Australia beat India by 18 runs

Gautam Gambhir's brilliant century failed to take India home as the visitors fell short of 18 runs against Australia's 318.

updated: March 04, 2008 10:03 IST
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A sparkling century from Gautam Gambhir could not save India from an 18-run defeat at the hands of Australia in their tri-series match on Sunday.

A win would have secured India a berth in the finals, but they were always struggling at the crease after several Australian batsmen returned to form in posting 317 for seven.

Fast bowler Brett Lee took five wickets, including three in seven balls late in the innings.

Robin Uthappa and Gambhir then kept the score ticking over by putting on 67, but India's hopes suffered a fatal blow when the centurion's brave knock came to an end when he was stumped by Adam Gilchrist, who completed six dismissals, off the bowling of Brad Hogg for 113.

Gambhir and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni had revived Indian hopes by putting on 98 for the fifth wicket, before the latter was caught behind off the bowling of Brett Lee for 36.

The Indians collapsed to 51 for 4 in the 11th over as Brett Lee and Stuart Clark ripped through their top order.

Ponting back in form

Ricky Ponting broke out of a batting slump Sunday with a 124-run innings to lead Australia to 317-7.

Ponting also become only the fifth player to score over 11,000 one-day runs before he threw his wicket away in the penultimate over, caught in the deep by Irfan Pathan.

Hayden batted for 62 balls for his 54 runs and hit five fours and a six.

Ponting appeared to have another good stand going with Michael Clarke (31) when the latter hit a rank long hop from Virender Sehwag straight to Rohit Sharma at short square leg.

Symonds opened his shoulders in the final overs and smashed a massive six in Pathan's final spell in the 47th over, raising his half century from 44 balls with five fours and two sixes.

In six innings in this series before Sunday's match, Ponting had only scored 64 runs at 10.66, and scored only moderately in the preceding Test series.

Symonds on rampage

Andrew Symonds scored 59 off 49 balls to end his lean form, and Matthew Hayden (54 off 62 balls) reached a half century before being run out, as the home side's batsmen clicked into gear.

Symonds, at the center of a name-calling controversy with Harbhajan Singh during the Australia-India Test series, had a fiery exchange with Ishant Sharma after the paceman bowled him with a slower ball.

The umpires intervened to try to cool down Sharma as Symonds trudged off the ground.

Openers Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden burst out of the blocks with some damaging strokeplay, before Gilchrist was caught brilliantly by Indian skipper MS Dhoni for 16 from just seven deliveries.

Dhoni asked to change wicket-keeping gloves

IANS adds: MS Dhoni was asked by umpires to change his wicket-keeping gloves as they had webbing that did not conform to the rules.

Concerns were raised on air by Channel Nine commentators, former Australia stumper Ian Healy and ex-captain Ian Chappell, after Dhoni took a spectacular one-handed catch of his Australian counterpart Adam Gilchrist for 16 early in the Australian innings.

The ball lodged inside the gloves' webbing between the thumb and index finger.

According to the legal specifications, a wicketkeeper's gloves should have no webbing between the fingers except joining index finger and thumb, where webbing may be inserted as a means of support. However, it should not protrude beyond the straight line joining the top of the index finger to the top of the thumb.

Match referee Jeff Crowe is understood to have taken one of the gloves for further inspection and Dhoni changed his gloves during a break in the Australian innings.

Initially, Dhoni was wearing white gloves and later he switched to blue ones.