Ruthless Aussies humiliate insipid India

Published: Thursday, October 11, 2007, 16:34 [IST]
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Vadodara: Mitchell Johnson destroyed India with a maiden five-wicket haul as Australia raced to a nine-wicket win in the fifth one-day international here.

Australia now have a 3-1 lead overall and need only one more win to clinch the seven-match series, with the remaining two games to be played in Nagpur and Mumbai. The first one-dayer was abandoned because of rain.

India were as good as beaten when they were all out for 148 after electing to bat on a dry pitch, failing to cope with man-of-the-match Johnson (5-26) and paceman Brett Lee (2-42).

Scorecard | Match photos

Australia finished the match in the 26th over after a brief interruption because of crowd trouble, with some spectators throwing plastic water-bottles onto the pitch.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist, who had earlier taken six catches, top-scored for the tourists with a blistering 77-ball 79 not out for his first half-century of the series.

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni made a surprise move to defend his sides's small total when he tossed the new ball to off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and then introduced left-arm spinner Murali Kartik in the eighth over.

But it failed to produce the desired results as Matthew Hayden and Gilchrist put on 54 for the opening wicket to ensure an easy victory. Hayden, batting with a runner because of a strained calf, scored a 39-ball 29.

"It was a very satisfying day for us. All the guys executed their skills very well, especially Mitchell, who is pretty pleased with his first five-wicket haul. He was outstanding with the new ball," said Australian skipper Ricky Ponting.

"We came to India to win all matches, but we have not done that. It will be nice to end the tour by winning the remaining two matches as well."

India earlier found Johnson and Lee too hot to handle as they could not even bat 40 of their allotted 50 overs.

Sachin Tendulkar was the lone specialist batsman to defy the attack as he top-scored with 47 in his 400th one-day international. But he received support only from Irfan Pathan (26), adding 49 for the sixth wicket.

"We just want to forget this game," said Dhoni.

"Nothing went right for us except winning the toss. I think 230-240 will have been a good score on this wicket but we just did not have enough runs on the board. The start they got with the new ball was a killer for us."

India looked clueless against the quality pace attack and never recovered after losing five wickets for 43 in the opening 10 overs.

Johnson removed three batsmen in quick succession in a sharp opening spell just after India had lost two wickets in Lee's opening over.

India's batting woes began when Sourav Ganguly was run out following a misunderstanding with Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid fell for a first-ball duck in Lee's opening over.

Tendulkar kept the Australian attack at bay before he was caught behind in Lee's second spell. He hit nine fours in his 73-ball knock.

He is only the second player to reach 400 one-day internationals after Sri Lankan batsman Sanath Jayasuriya.

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