Bridgetown, Barbados:David Warner smashed a rapid 72 as Australia thrashed India by 49 runs in the teams' opening Super Eights match in the World Twenty20 at the Kensington Oval here on Friday.
Left-handed opener Warner's innings was the top score in an Australia total of 184 for five built around his first wicket stand of 104 in 11 overs with Shane Watson (54) after India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss.
In reply, India collapsed to 23 for four inside five overs as several batsmen miscued big shots in a bid to keep up with the run-rate.
India were eventually bowled out for 135, with Rohit Sharma (79 not out) and tailender Harbhajan Singh (13) the only batsmen to reach double figures.
Australia's victory maintained their perfect record at this World Twenty20 as India suffered their first defeat.
In the end, India did well to hold Australia to a score under 200.
"We started from the beginning, and there were some big shots," said man-of-the-match Warner, who faced just 41 balls and struck seven of the innings's 16 sixes.
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"We were 160 in the 16th over, but we felt what we got was enough with the pace on the wicket," explained Warner, eventually out when caught by wicketkeeper Dhoni off left-arm spinner Yuvraj Singh.
Dhoni added: "Watson and Warner batted very well and took the game away from us. It started with a couple of overs that went for 40-odd runs.
"We did well in the end to restrict them to 180."
Australia left-arm quick Dirk Nannes then consolidated his position as the tournament's leading bowler with three wickets for 25 runs to take his tally for the competition to 10 wickets.
Fellow fast bowler Shaun Tait took three for 21, raising questions once more about India's ability to handle fast bowling on a lively surface that assisted the quicks but was no terror track.
"Most of the teams bowl short to us. Maybe we can leave the deliveries initially," Dhoni said.
The scale of India's defeat did little for their run-rate, which could be a tie-breaker in deciding the semi-final line-up.
But Dhoni added: "It's important to win the two remaining games (against the West Indies and Sri Lanka), and the run-rate will take care of itself."
Sharma went to his fifty in 33 balls with four sixes and two fours after Suresh Raina, who struck 101 against South Africa last time out, fell to Tait for five.
Australia's openers were especially severe on left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja, whose two overs went for 38.
Jadeja conceded six consecutive sixes, split across those two overs, with both Watson and Warner striking three in a row.
Watson, as in his 81 against Pakistan this tournament, was given an early reprieve when dropped on seven, a difficult chance, by a diving Jadeja at square leg following a miscued sweep against off-spinner Harbhajan Singh.
Watson, normally content to play second fiddle to Warner early on, inflicted the early damage.
He clouted Jadeja's fourth ball for six, pulled the fifth high over midwicket and sent the sixth soaring over deep backward square.
Jadeja returned for the tenth over and saw Warner flat-bat his first ball back for six over long-on.
The second ball, tossed up, was sent soaring into the gap between mid-wicket and long-on, with the third driven straighter.
Recalled quick Zaheer Khan also suffered, his four overs costing 45 runs.
Watson went to his fifty with a six off a Yusuf Pathan long-hop before he was bowled next ball to end a 32-ball innings featuring six sixes and a solitary four.
Off-spinner Harbhajan bowled a maiden in the first over of the match, a remarkable achievement in view of what followed, and conceded just 15 runs.
Both teams continue their bid for a last four spot here on Sunday when India face the West Indies and Australia play Sri Lanka.