Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A Close Shave

India defeated Australia by 8 runs to secure its first ODI victory against the world champions in four years. Dhoni won the toss and decided to bat first. Ganguly and Sachin opened the batting and both players were tested by Brett Lee's unerring line and length. Sachin was unusually dormant with the bat while Dada produced some early fireworks. Sachin was lucky to be given not out to a caught behind appeal. Ganguly departed for 41, Yuvi scored 39, Sachin got run out in an extraordinary way for 79. Dhoni-Captain Courageous scored 50 while Robin Uthappa scored 30 runs of 18 balls. The Aussies were set a target of 292 runs for victory.

The chase started in the usual slam-bang fashion with Gilchrist and Hayden milking the bowlers. then Gilchrist was caught by Zaheer Khan on the boundary. Ponting and Hayden continued to plunder the bowling, then Ponting was stumped by Dhoni. Symmonds joined the party, and almost all the viewers thought we are finished. Some inspired bowling by R.P. Singh, Harbhajan and Murali Kartik produced the desired result for India. R.P. Singh shattered Symmonds stumps and on the next ball he produced a brilliant throw to run Brad Hogg out.

India sniffed victory and with 16 runs required of the last over Zaheer bowled sensibly and India won by 8 runs.

The Baroda match has become all crucial now and India really have to improve their batting, with Gambhir ruled out for the rest of the series, Ganguly and Sachin have to ensure that solid and quick starts not ball wasting Test-innings are produced(comment for Tendulkar). Bowling by Zaheer and Pathan is worrying, I am not very sure how the pitch will behave, most probably the the track willl crumble and enable the spinners in the second innings; and there might be a fair bit of bounce during the first innings.

Let us hope for the best.

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