Sunday, November 8, 2009

Australia clinch ODI series

Doug Bollinger claimed a five-wicket haul and Australia defeated India by six wickets in the sixth ODI in to take an unassailable 4-2 lead in the seven-match series.

Bollinger (five for 25) and Mitchell Johnson (three for 39) left India reeling at 27 for five with a dazzling burst with the new-ball, but the home side recovered through half-centuries from Ravindra Jadeja (57) and Praveen Kumar (54 not out) to reach 170 all out.

The target hardly troubled Australia as Watson smashed a run-a-ball 49 and Michael Hussey made a steady unbeaten 35 as they overhauled the target with 8.1 overs to spare.

It marks India's first defeat in a bilateral series since their 4-2 loss to Australia in 2007-08.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss, but his decision to bat first in early-morning conditions and on a moist surface was immediately undone by the loss of early wickets.

Johnson, who was handed the new ball, bowled opening batsman Virender Sehwag with one that swung in a touch and removed one-drop batsman Gautam Gambhir with the last ball of his first over.

Bollinger began with a maiden from the other end and he then got in on the act, claiming the prized wicket of Sachin Tendulkar by holding a sharp return catch.
The home side continued to wilt as Yuvraj Singh was snared in bizarre fashion.
Bollinger rapped the left-hander on the pad, but the ball looped up over the batsman's right shoulder and Yuvraj knocked it back onto his stumps while attempting to regain the crease.

Johnson then snared Suresh Raina, a tame dismissal as the batsman chipped straight to Nathan Hauritz at short mid-on, as India lost their top five batsmen inside the first nine overs.

Dhoni (24) and Jadeja revived the innings with a tedious 48-run stand for the sixth wicket, but Bollinger returned to scalp Dhoni, winning a doubtful lbw decision.
India faltered again as Harbhajan Singh fell in the same over, but Praveen joined Jadeja and the two held India together with a 74-run stand for the eight wicket.
The stand was eventually severed by Bollinger, the left-arm seamer claiming Jadeja for his fifth victim in the final over of the batting powerplay.

Praveen, who had hit Clint McKay for a six and a four in an over that yielded 14, eased India past the 150 mark and continued to bat with aggression as he reached his maiden half-century in just 48 deliveries.

Australia too suffered an early jolt, losing Shaun Marsh early, but Watson who had begun in a blaze of boundaries, then put Australia on course with a 61-run stand for the second wicket with Ricky Ponting (25).

Harbhajan, however, provided another twist by snaffling Watson and Ponting in quick succession, but Hussey and Cameron White (25) rebuilt the innings with a 53-run stand for the fourth wicket.

White was trapped in front by Raina, but Australia needed only 28 at that stage and Hussey and Voges (23 not out) easily secured victory.

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