India cricket tri finals in doubt after huge loss

By Staff Reporter
AFP Global Edition

Feb 26, 2012 07:42 EST

India face a major task to reach the tri series one-day finals after an 87-run loss to Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday.

The Indians showed little fight in their chase after Australia's 252 for nine and were skittled for 165 off 39.3 overs.

The result means the Indians must beat Sri Lanka by a bonus point in Hobart on Tuesday to have any chance of making the finals.

Australia are already through to the finals with their crushing bonus-point victory and have one more match to play before then against Sri Lanka in Melbourne on Friday.

It was another miserable night for the Indians, who have showed little conviction during their tour to Australia, losing all four Tests, winning one Twenty20 match and going down in four of their seven ODIs with another match tied.

"Definitely not a good night. We have not performed to our potential in these ODIs," said India skipper M.S. Dhoni.

"It was an ideal opportunity for the youngsters. I am sure they have learned a lot. We need to bat well. Unfortunately we've lost all the tosses and kept batting in tougher conditions."

Man-of-the-match David Warner topscored with 68 off 66 in Australia's innings, while Matthew Wade (56 off 66) and David Hussey (54 off 64) also contributed half-centuries.

India put in another woeful batting display and crashed to 104 for six in the 27th in a match where they always appeared to be struggling against the well-drilled Australians.

Tailender Ravi Ashwin topscored with 26 off 37 balls, while Sachin Tendulkar (14), Virender Sehwag (5) and Dhoni (14) were all out cheaply.

Tendulkar yet again failed to score his elusive 100th international century and has scored just 104 runs in six knocks in the series at an average of 17.33.

Tendulkar was run out by a brilliant diving underarm throw down by Warner, but the Indian great complained that his run was blocked by the follow through of paceman Brett Lee.

Sehwag again showed little accountability and was caught and bowled by Ben Hilfenhaus, while Dhoni pottered around 49 balls before he was leg before wicket to Hilfenhaus.

Shane Watson, leading the Australian side in the absence of sidelined skipper Michael Clarke who had back trouble, picked up two for nine in his five overs in his comeback match from a hamstring injury.

"Very nice start as a captain, it all worked out very well," Watson said.

"It helped that wickets fell at appropriate times. I kept trying to get the bowlers and their ends right. I felt good and had a lot of fun today."

Warner was named man of the match for his first half-century of the series after Watson won the toss and elected to bat.

"I needed some runs under the belt and put my head down today," Warner said. "The key for me is that if I get my defence right, the big shots come off."

David Hussey, who appeared fortunate not to be given out on 17 for obstructing a throw for an attempted run out, chipped in with 54 to take over as the leading runscorer in the series with 338 runs.

Hussey blocked a throw by Suresh Raina with his right hand but umpires deemed he was preventing injury and he was allowed to bat on, to Dhoni's fury.

"Plain and simple that was out," Dhoni said. "In this case I think David was really lucky, I think he should have been given out.

"It's difficult, in his judgment he may have been protecting himself but his hand was too far out."

Wade, relegated down the batting order to number six, cracked a six and two fours and featured in a 94-run partnership with David Hussey for the fifth wicket.

Watson only lasted seven balls in his comeback match before hitting straight to Umesh Yadav at mid-on for one, while Mike Hussey was run out for 10 in a dreadful mix-up with Warner.

Sehwag finished the best of India's bowlers with three for 43.

Source: AFP Global Edition

 

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