Friday 1 February 2008 

Australia Cruise To Emphatic Nine-Wicket Twenty20 Win

India 74 (Pathan 26, Bracken 3-11, Voges 2-5)
Australia 75-1 (Clarke 37no) in Melbourne

Australia won by nine wickets

Australia closed out a thoroughly emphatic nine-wicket win in the Twenty20 International against India in Melbourne after bowling India out for just 74, the second lowest (by one run) score ever registered in Twenty20 International cricket.

Michael Clarke ended unbeaten on 37 and Brad Hodge on 10 as Australia raced to victory in 11.2 overs.

Nathan Bracken led the Australian bowling, taking three for 11, all with slower balls that deceived Gautam Gambhir (nine) and Robin Uthappa (eight), who lobbed catches to mid-off and Irfan Pathan, who top scored with 26 and was last man to fall before edging behind to Adam Gilchrist.

India's downfall started when Virender Sehwag was brilliantly run out by Michael Clarke for a duck. Clarke, captain for the day in the absence of Ricky Ponting with a back injury, also took a blinding catch to dismiss Harbhajan Singh as he enjoyed a fine day in the field and with the bat.

David Hussey, Ashley Noffke, Brett Lee, and James Hopes took a wicket each as Mahendra Dhoni (nine), Praveen Kumar (six), Dinesh Karthik (eight) and Rohit Sharma (eight) all played ill-judged shots and gave their wickets away.

Adam Voges, in the side as Ponting's replacement, was also on a hat-trick as the ball after he had Harbhajan caught out, Sreesanth was caught by Brad Hodge at point.

It wasn't to be, but with India at that point on 63 for nine, the end was always nigh and Pathan only added nine with Ishant Sharma (three not out) before the end of the innings.

Adam Gilchrist was then given a standing ovation as he left the field when he holed out to Gambhir for 25 from 22 balls, Kumar taking the only wicket to fall on a tough day for India.

Australia made batting look as easy as India had made it look difficult, with Clarke and Gilchrist sharing a stand of 57 in 7.3 overs. Between them they scored twice as many runs in boundaries (24) as the entire Indian side (12).

Such was the gulf between the two teams, with the world champions brought down to earth with a bump with their first loss at the hands of Australia in the shortest form of the game.

� Cricket World 2008



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