India beat Australia by eight runs in Chandigarh ODI, series poised at 2-1

November 14th, 2007 - 1:50 am ICT by admin  
Chasing 292 runs to win, the Australians scored 283 for 7 in their allotted 50 overs.

Australia lead the seven-match series 2-1.

India’s bowlers fought back from a blistering knock by opener Matthew Hayden to keep the seven-match series alive. Hayden scored a run a ball 92, but the pressure began to mount when he departed. It was his third consecutive half-century. R P Singh and Murali Kartik, bowled superbly in the dying overs and Zaheer Khan held his nerve with a tight last over to secure the win.

Australian batters James Hopes and Brett Lee had to find 22 runs from the last two overs and then 17 from Zaheer’s final six balls. The 31 wides Australia conceded as India reached 291 were costly, but the real turning point was when R P Singh bowled Andrew Symonds for 75 in the 47th over of the chase. Singh followed up the very next ball by throwing down the stumps at the striker’s end to run out Brad Hogg and the pressure was on the visitors.

Australia appeared to be cruising with ten overs remaining, as they had six wickets in hand, Symonds and Brad Hodge at the crease and 70 runs needed. But the out-of-form Hodge struggled to turn the strike over and the required run-rate gradually expanded.

India were largely kept in the game by their spinners, Kartik and Harbhajan Singh, who were important in building the pressure on Hodge and keeping Symonds away from the strike. Irfan Pathan was also difficult to get away and R P Singh’s return after a miserable start was superb.

Harbhajan removed Hodge when Mahendra Singh Dhoni stumped him off a wide for 17 from 29 balls, but the wicket of Symonds was the killer blow. He looked to have paced his innings to perfection, pushing singles and twos and finding the occasional boundary and setting himself up for a late assault.

In contrast to the Indian spinners, Australian spinners, Hogg and Symonds, were far less effective through the middle overs as India built a platform for a late blitz. Dhoni and Robin Uthappa’s final attack carried them to 291 for 4 as India scored 89 in the final ten overs, including 20 from the last six balls off Nathan Bracken.

Brief scores:

India 291 for 4 in 50 overs (S Ganguly 41, Tendulkar 79, Yuvraj Singh 39, M Dhoni 50 not out, R Uthappa 30 not out; J Hopes 2-43)

Australia 283 for seven in 50 overs ( M Hayden 92, A Symonds 76; H Singh 2-43, R P Singh 2-66).

India went into the match with three changes to the side with Sourav Ganguly replacing injured Gautam Gambhir, left-arm spinner Murali Kartik coming in Rohit Sharma’s place and bringing in pacer RP Singh for S Sreesanth.

For Australia, Nathan Bracken has been inducted in the playing eleven, which has Stuart Clark as the 12th man.

The teams for the match were as follows:

India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Robin Uthappa, Yuvraj Singh, Rahul Dravid, Irfan Pathan, Murali Kartik, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, RP Singh.

Australia: Ricky Ponting (capt), Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Michael Clarke, Andrew Symonds, Brad Hodge, Brad Hogg, James Hopes, Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Bracken.

Umpire: Steve Bucknor, Suresh Shastri Third Umpire: GA Pratap Kumar TV Umpire: SD Ranade

Match Referee: Chris Broad. (ANI)

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