champions started well, once Shikhar Dhawan went they never really looked like chasing down the 329 required to win.
7:26 a.m. EDT: Steven Smith is named Man of the Match, and it’s hard to argue after his classy century helped Australia mount a daunting total for India, which ultimately proved too much. He was useful in the field, too, producing a brilliant throw to run out Jadeja and then rightly convincing his captain to appeal for the dismissal of Rahane.
Wicket! It’s all over. Starc bowls Yadav to leave India all out for 233 and give Australia a 95-run win.
Starc's perfect yorker put the seal on an Australia win that was ultimately emphatic. Michael Clarke's side go onto meet fellow co-hosts New Zealand in Sunday's final at the MCG.
46th over: India 232-9 (Shami 0, Yadav 0)
Faulkner just fails to get his hat-trick, but it’s been some recovery after his difficult start to the innings.
Wicket! Sharma (0) b. Faulkner
And Faulkner repeats the trick to take Australia within one wicket of the final and give himself a shot at a hat-trick.
Wicket! Ashwin (5) b. Faulkner
Faulkner beats Ashwin’s bat and skittles his wickets to take Australia closer to victory.
45th over: India 232-7 (Shami 0, Ashwin 5)
With Mohammed Shami now in the middle, India require 97 runs from just 30 balls.
Wicket! Another brilliant direct hit, this time from Glenn Maxwell, and Dhoni is gone for 65.
That really was a sensational throw form Maxwell to catch Dhoni a long way from home. With their captain and talisman gone, that’s surely that for India. And Australia can begin thinking about a World Cup final against New Zealand.
44th over: India 228-6 (Dhoni 64, Ashwin 3)
Mitchell Johnson stops Dhoni from inflicting further blows and India now need 101 off 36 balls.
43rd over: India 223-6 (Dhoni 61, Ashwin 1)
Finally India’s captain lets loose, smacking back-to-back sixes to the boundary off the bowling of Shane Watson. Ashwin nervously helps the ball up in the air as he tries to get the strike back to Dhoni, but he escapes becoming the latest Indian dismissal.
42nd over: India 208-6 (Dhoni 45, Ashwin 0)
Ravichandran Ashwin comes out, but this is all about Dhoni now.
Wicket! What a throw from Steven Smith to run out Jadeja! He’s gone for 16.
That was some throw from Smith. A review was called for, but Jadeja was a long way from home. The pressure increases yet further on MS Dhoni.
41st over: India 204-5 (Dhoni 44, Jadeja 14)
In Hazlewood's final over, Dhoni does start swinging, but he hits a wild shot and Michael Clarke runs it down, only to fail to hang onto the catch. India’s hopes remain alive. Just.
40th over: India 196-5 (Dhoni 42, Jadeja 9)
Dhoni still playing a patient game here. With just 10 overs remaining and 133 runs required, surely he has to start going for it now.
39th over: India 192-5 (Dhoni 40, Jadeja 3)
Almost another exemplary over from Mitchell Starc, trapping the batsmen with full deliveries on more than one occasion. Only a boundary from the last ball of the over gave India some respite.
38th over: India 183-5 (Dhoni 38, Jadeja 3)
It seems a long time ago now that Faulkner was being bashed around the ground and India were going along nicely. Just four runs off the over and India require more than two runs a ball.
37th over: India 179-5 (Dhoni 36, Jadeja 1)
Ravindra Jadeja arrives to give support to Dhoni. But the task is now 150 runs off 78 balls to win.
Wicket! Rahane (44) c. Haddin b. Starc
There didn't seem to be much of an appeal after Starc's ball went through to Haddin, but a review was called for and Snicko showed a spike to indicate Rahane had got the slightest of edges. Surely no way back for India now.
36th over: India 177-4 (Dhoni 35, Rahane 44)
Dhoni guides the ball past Watson at point to find the boundary, but India need more than that now.
35th over: India 170-4 (Dhoni 29, Rahane 43)
Rahane continues to take risks and escapes punishment again for a mishit shot through the air. Needing 159 to win form 15 overs, here comes the crucial powerplay.
34th over: India 165-4 (Dhoni 27, Rahane 40)
After the drinks break, Rahane has come out swinging. He connects well with a couple, including a welcome boundary, but he misses completely with another and then gets lucky when lofting a hookshot just short of Hazlewood.
33rd over: India 157-4 (Dhoni 26, Rahane 33)
India’s run rate creeps over 10 runs an over, and they surely have to start motoring now or it’ll be too late. Still, it could be worse, Rohane edges a wide ball from Johnson just out of reach of Michael Clarke.
32nd over: India 150-4 (Dhoni 25, Rahane 28)
India bring the 150 up, but Rahane is still struggling, taking 54 balls to make his 28. Dhoni needs to get the strike.
31st over: India 148-4 (Dhoni 24, Rahane 27)
Dhoni hits a four down the ground off of Hazlewood and adds another off the final ball. Can India’s captain get his side going once again?
30th over: India 138-4 (Dhoni 15, Rahane 24)
Shane Watson comes into the attack for the first time and keeps India to just five runs. It’s now seven overs since they found the boundary.
29th over: India 134-4 (Dhoni 14, Rahane 23)
Hazlewood bowls his eighth over, going or just 23 runs and of course taking the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan. India’s required run rate now close to nine-and-a-half per over.
28th over: India 130-4 (Dhoni 11, Rahane 23)
Glenn Maxwell puts in another solid over, keeping the noose tightened on India’s batsmen.
27th over: India 125-4 (Dhoni 9, Rahane 22)
Dhoni breathes a sigh of relief after a pull shot just falls short of David Warner and then an edge evades the slips. India staying alive here, but little more than that.
26th over: India 120-4 (Dhoni 5, Rahane 20)
Another set of singles for India. Some boundaries are required to start bringing down that required run rate.
25th over: India 115-4 (Dhoni 2, Rahane 17)
Five off that over. India dearly need one, or ideally both, of these men to score big.
24th over: India 110-4 (Dhoni 1, Rahane 13)
MS Dhoni gets off the mark, and the India captain now has huge responsibility on his shoulders to restore some stability to India’s innings.
23rd over: India 108-4 (Dhoni 0, Rahane 12)
Back on after going for 29 runs in his first two overs, Faulkner was hit for another boundary by Raina. But the decision to return him to the attack paid off massively, as he took the wicket of Raina to leave India four down.
Wicket! Raina (7) c. Haddin b. Faulkner
Raina nudges at a ball down off-stump and gets a thick edge to Haddin. Big trouble now for India.
22nd over: India 100-3 (Raina 1, Rahane 11)
India continuing to make do with singles. They’re 14 runs and two wickets down on where Australia were at the same stage of their innings.
21st over: India 98-3 (Raina 0, Rahane 9)
A brief and optimistic appeal for a catch, led by Brad Haddin, off a Starc short ball rightly comes to nothing. Starc then shares a few worlds with Raina after the batsman ducks under another short ball, in the first sign of the friction that flared up during the Test series between these two teams.
20th over: India 95-3 (Raina 0, Rahane 8)
Michael Clarke calls for the spin of Glenn Maxwell, and he causes a hairy moment when Raina gets an inside edge just past his stumps.
19th over: India 91-3 (Raina 0, Rahane 7)
Mitchell Starc returns to the attack and concedes just three runs to keep the pressure on India and the momentum fully with Australia.
18th over: India 91-3 (Raina 0, Rahane 4)
Johnson bounced back superbly form being hit for six by Rohit to take his wicket and leave Australia squaring up to two new batsman at the crease. Suresh Raina the next man in.
Wicket! Rohit (34) b. Johnson
Now Rohit Sharma has gone, too! Australia really on top now, with Johnson ripping through Rohit’s defenses to get an inside edge and clean up his stumps.
17th over: India 82-2 (Rohit 27, Rahane 2)
Hazlewood continues to offer nothing to the batsmen. India now firmly on the back foot.
16th over: India 80-2 (Rohit 26, Rahane 1)
Ajinkya Rahane is the next man in for India, and, with Johnson fired up, he’ll be relieved to scrap a single off his first ball and get off the strike.
Wicket! Kohli (1) c. Haddin b. Johnson
Australia deliver another blow to India’s hopes, this time it’s Johnson getting rid of Virat Kohli. Johnson put in a short ball and Kohli got a top edge to his pull shot, sending it high into the Sydney sky, allowing Haddin plenty of time to get across and make the catch.
15th over: India 77-1 (Rohit 24, Kohli 1)
This is a really good spell from Hazlewood, and he follows up the wicket of Dhawan with a maiden.
14th over: India 77-1 (Rohit 24, Kohli 1)
Kohli gets off the mark, but India get just the single run from Johnson's over.
13th over: India 76-1 (Rohit 23, Kohli 0)
India were going along very nicely, but now the responsibility switches to Virat Kohli to live up to his considerable billing.
Wicket! Dhawan (45) c. Maxwell b. Hazlewood
That could be a key moment. Dhawan has played wonderfully for his 45, but he hits a cover drive deep in the air and Glenn Maxwell makes his way over to make a straightforward catch. That’s a major blow for India and a major fillip for Michael Clarke after bringing Hazlewood back into the attack.
12th over: India 73-0 (Rohit 20, Dhawan 44)
Dhawan is really looking to capitalize on Faulkner. After hitting him for three boundaries in his first over, the India opener hits a couple of stunning drives down the ground for two more. He now has 44 off 40 balls.
11th over: India 60-0 (Rohit 20, Dhawan 34)
Johnson is still going at it with everything he’s got, but Rohit and Dhawan are doing a good job of staying away from danger. Five from the over.
10th over: India 55-0 (Rohit 19, Dhawan 32)
Hazlewood is replaced already by James Faulkner, but he gets off to a miserable start. First comes a no ball and then two fours and a big six for Dhawan. This is now a really good start for India.
9th over: India 39-0 (Rohit 18, Dhawan 18)
Johnson is really sending the ball down with some pace, but Dhawan is able to guide one delivery expertly down to the boundary for four.
8th over: India 33-0 (Rohit 18, Dhawan 12)
Just the three runs off that over, but the key for India remains not conceding early wickets with the new ball.
7th over: India 30-0 (Rohit 17, Dhawan 11)
Six! That’s more like it by Rohit Sharma. Mitchell Johnson hammers a ball down, but Rohit pulls it away deep into the stands. Johnson recovers well, though, to keep India from scoring off the last four balls of his first over.
6th over: India 22-0 (Rohit 11, Dhawan 10)
Dhawan plays and misses at a Hazlewood delivery down the line of off stump. India continue to hang on under the lights at the SCG.
5th over: India 20-0 (Rohit 11, Dhawan 7)
India survive again as Australia go up for a big appeal when Starc strikes the leg of Dhawan full on. But Australia opt not to appeal, and it proved a shrewd decision, with the ball clearly missing leg stump. It’s not pretty so far for India, but, crucially, their wickets are still intact.
4th over: India 15-0 (Rohit 8, Dhawan 6)
Shikhar Dhawan gets up and running with a four, pulling away Hazlewood’s short ball. But he then joins his fellow opener in getting a major reprieve. A thick outside edge looked set to be taken by Brad Haddin, but he couldn’t hold onto it as he dove to his left. India living very dangerously early on.
3rd over: India 9-0 (Rohit 7, Dhawan 1)
Another impressive over from Mitchell Starc, who’s been in tremendous wicket-taking form in this World Cup. India will be delighted if they can see him off.
2nd over: India 7-0 (Rohit 6, Dhawan 1)
India and Rohit escpae again, this time with a pull shot from Josh Hazlewood that loops in the air but just evades a fielder.
1st over: India 4-0 (Rohit 4, Dhawan 0)
India survive a major scare in the very first over. Rohit edged a ball to Watson at slip and the umpire referred the decision, but replays appeared to show, by the slightest of margins, that it just failed to carry. Mitchell Starc found another outside edge that again fell short of slip, but in between Rohit found the boundary to get India going.
3:46 a.m. EDT: India's openers Rohit Sharma, fresh from a century against Bangladesh, and Shikhar Dhawan, are out on the field.
So 329 the total required for India to move into the final and play New Zealand to defend their trophy. Both teams are likely to have mixed feelings after that. It’s a sizable total for Australia, yet when Steve Smith and then Glenn Maxwell were hitting the ball around, it appeared that it could push up around the 400 mark. India have given themselves a chance, but the flurry at the end will have taken some of the pleasure out of their fight back. We'll be back soon for the start of India's chase.
50th over: Australia 328-7 (Haddin 7, Johnson 27)
Virat Kohli lets a simple catch drop through his fingers to allow Haddin to escape and Australia to rack up what could prove to be some crucial runs. Johnson hits another four off the next ball followed by a six to cow corner. A single ends the innings.
49th over: Australia 313-7 (Haddin 6, Johnson 13)
Australia become the first team to get to 300 in a World Cup semifinal, but only just with Johnson escaping a direct hit from Virat Kohli that would have seen him run out. The bowling ace shows he can handle a bat, though, with a three fours to move Australia’s total further along.
48th over: Australia 299-7 (Haddin 5, Johnson 0)
Watson hit a couple of boundaries, but Sharma was unfazed and removed the big-hitter with a clever change of pace. Mitchell Johnson now in for Australia.
Wicket! Watson (28) b. Mohit c. Rohane
Watson was looking to muscle the ball to the boundary again, but the slower ball catches him out and he fires it straight to Rohane to take a simple catch.
47th over: Australia 288-6 (Haddin 4, Watson 18)
Yadav has got rid of the dangerous Faulkner, but Brad Haddin arrived to strike a four down the ground off the last ball of the over.
Wicket! Faulkner (21) b. Yadav
Faulkner was really going for it and had just hit a powerful four, but Umesh Yadav catches him out with a full delivery. With the help of a slight inside edge onto the stumps, he gets his fourth wicket.
46th over: Australia 278-5 (Faulkner 17, Watson 17)
Faulkner greets Jadeja’s first ball back by clearing the boundary for six. But Jadeja does well to recover from that and go for just two runs for the rest of the over.
45th over: Australia 271-5 (Faulkner 10, Watson 16)
Faulkner gets up and running now with a couple of fours off Shami’s over. Australia gearing up for a big finish.
44th over: Australia 258-5 (Faulkner 1, Watson 13)
Watson relieves some of the pressure and gets Australia up and running again with a six off the final ball of Ashwin’s over. The co-hosts needed that.
43rd over: Australia 250-5 (Faulkner 1, Watson 5)
Mohit's bowling and Dhoni’s tactics account for Australia’s captain. James Faulkner is the new man in, he has just 24 runs so far in this World Cup. Momentum firmly with India now heading toward the end of this Australia innings.
Wicket! Clarke (10) b. Mohit c. Rohit
Austrlia’s captain is gone for just 10 after pulling a short ball from Mohit straight to Rohit Sharma. India's charge continues.
41st over: Australia 248-4 (Clarke 10, Watson 4)
Clarke flicks Jadeja’s spin away for his first boundary, while he and Watson finish the over with a single apiece as Australia look to recover their poise.
40th over: Australia 239-4 (Clarke 3, Watson 2)
Good over from Jadeja, going for just four runs. The game had turned strongly in Australia’s direction, but India have reeled it back in as the innings enters its last 10 overs.
39th over: Australia 235-4 (Clarke 1, Watson 0)
The crowd is pumped up now and they get excited about an appeal, but it’s called wide. The new batsman in is Australia captain Michael Clarke, who gets just a single off Yadav’s over. Very different atmosphere now after those wickets.
Wicket! Finch (81) c. Dhawan b. Yadav
India needed this. That’s three wickets in quick succession and Australia now have two new batsmen at the crease. Finch’s methodical innings is over after he mistimes a shot to Shikhar Dhawan.
38th over: Australia 233-3 (Finch 81, Watson 0)
Ashwin gets the job done and removes Maxwell.
Wicket! Maxwell (23) c. Rahane b. Ashwin
It was a thoroughly entertaining, but short-lived innings for Maxwell. The reintroduction of Ashwin accounts for the big-hitting Australian, with Ajinkya Rohane making the catch off his sweep shot just inside the boundary.
37th over: Australia 231-2 (Finch 79, Maxwell 23)
Maxwell is already finding the middle of the bat and firing balls around the ground. That's two fours and a big six for him in that over, and he can barely contain his glee.
36th over: Australia 216-2 (Finch 79, Maxwell 9)
Mohammed Shami comes back into attack after going for 30 runs off his first six overs. But, despite losing Smith, Australia continue to make the powerplay count. Maxwell comfortably survives a run out referral to the third umpire as Australia get 10 runs from the over.
35th over: Australia 206-2 (Finch 73, Maxwell 5)
Bringing Yadav back does the trick for India, as they remove the dangerous Smith. But Maxwell gets up and running with a boundary.
Wicket! Smith (105) c. Sharma, b. Yadav (Australia 197-2)
That's the wicket India were desperately seeking. With his first ball after comeing back into the attack, Umesh Yadav tempts Smith into a hook shot, and he gets a top edge to give Rohit Sharma a simple catch. Glenn Maxwell now in.
34th over: Australia 197-1 (Finch 72, Smith 105)
Finch leaps to emphatically hit a Mohit short ball for four, while Smith strikes back down the ground for another boundary. With the final ball Finch lifts the ball over to his head and clear of the fielders for another boundary. That’s 16 runs off the over, and India in danger of letting this run away from them here.
33rdover: Australia 181-1 (Finch 62, Smith 100)
That’s the 100 up for Smith! Shami comes back on for India as Australia take the powerplay. But Smith strikes a boundary after some nifty footwork and then belts one down the ground for six. His century comes up after just 89 balls, with yet another boundary.
32nd over: Australia 167-1 (Finch 62, Smith 86)
Finch is trying desperately to get something going off Ashwin, but with no luck. Still, a misfield allows Finch an extra run, while an optimistic lbw appeal is turned down. Australia now take the powerplay.
31st over: Australia 160-1 (Finch 57, Smith 85)
Smith drives Mohit straight back down the ground for four before Mohit goes up for an appeal as the ball hits the pads of Finch. The umpire offers nothing and India don’t have a review to use.
30th over: Australia 155-1 (Finch 56, Smith 80)
Ashwin is continuing to keep a lid on things, going for just two off that over, but he and India will really be looking for a wicket now.
29th over: Australia 153-1 (Finch 56, Smith 78)
Mohit comes back on, after going for 19 runs off his first four overs. Smith hits a wide ball to the off side for two, continuing the strike the ball cleanly. Three singles off the over, too, as Australia move along smoothly.
28th over: Australia 147-1 (Finch 54 , Smith 74)
Finch is left frustrated at failing to get a clean shot away with the final ball of the over -- a good one for Ashwin.
27th over: Australia 143-1 (Finch 51 , Smith 73)
Finch brings up his 50 off 83 balls, with just five boundaries included in the innings. Fittingly the half-century is brought up with a single to continue what has been a battling innings for the opener. Smith has been the one providing the excitement and a lovely touch sees him pull Jadeja for four.
26th over: Australia 135-1 (Finch 49, Smith 67)
Finch survives a nervy moment after a review shows he just avoided being run out when Smith drove straight back down the wicket and Ashwin touched the ball onto the stumps.
25th over: Australia 132-1 (Finch 47, Smith 66)
Six! Smith pulls what wasn’t a bad ball from Jadeja over the boundary.
24th over: Australia 124-1 (Finch 44, Smith 59)
Ashwin concedes six runs off the over, and India are now increasingly keen to make something happen after Australia recovered well from the dismissal of Warner. Still the run-rate remains just over five per over.
22nd over: Australia 114-1 (Finch 42, Smith 53)
Finch keeps plugging away and picks up a boundary to edge nearer to his 50.
21st over: Australia 107-1 (Finch 37, Smith 53)
Jadeja continuing the pressure, giving up just two runs.
20th over: Australia 105-1 (Finch 36, Smith 52)
Ashwin has a couple of brief shouts, but concedes three off a leg bye.
19th over: Australia 100-1 (Finch 34, Smith 50)
Spinners at both ends now for India, and the pressure being applied. But Smith gets a single down to cover to bring up his 50. And a fine half-century it has been, too, coming off just 54 balls. It's his fourth consecutive half-century in this World Cup.
18th over: Australia 96-1 (Finch 32, Smith 49)
Dhoni introduces his leading spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for the first time and he finds his range straight away, conceding just a couple of singles and seeing Smith come close to edging against his own stumps on the final ball.
17th over: Australia 96-1 (Finch 32, Smith 47)
After a drinks break, Mohit gives the batters nothing with his first four balls, but then puts in a short and wide delivery that Finch duly puts away for four. India don't want to be giving Finch the chance to build his confidence.
16th over: Australia 89-1 (Finch 28, Smith 45)
Finch capitalizes on a wide delivery from Jadeja to strike a four past cover. He’s not exactly been prolific so far, but he's hanging in there for what could be a vital innings for Australia.
15th over: Australia 82-1 (Finch 23, Smith 43)
Sharma is the consistent bowler for India right now, mixing up the pace and continuing his good World Cup as India’s third seamer. Australia still get five from the over and the partnership is now 67 between Finch and Smith.
14th over: Australia 77-1 (Finch 21, Smith 40)
Ravindra Jadeja now into the attack for India, unsurprisingly replacing Kohli. Australia take six from it, with Smith finding a gap to get three off the final ball.
13th over: Australia 71-1 (Finch 19, Smith 36)
Finch lets loose on a short ball from Mohit to get a four down to square leg and ramp up his strike rate. He now has 19 off of 37 balls.
12th over: Australia 63-1 (Finch 12, Smith 35)
MS Dhoni surprisingly brings on Virat Kohli as the fourth bowler to try some spin out on the Australia batsmen. Kohli is yet to take a wicket so far in this World Cup and Smith punishes a nothing ball with a boundary. Finch hits a single off the last ball, too.
11th over: Australia 57-1 (Finch 12, Smith 30)
A good first over for Mohit Sharma, who has taken 11 wickets so far in this World Cup, as part of a pace attack that has exceeded expectations. Just the one run off it.
10th over: Australia 56-1 (Finch 12, Smith 30)
Smith starting to accelerate now, hitting four boundaries in that over, including two after breaking his bat. Mohit Sharma now into the attack for India. Australia get 56 runs during the powerplay, just losing that wicket of Warner.
9th over: Australia 40-1 (Finch 11, Smith 14)
Shami's excellent work continues, really hamstringing Finch and Smith. They'll want another wicket, but it's been a good start for India here and the crowd in Sydney, which contains more than a few India supporters, are enjoying themselves.
A single each from Finch and Smith to begin Yadav’s fourth over. Smith got another with a shot down to fine leg before Finch mistimed a hook shot. Australia perservering through a good spell for India right now.
7th over: Australia 34-1 (Finch 8, Smith 11)
Shami is giving the Australians very little to work with. Smith is looking to play positively and gets a single off a hook shot, but Shami is doing well to restraini him. A wide the only disappointment for India. Shami has conceded 14 runs off his four overs so far.
6th over: Australia 32-1 (Finch 8, Smith 10)
Yadav made a muted appeal off the first ball of the over, and got the pulses racing with a fine swinging delivery just past the bat of Finch with the penultimate ball. Some more fine bowling from India's wicket-taker.
5th over: Australia 31-1 (Finch 8, Smith 9)
Finch has looked uncomfortable early on, but he gets his first boundry with a clean, straight drive. Important that he settles and stays in for a long time now for Australia. Smith comes close to getting a boundry, too, off a straight yorker, but it's saved for the cost of three.
4th over: Australia 21-1 (Finch 1, Smith 6)
Smith makes a good start after coming in for Warner and scores a four to settle Australia somewhat after the wicket.
Wicket! Warner is gone for 12! Australia 15-1
Yadav gets the big wicket of the Aussie opener, as Warner gets a leading edge and Virat Kohli takes the simple catch. Steve Smith now in.
3rd Over: Austrlia 15-0 (Finch 1, Warner 12)
Shami already pressuring Finch, and on the second ball India appeal for an lbw. Yet the umpire is unmoved with the ball clearing the stumps. Consistent bowling from Shami and he gets a maiden.
2nd Over: Australia 15-0 (Finch 1, Warner 12)
Warner hits the first boundary of the match with a lovely straight drive, and with the final ball of the over he just clears the rope for a six. Positive start for the fiery Australia opener.
1st Over: Australia 2-0 (Finch 0, Warner 1)
A good first over from Mohammed Shami as he threatened Finch with a couple of balls. David Warner just able to get Australia off the mark. Umesh Yadav to bowl the second over.
0.1 Overs: Oh, Mohammed Shami awfully close to getting an edge from Aaron Finch with the first ball.
11:30 p.m. EDT: India are fairly use to batting second in this World Cup, having done so successfully four times so far.
11:29 p.m. EDT: Despite a lack of grass on the pitch, Australia spin king Shane Warne has said that he doesn't expect much spin on the surface.
11: 26 p.m. EDT: The players are now out on the field for the anthems. India first.
11:23 p.m. EDT: Before we get underway, a reminder of two lineups:
Australia: M.Clarke (Capt) Warner, Finch, Smith, Watson, Maxwell, Faulkner, Haddin(wk), Johnson, Starc, Hazlewood
India: Dhoni (Capt, wk), Sharma, Dhawan, Kohli, Rahane, Raina, Jadeja, Ashwin, Shami, Sharma, Yadav
11:20 p.m. EDT: Just 10 minutes to go until India bowls the first ball in this eagerly anticipated semifinal!
11:16 p.m. EDT: Still, despite the notion that the SCG is the venue in Australia in that favors India most, they have only won once their in 35 years in ODIs.
11:10 p.m. EDT: Back to the pitch. Australia have been wary of a pitch in Sydney that has a history of favoring spin bowling. Indeed, they complained about the surface that was offered up for the New Year's Test match between the two sides this year. On the last match played on it in the World Cup, South Africa's spinners took seven wickets. However, with his fast bowlers having exceeded expectations in this tournament, MS Dhoni has reason for confidence whatever the surface.
11:06 p.m. EDT: India captain MS Dhoni says he isn't disappointed to have lost the toss, but admits he would also have batted first. Both teams by the way keep the same teams that won their quarterfinals.
11:05 p.m. EDT: Australia win the toss and captain Michael Clarke opts to bat first.
11:03 p.m. EDT: Here's a look at the pitch at the Sydney Cricket Ground, which has caused plenty of discussion ahead of the semifinal.
Preview:After Tuesday’s first semifinal at the Cricket World Cup, Australia and India have a lot to live up to when they meet for the right to meet New Zealand into the final. Fortunately, all signs point toward a potential classic at the Sydney Cricket Ground. New Zealand beat South Africa in a thriller in Auckland , with Grant Ellliott hitting a six off the penultimate ball to take the country into its first ever World Cup final. But the second semifinal oozes pedigree, as four-time champions Australia take on an India side looking to defend the trophy they won on home soil in 2011 and sit on top of the world for a third time.
With home advantage and a team that entered the competition ranked No. 1 ranked in the world by the International Cricket Council, Australia will start as favorites. Yet, to much surprise, there can be little doubt that it has been India which has looked the more impressive team in reaching the last four. Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men began the competition with major doubts after some poor preparation in Australia, but they won all six matches in their group, including big victories over local rivals Pakistan and South Africa. And they then had little trouble seeing off Bangladesh in the quarterfinals.
Australia, meanwhile, have been solid rather than spectacular thus far. In their one match venturing off Australian soil they were beaten by New Zealand, although their progress to the quarterfinals was otherwise serene. A quarterfinal victory over Pakistan was ultimately comfortable, too, however there was something of a scare along the way. An inspired spell of bowling from Wahab Riaz temporarily threatened to derail Australia’s chasing down of as modest total of 214 before a dropped catch allowed Shane Watson to go on and hit the winning runs. The stage is now set for an 11th World Cup meeting between Australia and India and a mouthwatering prospect. You can follow along here throughout the match, which gets underway at 11:30 a.m. EDT, for live updates and the latest score from Sydney.