Finally, India beat Australia
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Finally, India beat Australia

The seven-month long overseas winless streak ends as Dhoni & Co. beat Aus by 8 wickets in the final Twenty20. Rohit Bhaskar reports. Scorecard | Pics | Quote unquote

india Updated: Feb 04, 2012 01:49 IST
Rohit Bhaskar
Rohit Bhaskar
Hindustan Times

There was a moment of anxiety on the field after Australia won the toss and chose to bat. Shaun Marsh, easily the worst player of the summer, edged one, as he has all summer, to Virender Sehwag at first slip. In his first go, the ball fell out of his grasp; the second time around he lobbed it up for wicketkeeper MS Dhoni, who watchfully caught the ball.

That split second when it seemed Sehwag had spilled it, was the only time when the Indian fielding looked below par, as a sprightly performance in the field --- which saw them effect four run outs — paved the way for an eight-wicket win to end a barren run of 16 away games in all formats without a win.

Man of the match Ravindra Jadeja set the ball rolling, running out Aaron Finch, who had raced away to 36 off just 23 balls. Running to his left from point, he made ground quickly and threw the ball accurately to Dhoni at the perfect height for him to collect and dislodge the bails in one go.

From that point on, India's belief on the field grew with each diving save and direct hit. Jadeja ran out skipper George Bailey with another accurate throw. A Rohit Sharma direct hit left a well-set Matthew Wade short of his crease.

The innings ended two balls shy of the 20th over, thanks to a Suresh Raina run out.

Jadeja also chipped in with the ball getting rid of the dangerous David Hussey. He beat Hussey in flight and the Australian looped it straight back to the bowler to complete an easy return catch for Jadeja.

Lanky leg-spinner Rahul Sharma and seamer Praveen Kumar captured a couple of wickets apiece to dismiss the Aussies for 131 in 19.4 overs.

Chasing a modest target, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir adopted a steady approach, but still were able to get a boundary almost every over. The introduction of left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty saw Sehwag go on the attack, hitting him 15 rows back off the first ball he faced.

First Published: Feb 03, 2012 13:48 IST