Young Indian pacers sting Australia

February 17th, 2008 - 3:24 pm ICT by admin  

Adelaide, Feb 17 (IANS) In yet another sterling display, the Indian fast bowlers troubled the Australian batsmen and restricted them to 203 for nine in 50 overs in the seventh one-day international of the Commonwealth Bank triangular series at the Adelaide Oval here Sunday. Opting to bat, the Australian top order was rattled by the young Indian pace attack. They lost wickets at regular intervals and failed to put up any decent partnerships barring the 72 runs seventh-wicket stand between top scorer Michael Clarke (79) and Brad Hogg (32).

The pace attack spearheaded by Irfan Pathan swung the ball on the both the sides on a featherbed of a pitch. Irfan was also the most successful bowler, returning figures of four for 41 while the lanky Ishant Sharma scalped two for 32.

Australia lost half the side with just 73 runs on board by the 24th over. Ishant struck first by removing Adam Gilchrist (15) and then Munaf Patel snared up Ricky Ponting (10). The double strikes left the Australians reeling at 41 for two by the 11th over.

Matthew Hayden (13), Andrew Symonds (3) and Mike Hussey (5) departed in quick succession and India tightened the noose around the Australian batting line up.

Clarke, who is being groomed to take over Ponting as next Australian captain, then played a patient 108-ball innings and was involved in two crucial partnerships with James Hopes (19) and Hogg that helped Australia cross the 200-mark.

With Hopes, Clarke added 39 runs for the sixth wicket and then stitched a 72 runs partnership for the following wicket with Hogg.

Clarke started slowly and gradually accelerated the strike rate. He struck six fours and also kept the scoreboard ticking by tapping the ball for singles. He was well set for a century but was disappointed as his slog sweep off Irfan was caught by Rohit Sharma at midwicket.

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