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Rediff.com  » Sports » Australia humiliate India to seal ODI series

Australia humiliate India to seal ODI series

Last updated on: November 08, 2009 22:43 IST

- Scorecard: India vs Australia, 6th ODI

Doug Bollinger (right) celebrates a wicket with captain Ricky PontingLeft-arm pacer Doug Bollinger claimed five for 35 to help World champions Australia crush India by six wickets in the sixth One-Day International, in Guwahati, on Sunday.

Chasing a paltry 170 for victory, the depleted Australian team cruised to 172 for five in 41.5 overs to register their third straight win and seal the seven-match series 4-2 with a game to spare.

Michael Hussey brought all his experience into play after a couple of quick wickets to finish unbeaten on a patient knock of 35 from 62 deliveries, while Adam Voges made a quick 23 from 21 deliveries, to take Australia home.

Shane Watson had given Australia a flying start with a brisk 49 from as many deliveries and despite Harbhajan Singh taking two for 23, the visitors never had any problems chasing down the small target.

The seventh and final match of the series will be played in Mumbai on Wednesday.

INDIA:

Ravindra Jadeja (57) and Praveen Kumar (54 not out) ensured the Indian total had a semblance of respectability with a 74-run partnership for the eighth wicket.

Electing to bat first, India, precariously placed at 75 for seven at one stage, put on a somewhat respectable 170 before being bowled out in 48 overs.

Doug Bollinger was the most successful bowler for the visitors with figures of five for 35 while Mitchell Johnson and Watson chipped in with three wickets for 39 and two for 27 respectively.

Jadeja, having had to bear the brunt of criticism for his showing in the last two Indian defeats, responded with a patient 103-ball 57 that included six hits to the fence. However, he again had a tame dismissal when he lobbed a simple catch to Cameron White at midwicket off Bollinger.

Kumar, who smashed Clint McKay for 14 in his final over -- including a six and a four, remained unbeaten on an aggressive 51-ball 54, his maiden half-century in ODIs, thereby ensuring he had a little less pressure when he came in to bowl.

His knock was inclusive of seven hits to the fence and one over it.

India, handicapped right at the start, having been reduced to 27 for five in the ninth over, suffered further jolts when captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (24) and Harbhajan Singh (0) fell in the space of three deliveries as the home team's was reduced to 75 for seven in the 31st over.

The re-introduction of Bollinger ensured a double breakthrough for the visitors. The left-armer dismissed Dhoni with his very first ball and cleaned up Harbhajan two balls later.

India's captain was unfortunate, as umpire S K Tarapore's decision seemed a bit harsh, as television replays clearly showed that the ball was missing the off-stump.

There was no doubt about Harbhajan's dismissal, however, the 'motor mouth' having dragged the ball back to his stumps for a second successive duck.

Dhoni and Jadeja then ensured Team India surpassed its lowest ever total against Australia -- 63 at Sydney in 1981. However, their 48-run sixth wicket stand came to an abrupt end with the re-introduction of Bollinger, who followed his impressive spell (three for 38) at Mohali with another spectacular five-wicket haul, his second following his five for 35 against Pakistan at Abu Dhabi earlier this year.

Half the Indian team was already back in the pavilion after 10 overs as Australia used the early moisture on the wicket to their advantage.

Johnson, back in the squad to replace Ben Hilfenhaus after sitting out at Hyderabad, and Bollinger ensured that India's captain rued his decision to bat first after winning the toss.

The home team might have been six down had Jadeja's outside edge off Johnson gone straight to Cameron White at first slip. The ball, instead, fell agonizingly short and found its way to the fence.

In his previous over, Johnson had accounted for Suresh Raina (0), caught at short mid-on by Nathan Hauritz.

Raina's wicket was preceded by Yuvraj Singh (6) who was rather unfortunate to have accidentally pushed the ball back to the stumps while trying to get his bat back to the crease. Bollinger was the bowler who got lucky as a result.

Sachin Tendulkar (10), after his magnificent 175 at Hyderabad, fell cheap, caught and bowled by Bollinger.

Earlier, India suffered a double blow in the first over, losing the Delhi duo of Virender Sehwag (6) and Gautam Gambhir (0).

Sehwag was out to the fourth ball of the match when he was cleaned up by Johnson. A fuller delivery from the left-arm pacer and Sehwag was beaten by the swing.

The opener had smashed a big six over point off the second ball to sent the crowd into ruptures, but that was just about it.

Gambhir (0) came and left two balls later, again beaten by the swing and was bowled for a duck.

AUSTRALIA:

Harbhajan Singh gave India a glimmer of hope with the wickets of Shane Watson (49) and Ricky Ponting (25) in succcessive overs.

Watson fell on 49 again, after a similar effort in Mohali, to the final ball before the first drinks break.

In the next over, Harbhajan induced an edge from Ponting from one that spun sharply and Suresh Raina made no mistake at leg slip.

Despite losing an early wicket, Australia scored at a good rate in the early overs. Watson, in particular, was at his attacking best, hitting four boundaries early on.

The Australian aggression forced captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to introduce his first bowling change after just four overs, bringing in Munaf Patel in place of Praveen Kumar.

And the change worked as Munaf struck with only his third ball, trapping Marsh leg before. Umpire Asoka de Silva seemed to have got it wrong on the occasion as the ball appeared to miss the off stump but Shaun Marsh (6) didn't help his cause by moving across the line.

Buoyed by the wicket, Dhoni brought on another change, substituting Ashish Nehra with left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja. And in the latter's first ball, Watson survived a loud leg before appeal.

The Australian all-rounder, looking in good touch again after his superlative 93 at Hyderabad, found Lady Luck by his side again, when on 31 he was dropped at slips off Jadeja.

Watson expressed his gratitude by smashing the ball to the mid-wicket boundary.

But he couldn't capitalize on his luck and skied a Harbhajan delivery, which Sehwag accepted gleefully at first slip. Watson's run-a-ball innings was laced with 10 hits to the fence.

As the day progressed, the wicket that seemed conducive for slow turners after the first hour itself, began to assist the spinners even more.

Besides Harbhajan's twin-strike, the other spinners got considerable turn as well. Consequently, Australia's scoring rate reduced significantly as both Hussey (22) and Cameron White (24) began to tread cautiously, taking fewer risks.

The duo's unbroken fourth wicket stand of 45, that included only a single boundary, ensured the visitors inched closer without any fuss.

Australia's progress stuttered a bit after Raina trapped White leg before wicket, with the visitors still needing 28 to win.

The Australians, having read the wicket well, were aware that the ball was going to spin later on in their innings, and with an aggressive beginning had reduced their asking rate by a considerable margin and left little work towards the later half.