India beat Australia in CB Series ODI at Adelaide
A solid foundation laid by Gautam Gambhir and another one of MS Dhoni’s iceman knocks saw India go past Australia’s total of 269/8 to win their Commonwealth Bank Series encounter at Adelaide by 4 wickets.
India had their problems in their chase with a number of batsmen throwing away starts but Gautam Gambhir held up one end to make the partnerships count. His dismissal immediately saw India go under the pump with regards to the required run rate before Dhoni turned the game right at the end.
After winning the toss and choosing to bat first, Australia faced an early setback when their experiment to promote Ricky Ponting failed, the former skipper falling to Royal Challengers Bangalore medium pacer Vinay Kumar for 6.
David Warner followed without causing much damage, sacrificing himself for a run out as Rohit Sharma’s superb fielding found him a long way short of the crease at the bowler’s end where Vinay Kumar took the bails off. Clarke too was dismissed before debutant Peter Forrest and David Hussey stabilized the Aussie innings with a 98 run stand for the fourth wicket.
Forrest was composed in his knock, calmly bringing up his half century on debut before he fell trying to accelerate, Vinay comfortably taking his miscue off Yadav for 66. David Hussey too was dispatched by Royal Challengers Bangalore spearhead Zaheer Khan when he was about to pick up the run rate, caught sharply by Sehwag at square leg for 72 off 76 balls. Khan had been impressive through the game, economical but this was to be his only reward of the day.
Vinay Kumar had more contributions, foxing Mathew Wade with a slower one to bowl him, the second wicket from his haul of 2/58 and running out Clint McKay with a deft collect from MS Dhoni, taking the steam off Australia’s innings which ended at a below par 269/8.
India’s chase got off to a bright start. With Tendulkar rested, Sehwag and Gambhir put on India’s best opening partnership of the entire tour, adding 52 for the first wicket. Clint McKay’s introduction into the attack began with a wicket maiden, Sehwag going off the very first ball. Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman Virat Kohli started slow but looked he was getting set when he played a superb pull off Dan Christian for a four past square leg. Two balls later he was gone, his loft not quite making it over Forrest at sweeper cover, going out for 18 off 28.
The long straight boundaries meant that fours and sixes were hard to come by but Gambhir and Sharma made up for it with hard running. Gambhir had been decisive in his shot selections and timing, bring up his fifty soon after Kohli’s dismissal, off 63 balls. Sharma even hit a magnificent pull off Starc but his dismissal too was a soft one, another attempt to clear the ropes going haywire, ending the 76 run partnership for the third wicket.
Gambhir had reached the 90s by then but was dismissed when McKay was reintroduced into the attack, walking too far across for an LBW on 92 as India slid to 178/4.
The impetus in Dhoni and Raina’s 61 run stand for the fifth wicket was all Raina, the lefthander hitting three fours and a six in his 30 ball 38. Dhoni’s slow play at the other end though saw Raina going for broke and ending up bowled off Doherty. India were 239/5 and the required run rate was 8.85. It got worse with Doherty getting Jadeja in his next over and India reaching the last over with 13 required for a win with Ashwin on strike.
A single was taken off the second ball after a dot ball first up getting Dhoni to strike. With 12 needed off 4, Dhoni gave the third ball an almighty whack sending it sailing over long on. He pulled the next ball only to be caught at deep square leg but the Aussie joy was shortlived as the umpire immediately signalled a no ball for height, adding one run to the two the batsmen had hurriedly run. The fourth, this time legal delivery was a slower one, Dhoni pulled it once again behind the square. Warner cut off the boundary but the batsmen ran three in that time, sealing the win.
Dhoni had India in dire straits and looked responsible for it at 33 off 55 balls. When the time came he moved from there to 44* off 58 balls, sealing a 4 wicket victory for India that almost wasn’t.
India moved up to level with Australia on the points table with two wins from three games each leaving Sri Lanka with two losses out of two to play catch up.