India's top order batsmen crumbled
A DOMINANT Australia cruised to a 110-run win over India in their one-day international tri-series match in Brisbane on Sunday (February 19).
After blasting 288 for five, the Australians, led by man of the match Ben Hilfenhaus with 5-33, ripped through the Indian top order before bowling them out for 178.
The win gave Australia a bonus point victory and sent them to the top of the tri-series standings on 14 points.
India stay second on 10 points with Sri Lanka on seven with a game in hand.
“It’s a long time since I’ve seen an Australian team bowl as well as that,” Australian captain Ricky Ponting said later.
“The way we were able to be aggressive early on and at the same time be able to restrict India from scoring boundaries was absolutely first class.”
Ponting said the opening spells from Hilfenhaus and veteran Brett Lee were outstanding as India were reduced to 36 for four, effectively ending the match as a contest.
“I thought the way they bowled early on, with line and length and also with some aggression was the reason we did as well as we did,” Ponting said.
“We pretty much had their batsmen under control from the first couple of overs.”
Indian skipper MS Dhoni played a lone hand with the bat, scoring 56 from 84 deliveries but he lacked support as India kept losing wickets at key moments.
Hilfenhaus was in outstanding form while Lee continued his resurgence with 3-49 from 10 fast and aggressive overs.
Ponting won the toss and chose to bat, with the Australians recovering from a slow start to overwhelm the Indian attack with some powerful hitting over the final 20 overs.
Veteran Mike Hussey top scored with 59 and combined with newcomer Peter Forrest (52) in a fifth wicket partnership of 100 from 92 balls.
The last six overs yielded a punishing 65 runs with David Hussey (26) and Daniel Christian (30) taking advantage of a demoralised attack.
Left arm medium pacer Irfan Pathan with 3-61 was the pick of the Indian bowlers, claiming both Hussey and Forrest as well as the dangerous David Warner, who made 43 at the top of the order.
But Dhoni later conceded his fast bowlers struggled in Brisbane’s heat and humidity and battled cramp throughout.
Dhoni said he was forced to bowl Zaheer Khan out earlier than he wanted to because he was worried he would cramp up and not be able to continue.
India needed a good start they were rocked with the early losses of Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar, who failed again in his bid for his elusive 100th international century.
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