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Last Updated: Friday, 1 February 2008, 10:59 GMT
Australia crush lamentable India
Twenty20 international, Melbourne: Australia 75-1 beat India 74 by nine wickets

By Oliver Brett

Adam Gilchrist
Adam Gilchrist bids farewell to international Twenty20 cricket
Australia humiliated India in the one-off Twenty20 international, bowling out the tourists for 74 in Melbourne before winning by nine wickets.

The ICC World Twenty20 champions gave an unedifying display of batting on a sluggish wicket and looked set to post the lowest total in the format.

But after plunging to 63-9 they scraped past Kenya's 73 in Durban in September 2007 thanks to Irfan Pathan's 26.

Michael Clarke's unbeaten 38 sealed the easiest of victories for the hosts.

India won the toss and elected to bat first, as an excitable crowd of almost 90,000 at the MCG relished what they expected to be a closely-fought contest.

They got anything but, however, as India - who had beaten Australia by 15 runs in the ICC World semi-final - imploded.

Virender Sehwag was run out by Clarke's brilliant direct hit in the first over with the total on five and by the middle of the seventh over, four further wickets had fallen.

Two batsmen drove Nathan Bracken's slower balls to mid-off, while Dinesh Karthik contrived to get himself bowled by a Brett Lee full-toss and Rohit Sharma was bowled as he tried to slog James Hopes across the line.

606: DEBATE
Ambonn

Clarke, skippering in the absence of Ricky Ponting who gave his sore back a rest, made some imaginative bowling changes.

Opting for occasional spinners David Hussey and Adam Voges instead of himself and Andrew Symonds, he was handsomely rewarded.

India skipper Mahendra Dhoni laboured to nine before hitting his 27th ball, bowled by Hussey, straight to deep square-leg.

After Ashley Noffke had disposed of Praveen Kumar, Voges found himself on a hat-trick when dismissing numbers nine and 10. He bowled at Ishant Sharma with eight close fielders but the batsman defended the ball safely.

The end came in the 18th over when Pathan gave retiree Adam Gilchrist a catch off Bracken, who captured 3-11 in 2.3 overs.

India had been weakend by the absence of the rested Sachin Tendulkar and the injured Yuvraj Singh, but a return of just three boundaries in their innings constituted a terrible disappointment ahead of the 50-over triangular series.

Sree Santh is dismissed by Adam Voges as India slump to 63-9
Sree Santh is dismissed by Adam Voges as India slump to 63-9

Aussie openers Gilchrist and Clarke could afford to take their time with the chase, and it was a patient reply until Clarke picked two Sree Santh slower balls in the sixth over, cutting the first for four and launching the second down the ground for six.

That left just 31 needed and a comedic bit of fielding in which two Indian fielders went for the same catch soon allowed Clarke a second life.

Gilchrist pulled Kumar for six before holing out at long-on to bid farewell to international Twenty20s with several waves of his bat to the vast, appreciative crowd.

Clarke and Brad Hodge knocked off singles for the next few overs to bring the scores level.

And the match ended in low-key fashion in the 12th over, with a wide from Sharma.


  • India captain Mahendra Dhoni:
    "The only good thing that we did was win the toss.

    "We lost quite a lot of early wickets. All the batsmen have specific roles to play and guys were failing to realise that.

    "If they learn from their mistakes they can still come back strongly but there was no way our bowlers could back that [batting performance] up."

  • Australia captain Michael Clarke:
    "What a fantastic performance. The crowd was fantastic, we were up for the game and it obviously showed out there tonight.

    "The boys were so keen I knew we were in for a big performance. The bowlers knew their plans pretty well and it was a pretty easy job for me.

    "Full credit to all the state sides to allow players like Adam Voges, David Hussey and James Hopes to be so competitive in this format."

    SEE ALSO
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