Bowlers shine as Australia beat India

India lost to Australia by 50 runs in the seventh one-day international of the Commonwealth Bank triangular series at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday.

updated: March 04, 2008 09:56 IST
  • Total Shares


India's batsmen imploded as Australia recorded an unlikely 50-run win in their tri-series match on Sunday.

After the Indian bowlers had done well to restrict Australia to 203 for nine on what looked a good batting wicket, the tourists were in control at 115 for four, but then collapsed against some disciplined bowling to be all out for 153 in the 42nd over.

The result handed Australia another bonus point, all but guaranteeing them a place in the tri-series finals.

India faltered early in the chase, losing three wickets for four runs to slump to 59 for four, but then captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the previously out-of-form Yuvraj Singh steadied the innings.

The pair put on 56 and appeared to be doing it easily, but the match again turned when Yuvraj miscued with a loose Brad Hogg long-hop and was caught in the deep by Stuart Clark for 26.

It was a major setback for India and things got much worse when Dhoni, who was batting with a runner due to cramp, was run out for 37 just 19 runs later.

A hesitant Rohit Sharma, running for Dhoni, was caught just out of his crease at the non-striker's end by a direct hit as India slumped to 134 for six.

Left-armer Mitchell Johnson bowled impressively to claim 3-42, all-rounder James Hopes did some early damage to bowl Australia back into the match and finished with 2-16, while Adam Gilchrist completed five dismissals.

Dhoni was livid with his team's batting and conceded his own dismissal was a crucial point in the match.

He said the Indian batsmen let their bowlers down and was critical of their application, especially given they gambled on an extra bowler when opener Virender Sehwag was ruled out of the match due to an injury.

"The bowlers did their job on a pitch that wasn't doing much," he said.

"The batsmen should have taken more responsibility ... we tried a few flashy shots.

"They have to take more responsibility, especially when you are playing with five bowlers and you are one batsman short."

Australia captain Ricky Ponting was also unimpressed by his team's batting and was sure the World Cup champions could improve greatly on their recent form.

"We are not batting very well, but we are doing enough to win some games," he said.

"Once again tonight our bowlers held us up and we were pretty sharp in the field and came away with a bonus point win.

"We haven't played our best cricket yet, but we are still on top of the table and are winning games of cricket, which is a good sign."

India's batsmen were unable to capitalise on the good work with the ball of Ishant Sharma (2-32) and Irfan Pathan (4-41).

The Australian top order again failed to fire, with Ponting's form woes continuing, and only a Michael Clarke half-century helped them set a competitive target after winning the toss and electing to bat.

Clarke, who had been in doubt for the match due to bruised ribs suffered when struck by a Lasith Malinga delivery on Friday, made 79 from 108 balls in a man-of-the-match performance, but lacked support until Hogg chipped in with 32 in a 72-run seventh-wicket stand.

Ponting came to the wicket with an obvious intent to get on top of the bowling with positive strokeplay, but the captain made just 10 before cutting the recalled Munaf Patel straight to Rohit Sharma at point.

It took Ponting's tally for the series to just 53 runs at 10.60 and his latest failure came just a couple of days after Gilchrist admitted the skipper was struggling with the burdens of a long and often controversial summer.

Andrew Symonds is another Australian batsman in the wars and he made just three before being caught by Robin Uthappa in gully from the bowling of Ishant Sharma, taking his tally for the series to just 38 runs at 9.50.

Australia were in deep trouble at 73 for five, but Clarke's innings got them back into the match and India's batsmen then blew the chance to make it successive wins over the home side.