|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Rain rescues India
September 16, 2006 17:07 IST
Last Updated: September 16, 2006 20:29 IST
Rain came to India's rescue after they were tottering at 35 for 5 against Australia in the third match of the DLF Cup tri-series in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.
Chasing a modest 245, the Indians were set a revised target of 170 in 29 overs after rain interrupted play with the score 16 without loss after five overs.
The game swung heavily Australia's way after the rain break, as Mitchell Johnson cut through the Indian top order, claiming four wickets in eight balls.
The Indians, who were robbed off a possible victory in their rain-hit opening match against the West Indies, after the Duckworth/Lewis method was applied, were then saved by the showers which came down again.
The teams were awarded two points each since the match was declared a 'no result'.
Australia top the three-team table with seven points, followed by the West Indies, who have five points and India with two, from two matches each.
The World champions take on the West Indies in the next match on Monday.
Earlier, thanks to its slow bowlers, India fought back after an opening onslaught from hard-hitting Shane Watson to restrict Australia to 244.
Watson, promoted up the order, slammed a 74-ball 79 to help the three-time World champions get off to a flier after captain Ricky Ponting elected to bat in the day-night encounter at the Kinrara Oval.
But India staged a dramatic comeback as spinners Harbhajan Singh and Virender Sehwag threw a web around the Aussie middle order batsmen and eventually bowled them out with four balls to spare in the allotted 50 overs.
Harbhajan picked two for 26 and Sehwag, although wicketless, was equally effective. He returned with figures of none for 43 and also effected a smart run out off his own bowling.
Munaf Patel symbolised India's turnaround in fortunes. After conceding 39 runs in the first seven overs, he finished with three for 53.
Australia's innings was based on Watson's blistering innings and Michael Clarke's efficient 64.
While Watson faded after an explosive start, Clarke was instrumental in guiding the team past the 200 mark.
Watson, dropped on 13, struck 10 fours and two sixes in his cavalier innings while Clarke paced his knock beautifully, scoring five fours and a six, to register his second successive fifty-plus score in the tournament.
Watson was reprieved when Harbhajan Singh failed to hold on to a top edge off Ajit Agarkar in the seventh over of the innings.
The right-hander made sure the Indians paid for the lapse as he took a heavy toll on the seamers.
Agarkar (2-50) was guilty of not bowling to the field and was swatted for a six over midwicket and then a four by Phil Jaques (25) in the seventh over, which cost 14 runs.
Patel surprisingly lacked pace and was at the receiving end of Watson's power. He suffered treatment similar to that of his new ball partner.
Irfan Pathan showed no signs of rediscovering his lost rhythm and failed to provide any respite for the Indians. He went for 32 runs in his four overs, and was thrashed for four boundaries by Watson in his last over.
Australia seemed set for a huge total when they crossed 150 in 25.1 overs but the momentum swung suddenly with the introduction of the slow bowlers.
Watson fell to a sharp low catch by Suresh Raina while playing an on-drive to Harbhajan.
The Punjab offie then had Mark Cosgrove when the left-hander turned his blade for a simple catch to Rahul Dravid at first slip.
The Aussies found the shackle thrown around them by the Indians difficult to break and could add only 34 runs between 32nd and 41st over when the 200 came up.