Symonds inspires Aussies to 18-run win over India
Andrew Symonds took two wickets to follow up on his 88 runs as Australia edged India by 18 runs.india Updated: Jan 10, 2004 02:56 IST
World champions Australia fielded brilliantly to score a tense 18-run victory in their triangular series one-day match on Friday despite a brave innings of 82 from India captain Sourav Ganguly.
Michael Clarke took four catches and 1-22 after guiding the hosts to 288 all out in 48.3 overs with a quickfire 63.
He shared a century partnership with man-of-the-match Andrew Symonds, who made 88 and took 2-47.
Australia had been set for an even bigger score but were kept below 300 after a six-wicket haul from India's Ajit Agarkar.
India scored 270 in 49.0 overs in reply after Sachin Tendulkar clipped 63 from 69 balls to give the tourists a flying start.
Tendulkar, who hit eight fours, and Virender Sehwag (35) put on 103 for the first wicket in 18.2 overs.
Tendulkar's dismissal at 134 for two in the 26th over, after Australia captain Ricky Ponting pulled in a spectacular one-handed catch at midwicket off the bowling of Symonds, was a big blow for India's hopes of victory.
Ganguly was left to anchor the innings after Vangipurappu Laxman (16), Rahul Dravid (16) and Yuvraj Singh (25) could not push to big scores before a capacity crowd of 63,271 at Melbourne Cricket Ground, where India flags almost outnumbered the local variety.
Medium pacer Ian Harvey (3-52) helped turn the match in the 46th over when he had Yuvraj caught at midwicket and next ball ran out Ganguly with a direct hit at the bowler's end. The skipper had batted for two hours, hitting six fours and one six from 83 balls.
Australia's Symonds and 22-year-old Clarke, who came to the crease at 89 for four, put on 143 for the fifth wicket in 142 balls.
Clarke holed out to deep square leg off leg spinner Anil Kumble in the 39th over while Symonds thumped three sixes in his 88.
Paceman Agarkar claimed the scalps of Symonds and Harvey (28), both caught in the deep, and Brad Williams (0) to finish with a career-best 6-42 from 9.3 overs.
Adam Gilchrist, who hit six fours, raced to 34 off 34 balls before he was brilliantly caught by a diving Irfan Pathan at deep backward square leg off Agarkar.
Agarkar struck twice in two balls in his next over, the 11th, when he dismissed opener Matthew Hayden for 20 and had Damien Martyn caught at fine leg for a first-ball duck.
Ponting was caught and bowled by Lakshmipathy Balaji for 18 in the 16th over as Australia slumped from 59 without loss to 89-4.
Left-hander Michael Bevan (1) fell cheaply to Sehwag's off break bowling but Harvey paced Australia's innings in the closing overs before becoming Agarkar's fifth victim.
Australia host Zimbabwe at Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday in the second match of the triangular series.