Warner and Watson crush India
Australia followed a barrage of sixes with an equally destructive display of quick bowling to crush India by 49 runs in their ICC World Twenty20 Super Eight opener.
Michael Clarke’s side smashed 16 sixes, just one short of the international Twenty20 record held by South Africa, as they posted an imposing 184 for five in Barbados.
India’s chase was wrecked by the Australia pacemen, who revelled on bouncy Kensington Oval pitch. India slipped to 23 for four - and 50 for seven - before a late rally saw them to a more respectable 135.
Australia’s batting onslaught was led by openers David Warner and Shane Watson, who shared 13 sixes as they embarked on a brutal opening stand of 104 inside 11 overs.
Warner struck three maximums in succession off Ravindra Jadeja in his savage 72 off 42 balls, while Watson made a marginally less entertaining 54 off 32 deliveries.
Australia looked set to post a score over 200, but the dismissals of both openers checked their momentum - they failed to hit a six in the last four overs - and gave India a sniff of hope.
However, Dirk Nannes and Shaun Tait quickly extinguished India’s threat as they ripped through their top order with the new ball.
Nannes, aided by some ill-advised strokeplay, removed Murali Vijay, Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh inside the first five overs.
Tait accounted for in-form Suresh Raina, who top-edged a loose pull to Michael Clarke, and when skipper MS Dhoni chipped Steven Smith to long-on India were out of contention on 37 for five.
They were indebted to Rohit Sharma for reaching three figures; he played a lone hand in making an unbeaten 79 off 46 balls as India were bowled out with 2.2 overs unused.
Nannes finished with 3-25 while Tait took 3-21 after wrapping up the tail.
Australia’s innings began with Watson playing out a maiden from Harbhajan Singh’s opening over before he was dropped by Jadeja on seven.
It proved costly, especially for Jadeja, who, when introduced to the attack, saw six consecutive deliveries, across two overs, cross the boundary.
Watson brought up the century stand - and his 31-ball half-century - with another clubbed six off Yusuf Pathan before being bowled next delivery.
Warner maintained the powerful hitting with David Hussey, who hit two sixes in his 22-ball 35, and had cleared the ropes seven times when Yuvraj finally induced an edge to wicketkeeper Dhoni.
Hussey followed soon after when he skied a catch off Ashish Nehra and, though Australia failed to maintain their blistering pace - thanks largely to Harbhajan, who conceded just 15 runs from four overs - the damage had been done.