By Liam Morgan

Shane Watson and Glenn Maxwell helped Australia over the line to book a semi-final meeting with India ©Getty ImagesAustralia booked their place in the Cricket World Cup semi-finals against India as they recovered from a difficult start to beat Pakistan by six wickets in Adelaide.

Batting first, Pakistan were skittled for 213 thanks largely to an impressive display of bowling from Josh Hazlewood, who took 4-35 to help the Aussies seize control of the match.

However, Pakistan remained intent on defending a reasonably low score and fast bowler Wahab Riaz found his form early on, removing opener Aaron Finch and captain Michael Clarke to leave the co-hosts struggling on 59-3.

Steve Smith, whose reputation continues to grow in international cricket, led his side's recovery with a composed 65, before Shane Watson's unbeaten 64 helped guide Australia to their target of 214 with 16.1 overs left to spare.

Glenn Maxwell was also key to the win as he batted in his trademark quick-scoring fashion, finishing on 44 not out off 29 balls which included five fours and two sixes.

Australia batsman Steve Smith helped his side recover from a difficult start with a composed 65 as the co-hosts reached their target with 16.1 overs to spare ©Getty ImagesAustralia batsman Steve Smith helped his side recover from a difficult start with a composed 65 as the co-hosts reached their target with 16.1 overs to spare ©Getty Images

The result means the pre-tournament favourites, whose displays at the tournament so far have been backed up by a raucous home crowd, will take on World Cup holders India in what looks to be a mouthwatering clash, which is due to take place on March 26 in Sydney.

With the victory over Pakistan, Australia also became the first team to reach seven World Cup semi-finals, keeping their hopes of claiming a fifth title alive in the process.

Haris Sohail top-scored with 41 for a Pakistani side who had grown in confidence as the tournament went on, and at times it looked as though their 213 might be enough to squeeze them through to the last four.

They had the Aussies rattled at the beginning of the co-hosts' reply as Riaz continually sent down deliveries at a rapid speed of 90 miles per hour on a green pitch conducive to pace bowling, but Australia stood up to his hostile spell to ensure they did not disappoint the partisan crowd inside the Adelaide Oval.

The World Cup quarter-finals conclude tomorrow as fellow co-hosts New Zealand take on the West Indies in Wellington.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
March 2015: 
Holders India through to Cricket World Cup semi-finals as easily beat Bangladesh
March 2015: South Africa thump Sri Lanka to reach Cricket World Cup semi-finals
March 2015: Pakistan and West Indies qualify for Cricket World Cup quarter-finals as luck of the Irish runs out
March 2015: Australia and India avoid Cricket World Cup upsets as Scotland and Zimbabwe bow out
March 2015: New Zealand end group stage at Cricket World Cup with 100 per cent record after beating Bangladesh