Match report: Aus v Ind – 7th ODI
Brisbane, Feb 19: Australia put up a clinical performance to beat India in the eighth One-Day International of the CB series competition here at The Gabba in Brisbane. After the hosts’ batting lineup powered the side to a mammoth score of 288, Ben Hilfenhaus produced a career-best spell to bowl India out for a mere 178 runs.
The Aussies dominated this game from the very beginning. After Ricky Ponting, standing in as captain for Michael Clarke, won the toss and opted to bat first, Matthew Wade and David Warner added 70 for the opening wicket. While Warner (46-ball 43) was his usual, feisty self, Matthew Wade played the ideal foil with a relatively sedate 67-ball 45.
India, though, did make a comeback into the game when Warner was out caught by Sachin Tendulkar at midwicket off an Irfan Pathan delivery. Thirteen runs later, the Indians were celebrating the fall of Ricky Ponting (7) who ended up playing a lofted shot off Zaheer Khan straight to Irfan at deep backward square leg. 83 for two then became 117 for three as MS Dhoni’s decision to introduce Rohit Sharma in the 28th over paid immediate dividends; Wade gifted Sharma the easiest of caught and bowled opportunities.
Thereafter, however, Michael Hussey and Peter Forrest gave Australia a solid foundation from where Daniel Christian provided the late flourish to help the hosts finish at a mammoth 288 for five. The Hussey-Forrest fourth-wicket partnership contributed 100 runs to the Australian score with both batsmen reaching their respective half-centuries.
Although Hussey was dropped twice during the course of his innings, he may have been dismissed when he was just on one run with MS Dhoni appearing to have stumped him off a Suresh Raina delivery. However, replays suggested some part of Hussey’s back was behind the line. The third umpire surprised many when he flashed the "Out" signal on the big screen. Even as Hussey made his way off the field in response to the decision, the on-field umpires asked him to return; the confusion was the result of a mix up with the “Out” and “Not Out” buttons in the third umpire’s cabin.
Irfan Pathan eventually accounted for both Hussey (52-ball 59) and Forrest (71-ball 52) in the 44th over, but with Dan Christian hitting a quickfire 18-ball 30*, including four consecutive fours off R Vinay Kumar in the 49th over, the Australians had the satisfaction of putting up a more than competitive score of 288 on the board.
Having put up a solid batting performance, the hosts then produced a superlative bowling display that never allowed the visitors a shot at the target. Ben Hilfenhaus and Brett Lee took two wickets apiece to rip through the Indian top order as Gautam Gambhir (5), Sachin Tendulkar (3), Virat Kohli (12) and Rohit Sharma (0) failed to rise to the challenge. Suresh Raina provided a glimmer of a fightback with a 41-ball 28, but was out caught by wicketkeeper Matthew Wade when he tried to chase a wide delivery from Dan Christian. India were 82 for five at the fall of Raina’s wicket in the 23rd over.
MS Dhoni battled the Australians with an 84-ball 56, but with Ben Hilfenhuas producing career-best bowling figures of five for 33, India were eventually bowled out for 178. Ravindra Jadeja (18) was Mitchell Starc’s lone scalp of the evening while Dhoni, Irfan Pathan (19) and Zaheer Khan (9) all fell to Hilfenhaus.
India now play Sri Lanka on February 21 at the same venue in the eighth match of the CB Series.
Brief scores: Australia 288/5 in 50.0 overs (Mike Hussey 59, Peter Forrest 52, Irfan Pathan 3/61) beat India 178/10 in 43.3 overs (MS Dhoni 56, Ben Hilfenhuas 5/33, Brett Lee 3/49) by 110 runs
Man-of-the-match: Ben Hilfenhaus for his incisive spell of 9.3-1-33-5, his best figures in ODIs