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Australia set huge 318-run target for India at Nagpur

Andrew Symonds, dropped by Sreesanth when he was on just two, guides Australia to a massive total.Ball-by-ball commentary
Hindustan Times | By A R Hemant, Nagpur
UPDATED ON OCT 16, 2007 05:47 PM IST

Andrew Symonds, dropped by Sree Santh on two, continued to torment India as he brought up his sixth ODI century to take Australia to a massive 317 in 50 overs.

Symonds, combining brute force and gentle dabs, reached his hundred off 82 balls, making an unbeaten 107 in all from 88 balls with nine fours and four sixes, one of which went out of the stadium never to be seen again.

If Australia win this game at Nagpur, they'll take an unbeatable 4-1 lead in the seven match series.

Symonds calmed the inning after Australia were at an unsteady 129-4 in the 22nd over, having lost Adam Gilchrist (51), captain Ricky Ponting (49) and Brad Hodge (20) in quick succession.

Symonds forged a handy 75 runs with Brad Haddin for the fifth wicket and then 89 with James Hopes to take Australia to safety.

Earlier in the day, Ponting had elected to bat on a fast outfield and flat wicket that is offering turn.

India, needing a win to stay alive in the series, began well by removing Michael Clarke for a duck off the match's third ball.

Then, Ponting and Gilchrist plundered the Indian bowling for 96 runs. Then, Harbhajan Singh struck in his second over dismissing a dangerous looking Ponting for 49 (44 balls, 7 fours, 1 six).

Ponting had had some luck in the innings. When he was on 25, umpire Amiesh Saheba ruled him not out to what was a plumb LBW to an Irfan Pathan in-cutter.

In the 15th over, he turned Harbhajan Singh fine into the gloves of Indian captain MS Dhoni but was given not out by Aleem Dar. Replays showed the ball hit nothing but the bat.

However, the next ball, Ponting poked at a Harbhajan dusra, and Dravid took a sharp one-handed catch to his left at slip.

In the next over, Adam Gilchrist played a loose drive to be caught at cover by Robin Uthappa off Pathan. Gilchrist got 51 (47 balls, 8 fours).

In the 22nd over, Murali Kartik bowled a beautiful drifter to the right-handed Brad Hodge, who edged it to Dravid for his second catch of the day.

India have dropped two catches today. Dravid, fielding at gully could not get his hands high enough to cup a Gilchrist slash off Sree Santh. The Kerala bowler himself dropped Symonds at deep fine leg, Harbhajan been the unlucky bowler again.

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