Australia outplay India at the Gabba (Roundup)

February 19th, 2012 - 7:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Gautam Gambhir Brisbane, Feb 19 (IANS) India came up with an ordinary batting effort to suffer a 110-run defeat against Australia in the seventh game of the tri-series here Sunday.

India struggled from ball one in their chase of 289 and folded up for 178 in 43.3 overs with Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s 56 going in vain. Ben Hilfenhaus, playing his first ODI since Nov 2009, picked up five wickets after Peter Forrest (52) and Mike Hussey (59) steered Australia to 288 for five with stand-in skipper Ricky Ponting deciding to bat at the Gabba.

Australia, who came into the game after two consecutive losses, earned a bonus point for their comprehensive win and sit at the top of the table with 14 points. India are on nine points and Sri Lanka on seven.

India’s batsmen made it easier for Australia, getting out to lose shots on a pacy wicket that required them to play with patience.

Barring Gautam Gambhir (5), the others including Sachin Tendulkar (3), Virat Kohli (12), Rohit Sharma (0) and Suresh Raina (28), got out playing lose shots and left India reeling at 82 for five in the 23rd over.

Brett Lee (3-49) and Hilfenhaus worked up serious pace initially amid conditions which suited the home team more. Lee got rid of Gambhir with a beauty and hit one on the helmet of Tendulkar, who looked out of sorts during his brief stay at the crease.

The master blaster walked back to the hut after he played an upper cut off Lee, guiding a dolly to the third man. Sachin did not take the field in Australia’s innings after he was hit on the shin while fielding in the slips.

Dhoni and Irfan Pathan (19) entertained the crowd for sometime after Ravindra Jadeja’s dismissal made it 114-6 but it never looked India would get close to the target.

Earlier, Peter Forrest and Mike Hussey struck fifties in Australia’s daunting 288.

Forrest and Hussey put up a century fourth wicket stand before David Hussey (26) and Daniel Christian (30) smashed 65 runs off 36 balls in the death overs to push Australia to a formidable total. India were in control for major part of the innings but for the last 10 overs where Australia amassed 101 runs. Pathan took three wickets for 61 runs.

Australia, captained by Ricky Ponting in the absence of injured Michael Clarke, were off to a solid start with openers David Warner (43) and Matthew Wade (45) sharing a 70-run stand.

The duo of Forrest and Mike Hussey got together at 117 for three in 20th over and took the innings forward. Hussey collected six fours in his 52-ball knock which saw his signature strokes square off the wicket and short-arm pulls. Forrest, on the other hand, took some time to get into the groove before crossing the 50-run mark for the second time in his debut series. Both were dismissed in the 44th over, holing out in the deep off Pathan.

India, who bowled with discipline early on, became predictable towards the end with big-hitters David Hussey and Christian stepping on the gas. Christian hammered Vinay Kumar (0/60) for four consecutive fours in the second last over.

The Indians looked ragged in the field and dropped four catches.

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