Pontings century helps Australia set a target of 318

February 24th, 2008 - 2:21 pm ICT by admin  

Harbhajan Singh

Sydney, Feb 24 (ANI): Skipper Ricky Ponting going through horrendous time with the bat in this series emerged in style from a rocky patch to lead an Australian batting revival as they posted 317 for the loss of seven wickets against India at the SCG.

The Australia top order decided blasting out of a slump was the best option and in a game of no consequence to them they raced like a bushfire.

Pegged back by the slower bowlers after reaching 92 from the first 10 overs, they rebuilt through the re-born Ponting before Symonds added some late-innings impetus with 59 off 49 balls.

His six fours and two sixes were typically forceful and his fifty came up with a heave over the fence from an Irfan Pathan slower ball.

Sreesanth got the consolation wicket of Ponting. Meanwhile, young Ishant Sharma deceived Andrew Symonds with a clever slower one but not before Symonds completed a brisk half century of just 44 balls.

Earlier, Virender Sehwag did the trick for his captain as he had Michael Clarke caught at mid-wicket by a plucky Rohit Sharma. Clarke scored 31 of just 38 balls without clearing the boundary even once.

Andrew Symonds joined Ricky Ponting in the middle. Symmo, who hasnt been in the best form himself, also looked determined to end his bad run.

All this while, Australian captain Ricky Ponting looked in ominous touch, while his deputy Michael Clarkes dream run in the series continued as the duo notched up their 50 run partnership.

Both the batsmen looked extremely comfortable against the Indian part-timers as they. The hallmark of the partnership was their excellent running between the wickets, though aided by some sloppy Indian fielding.

As both the batsmen look set, India faced a daunting prospect of chasing a huge target.

India had got an important breakthrough as Hayden was run out attempting a non-existent single. The burly Queenslander departed for a well-made 54 of 62 balls.

His knock was studded with 5 fours and a mighty six. Deputy Michael Clarke, who has been in a stupendous form in the series, joined his captain in the middle.

Ponting and Matthew Hayden slammed their first half centuries of the series to bring up their century partnership as well.

Both the batsmen were looking to consolidate on their blazing start while Indian bowlers led by offie Harbhajan Singh attempted to pull back the run rate.

Unperturbed by Gilchrists dismissal, the Australians raised the 100 in just the 13th over.

Matthew Hayden rode his luck as he, in the company of his out-of-form captain Ricky Ponting, attempt to hit their way into form. The duo has been particularly harsh on Sreesanth, who has come in for some heavy stick.

Prior to this onslaught, the pacer provided India the first break through by removing Adam Gilchrist, who until then looked in a menacing form.

Gilchrist, who had raced away to 16 of just 7 balls, was caught brilliantly by Dhoni.

Australia won the toss and chose to bat first on a belter of a pitch against India in the 10th ODI of the Commonwealth Bank Series at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said that he too would have liked to bat first. After a string of low scoring matches, the Sydney pitch promises a high scoring game.

Indian team has made two changes from the side that beat Sri Lanka in Adelaide. Munaf Patel is down with food poisoning and hence makes way for Sreesanth, while opening batsman Virender Sehwag replaces all-rounder Praveen Kumar. (ANI)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Sports |