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Rediff.com  » Sports » India go down tamely in second ODI

India go down tamely in second ODI

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Last updated on: October 02, 2007 17:50 IST

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World champions Australia outplayed India in all departments of the game to win the second One-Day International by 84 runs, at the Nehru stadium, in Kochi, on Tuesday.

Put into bat, Australia scored an imposing 306 for 6 in their 50 overs and then bowled out India for 222 in 47.3.

The victory gave the visitors a 1-0 lead in the seven-match series.

Australia's huge total was built around sparkling half-centuries from Andrew Symonds and Brad Haddin, who scored 87 each.

After opener Matthew Hayden revived Australia's fortunes with a steady 75 following the loss of a few early wickets, a 108-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Symonds and Haddin knocked the stuffing out the Indian bowling.

Symonds hit nine boundaries and two sixes in his 83-ball knock, while Haddin, who was named man of the match, smashed eight boundaries and three sixes off 69 deliveries.

The Indian batsmen failed to get going and threw away their wickets with rash play, on a good batting track.

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the top scorer with 58, while Robin Uthappa scored a quick 41 as the rest of the batsmen folded without much resistance.

The third one-day international will be played in Hyderabad on Friday, October 5.

Australia:

Dhoni had no hesitation in electing to bowl, wanting to take advantage of the early moisture on the pitch.

Zaheer Khan made sure the move paid off when he struck in the first over with the wicket of Adam Gilchrist for 0. He got one to leave the left-hander, who went for the drive, but only edged it to Sachin Tendulkar at first slip.

Local lad S Sreesanth then sent the 60,000 capacity Nehru stadium in raptures when he claimed the wicket of Brad Hodge for 3. Once again, an Australian batsman went for an expansive drive against the out-swinging delivery but could only nick it behind. The visitors were reduced to 8 for 2 as early as the fourth over of the innings.

The ball was moving a lot in the initial overs but Matthew Hayden and Michael Clarke did well to negotiate the swing. In fact, they played positively and looked to keep the scoreboard ticking. Sreesanth, even though he got that early wicket, gave 33 runs in his five overs.

With the two batsmen looking comfortable against the pacers, Harbhajan Singh was introduced into the attack in the 15th over with the Powerplay still on.

Pathan bowled with great control and his discipline was finally rewarded when he got the wicket of Stuart Clarke in his fourth over. Captain Dhoni produced a great stumping down the leg side to send back the right-hander for 27 in the 16th over after he added 58 for the third wicket with Hayden.

However, there was drama in store, as umpire Suresh Shastri made a late referral to the third umpire after initially ruling the batsman out. Clarke stood at the boundary for a few minutes before his dismissal was confirmed by television replays, which showed his foot was not behind the line.

India kept things tight following the wicket, but Andrew Symonds broke the shackles with three boundaries of Pathan's sixth over. He then followed it up with a huge straight six off Harbhajan in the next over as Australia reached 94 for 3 after 21 overs.

ymonds repeated the dose in Powar's next over when he launched the off-spinner through the mid-wicket region for a huge six as Australia started forcing their way in the middle overs. The idea was clear: not to let the spinners take charge.

Hayden brought up his half-century in some style when he smashed Harbhajan for a huge six over the mid-wicket fence. The shortened boundaries meant that the two huge Aussie batsmen had no real problems in clearing them.

Sachin Tendulkar had taken two five-wicket hauls in Kochi and it was no surprise when he was introduced in the 27th over. Symonds welcomed him with a pulled boundary to midwicket as the bowler pitched it short.

Hayden's heavy bat was now making its presence felt. The tall left-hander smashed two sixes in two consecutive overs off Powar and Tendulkar. India were now desperate for a wicket as the two batsmen were finding it easy in the middle.

Pathan replaced Powar in the 32nd over and the left-armer got a wicket with the first delivery of his new spell. He bowled a magnificent yorker which Hayden tried to play on the leg side but missed it completely. It ended the 94-run partnership with Symonds. The left-hander played a solid knock of 75, hitting five boundaries and three sixes in his 89-ball knock.

In the same over, Symonds raced to his half-century off just 46 deliveries, including five boundaries and two sixes.

Pathan once again impressed with his line and length bowling in the middle overs, a role that he has taken up recently. He did it with great success in the Twenty20 World Cup and he was replicating the same formula here. He bowled an impressive spell of 2 for 47 in his 10 overs.

Brad Haddin was in top form again, carrying on from the half-century he scored in the previous match in Bangalore. Australia reached 215 for 4 in 40 overs and with the form both batsmen were in, a target in excess of 300 seemed well within reach.

Haddin and Symonds milked the bowling with common sense in the middle overs and then changed gears smoothly towards the end.

Haddin posted his second half-century in as many matches, reaching there in 48 deliveries, having hit four boundaries and two sixes.

Symonds looked set for a century, but his innings was cut short on 87 when he was caught and bowled by Sreesanth in the 47th over. He tried to launch a slower delivery on the leg side but got a leading edge which popped up straight and was easily taken by Sreesanth.

Sreesanth delighted his home fans when he gave Symonds a special send-off and the Aussie batsman responded angrily before sanity was restored. It won't be a surprise if the match referee has a chat with the Kerala pacer at the end of the match.

Symonds' 131-ball knock contained nine boundaries and two sixes. He added 108 runs for the fifth wicket with Haddin. The two batsmen were in absolute control throughout as once again Australia produced a remarkable display with the bat.

James Hopes didn't last long, scoring just four, before he became Sreesanth's third victim when he was caught by Dravid in the final over of the innings.

Haddin finished unbeaten on a blazing 87 as Australia posted a massive 306 for 6 in their 50 overs.

Gilchrist had said on Monday that Haddin has the talent to stake claim as a pure batsman and today the young batsman lived up to his captain's faith.

His 69-ball knock contained eight boundaries and two sixes as he made both the pacers and spinners suffer.  The last 10 overs produced 91 runs for Australia as they crossed the 300-run mark for the second match in a row.

Except for Pathan (2 for 47) no other bowler managed to exert control over the batsmen. Zaheer Khan started well but took some punishment in the end; same was the case with Sreesanth who took 3 for 67 at his home ground.

India face a huge task now of having to rattle up more than 300 for victory, but one thing in their favour is that the pitch is still good for batting.

As Symonds and Haddin showed once the batsmen got settled in the middle, runs were easy to come by.

For India, however, the key would be start they get and how they pace their innings in the middle overs.

India:

India's run chase got off to a shocking start when Gautam Gambhir fell in the fourth over for 7. The left-hander scored 7 before he was bowled by Mitchell Johnson.

Robin Uthappa came in at number three and immediately looked to attack the bowling. He guided Johnson to the fine leg for a boundary off the second ball he faced and in the next over from Lee creamed two consecutive boundaries through the off-side.

Lee then suffered in the seventh over as Uthappa smashed him straight over his head for a six to quickly race to 20.

Uthappa's quick start seemed to have rubbed some effect on Tendulkar too, as three balls later he unleashed a powerful pull shot off Lee for a huge six and followed it up with a flicked boundary through square leg two balls later.

However, against the run of play, Australia got a wicket, that of Tendulkar. Michael Clark was introduced into the attack in the ninth over and he had Tendulkar caught by Symonds at short cover.

Tendulkar scored 16 from 25 deliveries, inclusive of a boundary and a six, adding 47 runs in 34 balls with Uthappa.

Meanwhile, Uthappa continued smashing the ball from the other end. His second six was delightful; he hit a full delivery from Johnson straight back over his head.

The free hit rule for front foot no-balls has been in effect since the start of the series, but there weren't any no-balls in Bangalore. Here it happened twice, inside 12 overs; the first one was missed by Tendulkar off Lee, but James Hopes didn't get any mercy as Yuvraj smashed him over midwicket for a huge six.

He, however, fell two deliveries later to a rather tame dismissal, for 10. The left-hander opened the face of the bat and tried to play Hopes on the off-side but hit it straight to Hayden at short cover.

Even though India were maintaining a good run rate, having reached 79 in the 12th over, the regular fall of wickets was proving to be a big bother.

Uthappa, looking good for a big score, then played a careless shot and was dismissed for 41. He shuffled across the stumps and tried to play Clark on the leg side but failed to connect and was struck right in front of the stumps. The Karnataka batsman played a breezy knock of 41 from just 30 deliveries, hitting four boundaries and two sixes, but failed to carry on his good form as India were reduced to 87 for 4 in the 15th over.

Rahul Dravid, in his first knock after stepping down as captain, seemed quite relaxed as he unleashed a few beautiful shots on both sides of the wicket.

The former captain along with the current captain Dhoni set about repairing the innings in the middle overs. Dravid, in particular, was very impressive and looked to shift gears once he got his eye in.

But, as was the case with the batsmen before him, he also failed to consolidate the start he got. He fell for 31 while attempting to slog sweep left-arm spinner Brad Hogg over the mid wicket fence. Johnson, on the boundary, displayed great focus and balance to catch the ball just inches inside the ropes.

Irfan Pathan also fell cheaply, run-out for 1 after a misunderstanding with Dhoni in the 27th over.

India were reduced to a paltry 139 for 6 and it was no surprise that their fans started leaving the stadium even though half of the Indian innings was left to be played.

Harbhajan got a earful from the Australian fielders during his short stint at the crease. He made 4 before being stumped off Michael Clarke as India slipped to 154 for 7 in the 31st over.

Dhoni now had just the bowlers for company and it remained to be see whether he could just do the impossible.

Ramesh Powar hung around for a bit, scoring 17, before he was bowled by part-timer Clarke in the 35th over.  Zaheer Khan was caught by Brad Hodge off Hogg for 3 before Sreesanth came in to bat in front of his home fans to a huge cheer.

For Dhoni, there was some consolation though as he completed his half-century in the 45th over.

S Sreesanth though provided the entertainment as the Australian kept giving him a mouthful after every delivery.

He had an altercation with few of the players while bowling and the Aussies looked keen to give him something back, much to the ire of the crowd. In fact, Sreesanth suffered a knock on the helmet not by the Aussie bowlers, but from his own captain's powerful straight drive.

Dhoni fell for 58 when he was caught by Hodge off left-arm spinner Hogg as India folded up for 222 in 47.3 overs and lost by 84 runs.

Hogg finished as the top wicket taker, claiming 3 for 40 in 9.3 overs, while Clarke took 2 for 35 in nine overs as spinners did well on a slow wicket.

In the end, it be could be argued that India should have batted on winning the toss, but the fact is that India were comprehensively outplayed in all the departments.

India slowed down after the first 10 overs and losing wickets didn't help. They were a comfortable 67 for 2 after 10 overs, but in the next they scored 36 runs for the loss of two wickets, reaching 103 for 4 after 20 overs. They kept losing wickets at regular intervals and were never in the hunt.

They will now hope that the batsmen produce a better showing in the third ODI in Hyderabad on October 5.

Harish Kotian in Kochi
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