Symonds fires Australia to series win

Published: Sunday, October 14, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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Nagpur: Andrew Symonds hit a blazing century to script Australia's 18-run victory over India in a high-scoring sixth one-day international here at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium on Sunday.

The 32-year-old, subjected to racist abuse by spectators in the previous match, struck 107 not out off 88 balls to guide the world champions to 317 for eight after opting to bat.

Left-arm leg-spinner Brad Hogg took four wickets for 49 in the key middle overs to restrict the hosts to 299 for seven and clinch the seven-match series 4-1 with a game to spare.

The opening game was washed out and the final match will be played in Mumbai on Wednesday.


India failed to capitalise on a strong start of 140 provided by openers Saurav Ganguly (86) and Sachin Tendulkar (72), who both tore into Brett Lee.

Left-handed Ganguly, who hit seven fours and two sixes, put on 49 for the second wicket with Irfan Pathan (29) before Hogg took four wickets in the space of 29 runs to derail India's chase.

Hogg dismissed Pathan caught at point, Ganguly and Rahul Dravid (7) both caught at long-on and Yuvraj Singh (6) lbw.

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (26) and the exciting Robin Uthappa (44) added 72 for the sixth wicket in an entertaining manner and the hosts needed 56 runs off 30 balls.

Left-arm pacer Mitchell Johnson, who took five wickets in the last match, dismissed the last recognised pair at 290 when the two batsmen gave the charge aiming for quick runs.

Man of the match Symonds lashed nine fours and four sixes for his sixth one-day century and put on 75 runs for the fifth wicket with Brad Haddin (25) and 90 for the next with James Hopes (39) to help the side recover after a middle-order collapse.

Opener Adam Gilchrist struck a second successive fifty (51) and put on 96 for the second wicket with skipper Ricky Ponting (49) to give the visitors a blazing start.

Michael Clarke, opening the innings in the place of injured Matthew Hayden, was out in the first over, caught behind off left-armer Zaheer Khan.

The left-handed Gilchrist, who struck his third fifty of the series, and Ponting plundered the Indian pacers, scoring at will before departing in successive overs.

Gilchrist, who was dropped by Dravid at gully off pacer Shanthakumaran Sreesanth on 16, hit eight effortless boundaries in his 47-ball knock.

 Ponting lashed seven fours and a six off Zaheer in his 44-ball knock before edging off-spinner Harbhajan Singh to Dravid at slip.

Gilchrist exited immediately, driving pacer Pathan uppishly to be caught by Uthappa in the cover region.

The Indian spinners used the friendly pitch conditions to briefly restrict the Australians before Symonds cut loose.

Symonds, dropped by Sreesanth aiming to sweep Harbhajan when on two, was merciless on the Indians. A straight six off left-arm spinner Murali Kartik nearly cleared the stadium.

A dominant Symonds helped the visitors to amass 102 runs off the last 10 overs.


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