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Indian pacers restrict Australia
February 17, 2008 13:12 IST
The Indian pace battery put up a spirited performance to restrict Australia to 203 for nine in 50 overs in their cricket tri-series one-day international in Adelaide on Sunday.
The Indian fast bowlers, led again by the irrepressible Ishant Sharma, had Australia in complete disarray for most of the innings after the hosts won the toss and chose to bat.
Ishant took two for 32 and had Australia on the ropes early even though Irfan Pathan [Images] finished with the best figures of four for 41.
Michael Clarke [Images] (79) played a defiant knock to guide the home side past the 200 mark.
Opting to go into the game with five bowlers after resting Virender Sehwag [Images], India did almost nothing wrong in the field from the very word go.
Sehwag, who had blasted a century against Australia at this very ground last month in the last Test, was put to the bench despite reporting almost fit from his back-strain.
Australia had moved to 25 by the sixth over without much trouble when Ishant provided the breakthrough, Adam Gilchrist [Images] (15) inside-edging a cut on to his stumps.
Munaf Patel [Images], who was carted over widish long on for a six by Matthew Hayden [Images] in his first over, was rewarded in his third over when out-of-form Ricky Ponting [Images] (10) slashed a cut straight into the hands of Rohit Sharma at point.
Australia were soon 43 for 3 when the big-hitting Hayden erred in cutting a bouncing delivery in Pathan's first over into wicketkeeper Dhoni's gloves.
The hosts were soon 50 for 4 when Andrew Symonds [Images] (3) again fell for the rising ball. He didn't pull his bat out of the way and a reluctant cut went to Robin Uthappa at point.
Australia's scoring now dropped further and they had raised themselves to only 73 from 23-odd overs when Mike Hussey (5) gave Pathan his second wicket to leave his team stuttering at 73 for 5.
Clarke now took roots and young James Hopes (19) was now an able foil as 39 runs were realised for the sixth wicket before Harbhajan Singh [Images] broke the stand.
Harbhajan beat Hopes on the front foot with a wrong un which left wicketkeeper Dhoni with an easy chance to stump the right-hander.
Clarke was well-supported by Brad Hogg [Images] (32) for the seventh wicket as 72 runs were gathered before the latter was run-out.
Hogg batted for 51 balls and hit two fours during his valuable knock.
Australia lost Clarke three runs later when the elegant right-hander pulled a long-hop from Pathan into the hands of Ishant at square leg fence.
He faced 108 balls for his 79 runs and hit six fours.
Pathan picked up his fourth scalp, the ninth of the innings, when in the same over he had Nathan Bracken [Images] (0) edging a catch behind the stumps.