Australia A crush India to win three-nation tournament

September 26th, 2008 - 7:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Sept 26 (IANS) India A just could not stand up to Australia A fast bowlers and crashed to a massive 156-run defeat in the final of the three-nation one-day tournament, at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here Friday.Australia, after making 303 for seven in their 50 overs, unleashed their bowling attack led by Shaun Tait and exploited Indian batsmen’s well-known weakness against real pace to bundle them out for 147 in 32 overs.

The Indian batsmen did not show the kind of application needed to remain in the game after Tait and fellow-opener Brett Geeves reduced the hosts to 33 for three in the sixth over.

Tait started the rot by uprooting Dinesh Karthik’s off-stump in the very first over that he began with a searing bouncer, triggering some bottle throwing from a section of the crowd leading to a 15-minute stoppage as the Aussies walked off the pitch.

On resumption of play, Geeves got rid of Robin Uthappa and Abhishek Nayar, neither of whom looked convincing during their brief tenure. Worse was to follow when one-change bowler, Mark Cameron had Ravi Teja edging to wicket-keeper Luke Ronchi.

The Aussies maintained the pressure as paceman Ashley Noffke removed Suresh Raina and Yusuf Pathan in the same over to break the back of Indian resistance.

Both Raina and Pathan were guilty of indiscreet shot selection as India, who had beaten the Aussies only a couple of days back in the final league match of the series, slid deeper in trouble at 65 for six in the 12th over.

The Indian resistance virtually ended when Rohit Sharma skied a catch to fine-leg where Tait judged it to a nicety to present Geeves with his third wicket. Rohit made a stroke-filled 46 and added 40 runs in six overs with Wriddhiman Saha for the seventh wicket.

Tait and Geeves generated considerable pace and bowled with hostility, but the former was guilty of spraying the ball, especially in the first over when he sent down four wides.

David Hussey, with his off-breaks, claimed two wickets while leg-spinner and skipper Cameron White one to complete India’s misery.

Asked to bat first, the Aussies made the best of the offering and despite losing two wickets for 77, they yet again found their man of the moment in Hussey who notched up his third consecutive half-century (75).

Along with White (50), Hussey added 94 runs for the third wicket in 17.2 overs to provide Australia an excellent launch pad for a competitive total.

With Indian bowling appearing rather ragged on a docile pitch, the Aussies batted sensibly early on before the lower middle-order led by Adam Voges (55 not out,) scored briskly for the visitors to cross the 300-mark.

The decision to field first by India came as a bit of a surprise considering the nature of the track that was quite benign, requiring the bowlers to bend their backs.

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