India clinch edge-of-the-seat thriller

Published: Monday, October 8, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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Bangalore: India kept their cool when it mattered most to seal a thriller by 8 runs in the fourth one-dayer against Australia at the Sector 16 Stadium in Chandigarh on Monday.

Australia chasing 292-run victory mark faltered at doorstep. At the start of 47th over Aussies were sitting pretty with 28 more runs to win in 24 balls and well set Symonds and Hopes were at the crease. But RP had other ideas. He bowled a tight 47th over conceding just two runs before removing the dangerous man Symonds and also ran out the new man in Hogg in the same eventful over. Visitors needing 16 off the last over bowled by Zaheer managed to score only 8 runs despite Hopes (23*) striking the first ball to boundary.

Hayden topscored for Australia with a run a ball 92 while Symonds struck 75 off 84 balls. Ponting chipped in with 29.

Harbhajan and RP took two wickets apiece. Kartik and Pathan who contained the Aussie batsmen in the middle overs claimed one wicket each.

Earlier late charge from the skipper Dhoni and Uthappa powered India to 291/4.

Dhoni and Uthappa went after the comeback Aussie bowler Bracken in his last two overs to amass 46 runs in last four overs.

Dhoni remained unbeaten on 50 off 35 balls with five hits to fence and one over it while innovative Uthappa 18-ball 30* knock included six boundary hits. Tendulkar top scored for India with a crafty 79.

India openers Tendulkar and Ganguly after surviving the early blues laid a good foundation. They posted 91 runs before Ganguly conceded his wicket caught behind off Hopes for a fluent 41. Ganguly played a chanceless innings while Tendulkar struggled early on to negotiate fiery pace from Lee. Tendulkar survived two close calls for LBW and one caught behind chance all off Lee bowling.

However Tendulkar found his rythm striking the first change bowler Johnson for two consecutive boundaries in the latter's second over. Tendulkar and the man-in-form Yuvraj ( 39 off 55 balls) shared a valuable 83-run stand. Yuvi timed the ball well and looked well set before playing an callous arieal shot off Hopes to give a regulation catch to skipper Ponting stationed at mid-off.

Dhoni joined Sachin with India in control of the proceedings at 174 for 2 in 36 overs. Intially both worked the ball in gaps for singles and twos scoring odd boundaries. Both added 47 runs in 30 balls before Tendulkar dismissed in a freakish run out for 79 runs. The next man in Dravid looked uncomfortable in his short stay at the crease before playing a Bracken delivery on to the stumps. He made 13 off 14 deliveries.

The promising Aussie all-rounderHopes was the pick among the bowlers taking 2 for 43 in 9 overs. Lee unlucky not to get a wicket in his fiery first spell conceded just 26 runs in his 7 overs.

Australia welcomed back left-arm Nathan Bracken in place of fellow paceman Stuart Clark in the only change from the side which won the third game by 47 runs on Friday.

Ganguly came in for injured opening batsman Gautam Gambhir and RP Singh at the expense of the expensive Sreesanth.

Left-arm Murali Kartik was included as the second spinner in place of batsman Rohit Sharma, his first game since February 2006.

Brief Scores:

India 291 for four in 50 overs (Tendulkar 79, Dhoni 50 n o, Ganguly 41, Yuvraj 39, Uthappa 30 n o; Hopes 2 for 43) beat Australia 283 for 7 in 50 overs (Hayden 92, Symonds 75, Ponting 29; Harbhajan 2 for 43, RP Singh 2 for 66, Pathan 1 for 46, Kartik 1 for 48).


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