Fiery Ishant sends mighty Australia crashing

India survives a few hiccups to score a five-wicket win; Tendulkar is top scorer with 44

Melbourne: Sea gulls swooped into the arena for an afternoon feast. Ishant Sharma swooped in on the batsmen with the same intent. And he feasted.

Pace was ace as India scored its first ODI win over Australia at the MCG in 22 years. Ishant hurt the host with his speed, cut and bounce. He was the ace in the pace pack with four for 38.

Against Ishant’s two-way movement, S. Sreesanth’s pace and swing and Irfan Pathan’s left-arm deviation, the Australian batting was shown to be vulnerable.

On what former Aussie paceman Damien Fleming described as the quickest pitch for international cricket this summer down under, Australia was beaten. Rather, India won.

India’s seemingly easy run-chase of 160 ran into a road-block against a buzzing bunch of Aussie pacemen. India lost five wickets and then Rohit Sharma and Mahendra Singh Dhoni ensured there would be no comebacks for Australia. Sachin Tendulkar made a crucial 44.

India leads the CB tri-series points tally with eight from three games. Australia has seven from an equal number of games and Sri Lanka two from two.

SCOREBOARD

Australia: A. Gilchrist lbw b Sreesanth 0, M. Hayden c Dhoni b Ishant 25, R. Ponting c Tendulkar b Ishant 9, M. Clarke c Rohit Sharma b Pathan 11, A. Symonds c Dhoni b Ishant 14, M. Hussey (not out) 65, B. Haddin st. Dhoni b Harbhajan 5, B. Lee c Dhoni b Pathan 10, M. Johnson c Uthappa b Sreesanth 3, N. Bracken c Tendulkar b Sreesanth 1, S. Clark c Dhoni b Ishant 0; Extras (b-1, lb-3, w-9, nb-3): 16; Total (in 43.1 overs): 159.

Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-37, 3-47, 4-64, 5-75, 6-92, 7-145, 8-151, 9-155.

India bowling: Sreesanth 9-0-31-3, Ishant 9.1-1-38-4, Pathan 8-0-26-2, Harbhajan 8-2-19-1, Sehwag 5-0-24-0, Yuvraj 2-0-11-0, Tendulkar 2-0-6-0.

India: V. Sehwag lbw b Bracken 11, S. Tendulkar c Lee b Johnson 44, I. Pathan lbw b Johnson 18, G. Gambhir c Clarke b Lee 21, Yuvraj c Hussey b Clark 3, Rohit Sharma (not out) 39, M.S. Dhoni (not out) 17; Extras (lb-2,w-5): 7; Total (for five wkts., in 45.5 overs): 160

Fall of wickets: 1-18, 2-54, 3-89, 4-96, 5-102.

Australia bowling: Lee 9-0-42-1, Bracken 10-0-35-1, Clark 10-1-26-1, Johnson 10-1-24-2, Clarke 4-0-12-0, Symonds 2.5-0-19-0.

Read full story in The Hindu, 11 Feb. 2008

- S. Dinkar, The Hindu, February 11, 2008

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