Tailenders see India home

Kartik shines with bat and ball as India claim consolation win

Last updated: 17th October 2007   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Tailenders see India home

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India's tailenders held their nerve in fine style to see their side home to a two-wicket victory in the seventh and final one-day international against Australia.

Heading into the match 4-1 ahead, the tourists had already wrapped up the series but the hosts restored some pride with an exciting win.

Murali Kartik had earlier returned career-best figures of 6-27 to help bundle Australia out for 193 from just 41.3 overs to leave India very much in control.

However, almost inevitably, Australia hit back hard and looked on course for victory as they reduced India to 64-6, but some defiant lower-order batting rescued the day for the hosts and it was Zaheer Khan (31 not out) and Kartik (21 not out) who saw them home much to the delight of the partisan home crowd.

Having won the toss, Australia opted to bat first but were left stunned as Michael Clarke was trapped leg before by Zaheer Khan with the very first ball of the match.

Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting steadied the ship with a partnership of 60 before the former was caught by Harbhajan Singh having uppishly cut a wide one from Irfan Pathan down to the third man boundary.

Ponting then shared in another half-century stand, this time with Brad Hodge who made 16 before handing Kartik his first victory with a loose drive to cover.

He didn't have to wait long for his second as Sachin Tendulkar held on to a catch to dismiss Andrew Symonds but was unable to complete his hat-trick with the first ball of his next over.

Ponting eventually went for 57 as he edged a rising delivery from RP Singh to Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the stumps and Kartik then took centre stage.

Kartik centre stage

He ripped through the Australian lower order removing Brad Haddin (lbw) and then Brad Hogg (caught at forward short leg) and Brett Lee (caught at slip) with successive deliveries to claim his first five-wicket haul in the international arena.

James Hopes became his sixth victim as he was bowled by quicker one that straightened and the innings came to a close when Nathan Bracken holed out to Harbhajan to give RP Singh his second wicket.

Australia made instant inroads into the Indian top-order through Mitchell Johnson who picked up both Sourav Ganguly and Dinesh Karthik caught behind for ducks.

Sachin Tendulkar had played a steady hand but departed for 21 from 36 balls as Lee snuck one through his defences to remove a single bail and Yuvraj Singh was also soon back in the pavilion as Gilchrist picked up his third catch, this time off the bowling of Bracken.

The visitors then turned the screw as Dhoni (five) and Pathan (duck) both went cheaply, but Robin Uthappa kept their hopes alive with a determined knock and was give fine support from Harbhajan with whom he shared a seventh wicket stand of 65.

Uthappa finally went three runs short of his half century as he was trapped in front by Clarke and when Harbhajan was snaffled by Ponting to give Johnson his third victim the game looked up with India still 52 runs short with just two wickets left.

But Khan and Kartik had other ideas and edged their way to the total, ultimately reaching it with four overs left to complete India's first successful chase against Australia since April 24, 1998.

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