Bombay beat Australia by ten wickets
National champions Bombay added another feat to its glittering
history by whipping the mighty Australian team by ten wickets
soon after lunch on the third and final day of the openeing tie at the Brabourne stadium.
The architect of the astoundingly facile win was the two-metre
tall leftarm spinner Nilesh Kulkarni who took five wickets for just 23 runs. His match haul of seven
for 131 ironically came 24 hours after the national selectors
dropped him from the Indian side for the first Test at Madras.
Only thrice in Indian cricket history has a team defeated a visiting squad outside the Tests. In 1966-67,
a joint Central and East Zone team routed Gary Sobers's West Indies side at Indore. Seventeen years later, in 1984-85, Ravi Shastri's under-19 team beat David Gower's England squad at Ahmedabad.
Australia went out sans a whimper on Thursday after
resuming at a precarious 36 for three.
Only Greg Blewett hit a brave 50 with seven fours.
At lunch the Aussies were poised at 135
for seven, but the last three wickets tumbled in 5.3 overs without a run added to the score.
Kulkarni captured all three wickets in just 11 balls.
Bombay openers Amit
Pagnis (8) and Sulakshan Kulkarni (21) hit the required 31 runs without a fuss in just 5.3 overs.
The Aussies may feel they had the rough end of the
stick with three leg-before-wicket and two close
caught-behind decisions going against them.
But what did the trusted firm of Taylor and Co in was the pitch which
showed a remarkable change in its character after
it produced 751 runs in the first two days. Today, there was
spin, fizz and bounce of variable height and like tourists long before them, the Aussies gropped in the darkness.
What surprised the crowd at the Brabourne stadium was the absence of a fight from the gritty Aussies, widely rated as the world's unofficial cricket champions. The day started with star-on-the-ascendant Ricky Ponting, who had spanked Abey Kuruvilla for four boundaries in his 22 yesterday, playing
and missing at Kulkarni who was brought into the attack at 56 for
three. At 81, he was given caught behind for 37, a decision he disapproved of.
Darren Lehmann rushed out at offspinner Rajesh Sutar, missed the ball completely and Kulkarni effected the easiest of stumpings.
The lefthander made one.
At 114 for six, wicketkeeper Ian Healy was given out leg before for 11. As was Blewett at the same score.
Blewett, an attacking player with Test centuries in Australia
and South Africa, stayed for 138 minutes, played
102 balls and cracked seven fours.
While Healy made the
mistake of going back, Blewett was half cock when the
ball hit his forward pad from Rajesh Pawar. The tiny left
hander, brought in late, bowled five overs for 12
runs and one wicket.
Paul Reiffel (nine) and Shane Warne (11) left cheaply and
Adam Dale (0) holed out at mid-wicket. Warne had
earlier swept Kulkarni for a six and a four.
Australian captain Mark Taylor, whose form must
be as worrying as main strike bowler Warne's woes on Wednesday,
said his team still had time to put its house in order.
He said his team knew that a tour to India without two
of its best bowlers -- Glenn McGarth and Jason Gillespie -- was not going to be "a bowl of cherries"
but "we are fast learners."
"But honestly we did not expect and were not equipped to play such a practice match,"
Taylor said. "We were just not ready for such opposition of strength."
The skipper underplayed Warne's showing in Bombay. The great legspinner
was tossed about like a child in the mouth of a man-eating
tiger and gave 111 runs off 16 overs without a wicket. Warne, Taylor said, was too experienced to let such an assault bruise his art and should be among his wicket ways soon.
Sachin Tendulkar showed no outwardly
show of emotion at a tremendous win, for which
he led the team from the front with a masterpiece
All he said was that the result was staggering and even with the
best eleven players in the country under him they would
not have achieved a win in such a forceful manner.
Tendulkar was immediately confronted with a query on the national
team which has no place for any
Bombay player except him. "It is a player's job to keep performing as it is a
selector's job to keep noticing," the skipper said.
He refused to gloat over his mauling of Warne.
"Warne is a great bowler and Australia
is a great side. No one can underestimate
them after just one warm-up game. I am going to
keep my head on my shoulders," the man most rate as the world's best
batsman said, adding that "the battle is between
Australia and India, not Warne and Tendulkar."
Australia: First Innings: 305 for eight declared
Bombay: First Innings: 410 six declared
Australia: Second Innings:
M Slater lbw b Kuruvilla 4
M Taylor c S Kulkarni b Mhambrey 1
G Robertson b Kuruvilla 1
G Blewett lbw b Pawar 50
R Ponting c Kulkarni b N Kulkarni 37
C D Lehmann st K kulkarni b R Sutar 1
I Healy lbw b N Kulkarni 11
P Reiffel b N Kulkarni 9
S Warne c Mhambrey b N Kulkarni 11
A Dale c Pagnis b N Kulkarni 0
P Wilson not out 0
Extras (5 lb, 5 nb) 10
Total 135 all out off 41.5 overs in 187 minutes
Fall of Wickets: 1/ 7, 2/11 , 3/12, 4/81, 5/86, 6/114, 7/114,
N Kulkarni 13.5 - 5-23-5
Sutar 5-0 -21-1
Bombay: Second Innings:
A Pagnis not out 8
S Kulkarni not out 21
Extra (1 lb 1 nb) 2
Total 31 for no loss 5.3 overs