A dominant Australia cruised to a 110-run win over India in their one-day international tri-series match in Brisbane, Australia, on Sunday.
After blasting 288 for five in their innings, Australia ripped through India’s top order to leave the visitors in disarray at 36 for four.
India struggled on, but they were never in the hunt, finishing on 178 all out, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni playing a lone hand with the bat, scoring 56 off 84 deliveries.
Man-of-the-match Ben Hilfenhaus was the pick of Australia’s bowlers with 5-33, while veteran Brett Lee continued his resurgence with 3-49.
After Ricky Ponting won the toss and chose to bat, Australia recovered from a slow start to overwhelm the India attack with some powerful hitting in the final 20 overs.
Veteran Mike Hussey top scored with 59 and combined with newcomer Peter Forrest (52) in a fifth-wicket partnership of 100 from 92 balls, while David Hussey (26) and Daniel Christian (30) smashed 65 runs from the last six overs against a demoralized attack.
Left-arm medium pacer Irfan Pathan with 3-61 was the pick of India’s bowlers after he claimed the wickets of both Hussey and Forrest, as well as the dangerous David Warner, who made 43 at the top of the order.
However, there was troubling news for the visitors when Sachin Tendulkar was forced from the field at the end of the 25th over after he was struck a painful blow on the left shin while fielding at first slip. Tendulkar, who is still searching for his elusive 100th international century, came out to open with Gautam Gambhir, but his run of poor form continued when he tried an upper-cut off Hilfenhaus, only to be caught at deep third-man by Xavier Doherty for 3.
Gambhir had earlier fallen in the second over when he edged a fired-up Brett Lee to wicketkeeper Matthew Wade as India’s run chase got off to the worst possible start.
Lee and Wade combined soon after to dismiss Rohit Sharma for a duck, before Virat Kohli fell in controversial circumstances when he was caught at first slip by David Hussey off Hilfenhaus.
The combative Kohli refused to walk until third umpire Bruce Oxenford confirmed the ball had carried, which he did despite replays appearing to indicate there was some doubt.
India tried to recover, but they lost wickets at key moments and were unable to boost the run rate enough to stay in touch with the asking rate.
Earlier powerful Australia opener Warner got the home team off to a good start as he raced to 43 runs off 46 balls.
However, Wade and Ponting found it hard to keep the run rate going after Warner was dismissed. Ponting, in particular, never looked comfortable, battling to seven from 26 deliveries, before skying an attempted hook shot off Zaheer Khan to Pathan at deep square-leg.
Hussey and Forrest then took control during the middle of the innings.
The 36-year-old Hussey was in great form as he dominated the partnership, bringing up his half-century off 45 balls and scoring his 5,000th run in one-day internationals.
Forrest then celebrated his half-century soon after, the Queenslander’s second in three matches for Australia.
David Hussey (26) and Daniel Christian (30) led an assault on the India bowling in the last six overs, smashing 65 runs from 34 balls to leave India with a big chase.