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India top Pool B with another World Cup victory


India top Pool B with another World Cup victory

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AUCKLAND (AP) – Defending champions India made a mockery of the pre-tournament form guides, finishing unbeaten atop Pool B at the Cricket World Cup with a six-wicket win over Zimbabwe on Saturday.

India hadn’t won a competitive match on Australian soil in the two months leading up to the tournament, but have now won six in a row to extend their winning streak in World Cup matches to ten — including the latter half of their run to the title in 2011.

The win over lowly-ranked Zimbabwe in New Zealand wasn’t as simple as the result suggested, though, with India needing an exceptional innings of 110 from Suresh Raina and 85 from Mahendra Singh Dhoni in an unbroken 196-run partnership to edge to victory with eight balls remaining.

Four-time champions Australia beat winless Scotland by seven wickets in a rain-affected match in Hobart, Australia, chasing down Scotland’s paltry total of 130 with 208 balls to spare.

cricket-world-cup-2015-logoIn Auckland, Brendan Taylor quit the international stage after 11 years with a flamboyant 138 to lift Zimbabwe to 287, a total which made life difficult for India.

Zimbabwe finished with just one win in six matches, but Taylor said there were close results that could have gone either way.

The Australians had a mixed run through the tournament before securing second place in Pool A behind unbeaten New Zealand.

New Zealand will play the fourth-place team in Pool B and Australia will play the third-place team in Pool B in the quarter-finals. Those places will be determined Sunday when Pakistan play Ireland in Adelaide and West Indies play United Arab Emirates in Napier, New Zealand. India lead the group with 12 points, followed by South Africa on eight, Pakistan and Ireland on six and West Indies on four.

India will play Bangladesh in the quarter-finals, and could meet Australia in the semi-finals.