Match report: Aus v Ind – 4th ODI
Adelaide, Feb 12: MS Dhoni gave India a sensational four-wicket win against Australia in the CB series match played here at the Adelaide Oval today. With India needing 270 to win, Dhoni scored an unbeaten 44 of 58 deliveries, including 12 runs off three balls in the 50th over, to give India their first victory against the hosts in the CB series competition.
Earlier, Australia piled up a competitive score of 269 riding on a strong middle-order performance. After Michael Clarke won the toss and opted to bat first, Ricky Ponting (6) disappointed in his role as opener when he landed an easy catch to Virat Kohli at point off R Vinay Kumar’s bowling. The Indians then ran David Warner (18) out to reduce the hosts to 53 for two in 9.3 overs.
Michael Clarke, batting at No. 3, played an effective 43-ball 38 before he chopped a slower delivery from Umesh Yadav (playing his first tri-series ODI) onto his stumps. Clarke’s wicket set the stage for a 98-run stand between debutant Peter Forrest and Australia’s man-in-form David Hussey. Forrest (66) brought up his maiden half-century in 71 balls but failed to convert that innings into a three-figure score; he was out caught by Vinay Kumar off Yadav’s bowling with the Australian score at 179.
Hussey then partnered with Dan Christian to take the Australian score past the 200-run mark. Hussey (72) eventually fell to Zaheer Khan when he tried to clip the pacer to the square-leg boundary but only ended up offering a catch to Virender Sehwag. Christian’s 36-ball 39 nevertheless ensured that the hosts reached a competitive 269 for eight at the end of 50 overs.
Gautam Gambhir, replacing Sachin Tendulkar in the playing eleven for this game, along with Sehwag, made an impressive start to the run chase by bringing up the first 50 runs in just 8.5 overs. The highlight of the opening stand was Gambhir disdainfully dispatching a shortish delivery, pitched outside the off stump, from Mitchell Starc to the square leg boundary in the fourth over.
However, Clint McKay brought Australia right back into the game when he removed Sehwag (20) and Virat Kohli (18) before the Indians had raised the 100-run mark.
But Gambhir continued undeterred by those twin setbacks. Batting together with Rohit Sharma, Gambhir brought up his half-century in the 19th over with a boundary down to fine-leg. Gambhir added 76 for the third wicket with Sharma in 14.1 overs, a stand that saw India reach the 150-run mark in 29.4 overs and kept the required run-rate in check at less than a run-a-ball.
Another double-strike, however, made things tight. With India needing 104 runs from 17.5 overs, Sharma (33) chipped a delivery from Ryan Harris to Mitchell Starc who completed an easy catch running forward from long-on. Eleven deliveries later, Gambhir (92) was adjudged lbw to McKay even though television replays suggested that the ball had pitched outside leg-stump.
With 91 required off the last 15 overs, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni mixed caution with aggression to bring the Indians closer to the target. Raina scored a brisk 30-ball 38, which included a huge six off Xavier Doherty over deep midwicket in the 43rd over, before Doherty bowled him with a fuller delivery off the first ball of the 47th over.
With no further boundaries being hit in the next 18 deliveries and the Indians requiring 12 off the last four balls, Dhoni smashed McKay for a huge six over long-on off the third ball of the 50th over to reduce the equation to six off three balls. McKay then bowled a full toss above the waist to Dhoni, which was immediately ruled a no ball; the Indian captain collected two runs off the illegal delivery. Dhoni then clipped McKay behind square for three runs off the very next ball to take India home with two deliveries left to spare.
India now play Sri Lanka on February 14 at the same venue in the fifth match of the CB series.
Brief scores: India 270/6 in 49.4 overs (Gautam Gambhir 92, MS Dhoni 44*, Clint McKay 3/53, Xavier Doherty 2/51) beat Australia 269/8 in 50.0 overs (David Hussey 72, Peter Forrest 66, Umesh Yadav 2/49, R Vinay Kumar 2/58) by four wickets
Man-of-the-match: Gautam Gambhir for his 111-ball 92 that set the platform for a successful chase