Insipid India throw it away...

Published: Sunday, February 17, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Bangalore: India, chasing a gettable 204-run target on the easy paced wicket, were cruising along at 115/4 before the middle-order batters committed Kamikaze playing some ill-thought shots to hand Aussies a comfortable 50-run win in the CB tri-series tie at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.

Aussie bowlers made up for batting failure by dismissing the tourists for 153 in 41.2 overs.

Mitchell Johnson (3/42), Nathan Bracken (2/21), James Hopes (2/16) and Brad Hogg (2/30) shared nine wickets while Dhoni was run out.

Wicketkeeper Gilchrist had a good outing in his farewell match at Adelaide Oval. He held onto four catches and a stumping.

Earlier, Clarke made a workmanlike 118-ball 79 to resurrect Aussie innings after India seamers ran thro' the top-order early on.

Australia gained a bonus point and now has 17 points from five matches. India has eight from five matches and Sri Lanka has six from four matches.

Bracken drew the first blood by trapping Sachin Tendulkar (five) lbw in the fifth over - to a dubious decision made by Aussie umpire Peter Parker as the ball looked sail past well over the stump even to the naked eyes before TV replays could confirm so.

Pathan, promoted up the order, steadied India ship with a 35-run stand along with Gambhir before edging Hopes to Hayden stationed at first slip to leave India at 55/2 in the 14th over.

In the following over Gambhir too departed caught by Ponting at backward point off Johnson. The next man in Rohit Sharma came and went in whimper. Hopes induced Rohit to edge an away swinger for a regulation caught-behind to leave India in a spot of bother at 59/5.

Skipper Dhoni joined Yuvraj and staged a rescue act with 56-run stand. The duo were meddling the ball well and their running between wickets was awesome.

In the early part of their partnership they tapped, dabbed, nudged for a quick singles and often converting a single into two to put pressure on Aussie fieldsmen. At this point of time India looked poised for a comfortable victory till Yuvraj played a ill-advised pull off Hogg that landed in Clark's safe pair of hands.

Dhoni, batted with a runner (Rohit Sharma) because of leg soreness in the later part of his innings, was run out owing to poor judgement and reaction from Rohit.

Dhoni's dismissal panicked Uthappa, not in the pink of form, panicked by Dhoni's dismissal got out to a out-of-the-world shot. The Bangalorean charging out of the crease dabbed the ball only to find Gilchrist's safe pair of gloves. And the tail wilted under pressure

The future skipper Pup Clarke spoiled India seamers good work with a sensible knock.

Irfan (4/41), Ishant (2/32) and Munaf (1/31) had Australia reeling at 73/5 half-way thro' their innings before Clarke along with Hogg and Hopes revived hosts innings.

Australia were off to a bad start after skipper Ricky Ponting won the toss and elected to bat on a sunny day.

Adam Gilchrist (15) and Matthew Hayden added 25 in six overs before the former playing his last international at the Adelaide Oval was bowled by Sharma off an inside edge. Munaf in for injured Sehwag struck in his first over and 11th of the innings dismissing the out-of-sorts Ponting (10) caught by Rohit Sharma at point.

In the following over Pathan had Hayden (13), whose half-hearted cut saied straight to wicketkeeper Dhoni to reduce Australia to 43/3.

Ishant in his second spell induced Andrew Symonds to cut a short-pitched one on the off-stump line straight to Uthappa at gully.

Ponting and Symonds have yet to get going with the bat in this series. Punter has scored only 53 in five innings (0, 9, 9, 25 and 10), while Symonds has just 38 (5*, 12, 14, 4 and 3).

Pathan, who mixed up his normal in-swingers with a slower ones and reverse swings, had Aussies on the mat when he consumed 'Mr reliable' Hussey with a peach of an away-swinger for an easy offering to Dhoni to leave the hosts reeling on 73/5.

Clarke forged two fruitful partnerships to steer Aussies to a decent total that eventually proved a match-winning one. He added 41 brisk runs with Hopes (19) and a solid 72-run stand with Hogg for the seventh wicket.


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