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Lee bowls Australia to victory
February 24, 2008 12:59 IST
Last Updated: February 24, 2008 17:59 IST
Ricky Ponting [Images] scored a brilliant century and Adam Gilchrist [Images] claimed a record-equalling six dismissals as Australia beat India by 18 runs in an absorbing CB tri-series one-day international in Sydney on Sunday.
Ponting ended a lean run with the bat to score 124 off 132 balls and guide the world champions to a daunting total of 317 for seven at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
India's run chase began badly when they lost four early wickets but a defiant hundred from Gautam Gambhir [Images] and a half-century from Robin Uthappa took them to 299 all out in the final over.
India's lower-order batsmen gave the tourists a glimmer of hope of pulling off a remarkable victory but fast bowler Brett Lee [Images] (5-58) polished off the tail by taking three wickets in his last four balls.
Gilchrist held five catches and completed a stumping to equal the world record for the most dismissals in a match by a wicketkeeper which he shares with four other players and has achieved on five previous occasions.
Ponting had managed only 64 runs in his previous six innings but returned to form in emphatic style.
He belted seven boundaries and a six to register his 26th one-day hundred, overtaking Sri Lanka's [Images] Sanath Jayasuriya into second place on the all-time list, behind India's Sachin Tendulkar [Images] (41).
Ponting also become only the fifth player to score over 11,000 one-day runs before he threw his wicket away in the penultimate over, caught in the deep by Irfan Pathan [Images].
Symonds struck six fours and two sixes in his innings before he was bowled by a slower ball from Ishant Sharma, triggering a verbal exchange between the pair as he left the field.
Ponting and Symonds added 100 runs in 52 minutes for the fourth wicket but their departures triggered a late collapse as Australia lost four wickets in the last three overs.
James Hopes and Lee were both run out at the non-strikers' end off the last two balls of the innings, leaving Michael Hussey stranded on 15.
Gilchrist, playing in his last series before retirement, signalled Australia's intentions to build a huge total when he blazed 16 off seven balls.
Hayden was run out just after reaching his half-century while Michael Clarke [Images] chipped in with a brisk 31.
India made a terrible start to their reply when Tendulkar was trapped lbw by Lee for two in the first over then they lost Virender Sehwag [Images] (17), Rohit Sharma (one) and Yuvraj Singh [Images] (five) in the space of 11 balls, all caught by Gilchrist.
Gambhir and Mahendra Singh Dhoni [Images] steadied the innings with a fifth wicket partnership of 98 before the Australians reasserted their control.
Dhoni was caught by Gilchrist for 36 then Gambhir was stumped for 113 after an impressive innings featuring nine fours and a six.
It was his fourth one-day hundred and his second of the series but his dismissal left India with little hope of winning despite some lusty hitting from the tailenders.
Uthappa (51), Pathan (22) and Harbhajan Singh [Images] (20) all made valuable contributions but sacrificed their wickets in the frantic final few overs as the required run rate crept above 10 runs an over.
Australia are already assured a place in next month's best-of-three finals and India will join them unless Sri Lanka win the remaining two preliminary games. India play Sri Lanka in Hobart on Tuesday before Australia play them in Melbourne on Friday.