Ahmedabad, March 24: Australia appeared to be on course for a big total, reaching a healthy 116/2 in 25 overs. But then India pulled things back to get the wickets of Michael Clarke for 8 and Michael Hussey for 3, reducing Australia to 150/4 in 33.3 overs. After the relatively early loss of Watson, Haddin and Ricky Ponting both found a groove and put on a stand of 70 runs before Haddin was out to Yuvraj for 53 (Gallery) (Scorecard).
Australia's innings got off to a slightly circumspect start with Indian off-break R Ashwin opening the bowling alongside speedster Zaheer Khan. Shane Watson struck the first boundary off Ashwin at the end of the third over. Then the batsman got Zaheer away for another four in the last ball of the fourth and followed that up with one more four of Ashwin as Australia moved to 20/1 in 5 overs.
Soon afterward, Brad Haddin carted Ashwin for a six as both batsmen looked to have found their groove. But in the 10th over, Ashwin bowled Watson while the batsman was trying to sweep him. Watson was on his way for 25 off 38 and Australia were 40/1 in 10 overs with Ricky Ponting the new man at the crease. Haddin went after Munaf Patel in the 14 over, getting him away for three fours as the Aussies climbed to 65/1 in 14 overs.
Evidently aiming to play his way into form, Ponting unleashed a couple of powerful sweeps to the boundary off Yuvraj Singh in the 18th over as Australia climbed to 86/1. The same batsmn then took a single off Yuvraj to bring up Australia 100 in the 21st over. Then Yuvraj had Haddin caught by Raina at cover for 53 and the Aussies had slipped to 110/2 in 22.5 overs.
Then in the 31st over, Yuvraj induced Clarke into a lofted shot which went straight into the hands of Zaheer Khan at deep midwicket. Clarke who had been struggling was on his way for 8 off 19 balls. Then just a couple of overs later with Zaheer brought back into the attack, he bowled Michael Hussey with a slower one for 3 as Australia slid to 150/4 in 33.3 overs. In the meantime, Ponting had brought up his half century. At the end of 35 overs, Australia were 158/4 with Cameron White and Ponting at the crease.