Hyderabad: Yuvraj Singh hammered a superb century but failed to stop Australia from posting a 47-run win over India in the third one-day international here on Friday.
The stylish left-hander scored a 115-ball 121 for his eighth hundred as India were bowled out for 243 chasing a 291-run target to concede a 2-0 lead in the seven-match series. The opening match was abandoned due to rain.
Brett Lee (3-37) was Australia's bowling hero as he rocked India's top order with two quick wickets in his sharp opening spell before removing skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in his second to end the hosts' recovery.
India's hopes receded sharply with the dismissal of Dhoni, who shared a brisk 65-run stand for the fifth wicket with Yuvraj. They were virtually out of the match at that stage as the asking rate kept climbing.
Australia displayed their batting prowess after winning the toss, with man-of-the-match Andrew Symonds (89), Matthew Hayden (60) and Michael Clarke (59) dominating the Indian attack with rich strokeplay.
"Things worked beautifully for us. Our batting was very good and we struck the ball from the word 'go' to reach up to a good total," said Australian captain Ricky Ponting.
"Our openers were terrific and set the platform for the later batsmen. Things are coming together for us, but there's still scope for improvement."
Lee grabbed two early wickets and Mitchell Johnson one to reduce India to 13-3 in the opening five overs before Yuvraj steadied the innings with a commendable knock under pressure.
Lee struck in his second over when he trapped Gautam Gambhir leg-before and then had Rahul Dravid caught by Hayden, who latched on to a low catch despite wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist diving in front of the first slip.
Australia then ran into Yuvraj, who outscored even the world's leading run-getter Sachin Tendulkar in a 95-run stand for the fourth wicket. Tendulkar faced 71 balls for his 43 before being bowled by spinner Brad Hogg.
Yuvraj, 25, reached his half-century with a pulled six off Hogg (3-46) before being the eighth man out, bowled by Johnson in the 44th over. He cracked three sixes and 12 fours.
"It was a 300-plus wicket, so I thought our bowlers did a good job. We needed partnerships, but they bowled very well. They took early wickets and that put pressure on our middle order," said Dhoni.
"We now need to ignore the past and try to do things that need to be done to win a match."
Symonds earlier followed his second-match 87 with yet another blazing knock, hitting five sixes and as many fours in his 67-ball knock. He once severely punished spinner Yuvraj, hitting two sixes and a four off successive balls.
Ponting (25), returning to the side after missing the first two matches due to a hamstring injury, and Brad Hodge (three) missed out on big scores.
Hayden, who made 75 in the previous match, showed the way as he provided a blistering start with Gilchrist (29). The pair put on 76 in 13.2 overs before Symonds and Clarke consolidated with a 123-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Gilchrist was bowled by seamer Irfan Pathan while playing across the line to a slower ball but there was no respite for India as Hayden, Symonds and Clarke gathered runs with ease.