Australian batsmen flay Indians at SCG

Published: Sunday, February 24, 2008, 13:17 [IST]
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Sydney: Australia's batsmen burst out of the doldrums to post an imposing 317 for seven against India in their tri-series one-day match here on Sunday.

Sparked by a flying start from Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting that saw them reach 100 in the twelfth over, the home side capitalised on a batsman-friendly wicket after winning the toss and electing to bat.

Ponting finally put his tri-series woes behind him to score his 26th one-day international century in making 124.

Although he twice lofted the ball dangerously close to the fielders early in his innings, Ponting dominated the bowlers from the outset.

The Australian captain, Hayden and Gilchrist were particularly savage on recalled fast bowler Shanth Sreesanth, whose first spell cost 37 runs from just four overs.

However, he did manage to take the wicket of Gilchrist who, looking in ominous form, was brilliantly caught by a diving Mahendra Singh Dhoni for 16 off just seven balls.

Ponting simply picked up where Gilchrist left off, with a string of aggressive shots straight down the ground.

When Sreesanth was duly taken off, Ponting welcomed new bowler Irfan Pathan by pulling his first ball over mid-wicket for six.

The Australian captain reached his century from just 111 balls, with six fours and the one six, before holing out to Sreesanth on the long-off boundary in the quest for late runs.

The previously out-of-form Andrew Symonds welcomed the flat wicket to add some late innings fireworks with 59 from 49 balls.

He reached his half century by pulling a Pathan slower ball way over the mid-wicket fence for his second six, from just the 44th ball he faced. But five balls later he was clean bowled by paceman Ishant Sharma's slow delivery.

Hayden, who had also been struggling with his form, rode his luck with a string of agricultural shots through the on-side, including a six over mid-wicket off Sharma, before being run out for 54.

All the Indian bowlers were punished, with the part-time spin of Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh being their most effective.

Sreesanth had a tough game with the ball, picking up two wickets but conceding 58 from his eight overs.

Pathan's last of nine overs went for 18 as he gave away 73 runs.

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