Australia put it across Indian eves by three wickets

Published: Monday, December 13, 2004, 22:28 [IST]
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Mysore:If the first ODI between India and Australia was a case of so near and yet so far for India; the Australians ensured the second game didn't go right down to the wire as they pulled off a three wicket victory to go 2-0 up in the seven-match ODI series at the Infosys grounds here today.

Chasing 172 for victory, the visitors overhauled the Indian target with four balls to spare courtesy- another sterling unbeaten half-century by Karen Rolton.

The Aussie vice-captain, who looked in ominous touch in the opening ODI where she authored a superb 82, was in her elements today as well as she drove the Indians on the backfoot with some authoritative and common sense batting.

For the second time running, Rolton found an enterprising partner in talented Lisa Sthalekar as the pair raised 61-runs for the third wicket and shouldered the responsibility of posting a competitive total on the board.

Rolton cracked a superb 62, while Sthalekar, who promised so much during her vigil at the wicket, once again fell in the thirties, scoring exactly 30.

This was after the opening pair of skipper Belinda Clarke and Lisa Keightley gave Australia a steady start putting on 42 for the first wicket before Keightley was run out for 10 after she failed to beat a throw off Jhulan Goswami.

Goswami was again in the thick of things as she effected the prized scalp of skipper Clarke for 31, to reduce the visitors to a shaky 47 for two.

The fall of Clarke's wicket triggered a slide as the world champions lost a flurry of wickets towards the end but Rolton remained unfazed and went about her job sensibly to fashion another Aussie victory.

Earlier, sent into bat, India were off to a disastrous start when they lost Jaya Sharma snapped up by Jones off Smith for a duck.

Wicketkeeper and opening bat Anju Jain and southpaw Anjum Chopra ensured there were no further alarms as they applied themselves nicely and negated Aussies plans of a top-order collapse with some dogged batting.

They were embroiled in an important century stand for the third wicket before the visitors eked out the much-needed breakthrough. Anju scored a fluent 51. Her knock spanned 138 minutes, consumed 92 balls and contained five hits to the fence.

Anjum Chopra, who scratched around initially gradually found her moorings to notch a determined 41, studded with four fours.

Once the pair was separated, the rest of the batswomen struggled to maintain the tempo and threw way their wickets in their bid to go for quick runs.

Vice-captain Mithali Raj scored a busy 22, while skipper Mamtha Maben weighted with 18 before she was run out as the hosts huffed and puffed its way to 171 for seven in their allotted 50 overs.

The Indian women had lost the first ODI at the same venue on Saturday by 14 runs. Australia are now leading 2-0 in the seven match series. The third ODI would be held in Mumbai on December 16.

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