Hayden’s 88 takes Australia to 239/8

March 2nd, 2008 - 3:40 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Harbhajan Singh

Sydney, March 2 (IANS) Matthew Hayden scored an 88-ball 82 runs but Indian bowlers did well to restrict Australia to 239 for eight wickets in 50 overs in the first of the three finals of the Commonwealth Bank triangular series here Sunday. Hayden’s was the only half-century (10×4s) of the innings that saved Australia the blushes as the seven-man Indian bowling attack kept the world champions in check for most part of the innings at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Mike Hussey was the only other batsman who batted well enough to make 45 (67 balls, 2×4s) while Andrew Symonds chipped in with 31 (44 balls, 4×4s).

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and pace bowler Praveen Kumar bagged two wickets each.

Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, playing his first match of the tournament, and pacer Ishant Sharma also bowled tightly. Chawla went wicketless while Ishant, the best Indian bowler on the tour, bagged one to take his tally to 14 wickets in the tournament.

Australia had a dismal start as they lost the first three wickets for just 24, with Praveen removing Adam Gilchrist and captain Ricky Poning for virtually nothing and Ishant dismissing the danger man Michael Clarke.

Andrew Symonds and Hayden stemmed the rot with their 100-run partnership for the fourth wicket. It was this 17.2-over stand, during which the two batsmen scored at an impressive rate of 5.76 runs per over that saved Australia from embarrassment.

Later, Hussey was involved in two small but crucial partnerships that helped Australia put up a competitive total. He and James Hopes added 38 for the sixth wicket and along with Brad Hogg he scored 39 for the seventh wicket.

Earlier, Ponting won the toss and opted to bat. India included Chawla in place of pacer Munaf Patel while Australia recalled Hayden replacing Brad Haddin. Virender Sehwag was again not included.

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