New Delhi: A listless India's batting failed miserably as they slumped to a massive 110-run defeat in a cricket tri-series match against Australia, who managed to get a bonus point, at Gabba in Brisbane on Sunday.


Comedy of errors in India-Australia ODI

Chasing Australia's mammoth 288 for five, largely built around a blistering onslaught in the last 10 overs, India never really recovered after the three early jolts to fold up for 178 in 43.3 overs on a bouncy Gabba track.

The Indians were outplayed in every department of the game by the hosts who made amends for their back-to-back defeats to take top position in points table.

Australia now have 14 points from five matches while India are second in the table with 10 points from five games. Sri Lanka have collected seven points from four matches.

The top-order Indian batting crumbled in the face of some hostile bowling in early overs. The late rally by skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (56) only ended up in delaying the inevitable.

Pacer Ben Hilfenhaus marked his return to Australia's one-day side with career-best figures of 5 for 33, including the scalp of Sachin Tendulkar (3) who still remains in search of his elusive 100th international century.

None of the Indian top order batted with assurance or long enough and the biggest stand of the innings was 46 which Dhoni and Suresh Raina (28) stitched between themselves for the fifth wicket.

Hilfenhaus and Brett Lee (3 for 49) were hostile on a spicy wicket and ripped out the heart of Indian batting in their first spells.

Hilfenhaus, playing his first match of the tri-series, and Lee, eager to leave his mark, let it rip from the first ball. Lee bowled a peach of a delivery in his first over and Gautam Gambhir (5), without any discernible footwork, edged a catch behind the stumps.

Lee now rattled Tendulkar, bowling a brutish bouncer which thudded into the great man's helmet as he tried to pay an attacking pull shot. The ball then lobbed off to mid-on and there was a concerted appeal for a catch by the Australians. But the ball had made no contact with the bat and Tendulkar survived.

Hilfenhaus then turned up the heat from the other end. In his third over, he bowled a widish lifting delivery to Virat Kohli (12) who slashed up high in the air and offered an easy catch to Xavier Doherty at third man. The fielder was not up to the offer and it was now Kohli's turn to survive.

Tendulkar departed the next ball though as the batsmen changed ends. Backing away, Tendulkar tried to glide a lifting delivery over the slips but succeeded in only offering a catch at third man.

Rohit Sharma (0) copped yet another failure, essaying an ill-adviced slash off the front foot and offering yet another wicket to Lee.

It soon turned into 36 for four in the 11th over when Kohli edged Hilfenhaus to first slip David Hussey but refused to budge as the appear was referred to the third umpire. The ruling from the upstairs was no different but Kohli kept gesticulating and showing his disapproval till he disappeared into the tunnel.

India then had a reasonable 46-run stand for the fifth wicket between Raina and Dhoni which ended when the left-hander chased a wild delivery from Dan Christian and offered a catch behind the stumps. India were now 82 for five in the 23rd over.

India lost their sixth wicket in the form of Ravinder Jadeja (18) who holed out in the deep off Christian to plunge India to 114 for 6 in the 31st over.

Dhoni though waged a lone battle and hit a spectacular one-two of a six and a four off Lee after he opted for the batting powerplay in the 35th over.

However, the pyrotechnics of Indian skipper was to end when he pulled a short delivery from Hilfenhaus into the hands of midwicket fielder.

Dhoni made 56 off 84 balls with two fours and a six. India were 149 for 7 in the 38th over and the match was as good as over, barring the shouting.

Earlier, electing to bat, Australia recovered from a wobbly start and smashed 110 runs in the final 10 overs to post 288 for 5.

Half centuries by Peter Forrest (52) and Mike Hussey (59) and their century stand for fourth wicket help set the base before impressive cameos by Daniel Christian and David Hussey.

Christian (32 off 18 balls) and Hussey (24 off 20 balls) plundered 58 runs from the final five overs, the penultimate over by Vinay Kumar yielding 18 runs.

Irfan Pathan claimed 3/61 and Indian effort was generally good in the field but for sloppy work in the final overs.

Australia made a fine start before they fell into a quagmire in the first half of the innings.

David Warner and Matthew Wade had put on 70 runs for the first wicket by the 13th over before the innings almost came to a standstill.

Warner was set for a long innings with 43 from 46 balls (five fours and a six) before he tamely pushed a leg-stump half volley from Irfan Pathan to the lone fielder on the onside inside the ring.

Stand-in captain Ricky Ponting, with just 11 runs from four previous innings, looked completely out of sorts, getting off the mark of only his 13th delivery before falling on 7, caught in the deep off the probing line of Zaheer Khan.

India wrested control with only 12 runs from five overs of bowling powerplay for the wicket of Ponting, the hundred only coming up in the 25th over, the last 50 having consumed 91 deliveries.

Wade, with apparent intent to anchor the innings, had hit only one four in the first 25 overs and had 33 from 58 balls before he freed his arms and swung Suresh Raina high into the stands for six.

Wade then hit Umesh Yadav for an exquisite four through covers to convey he was ready to shift gears. However, the change of pace of Rohit Sharma, took him out of the equation as he lamely offered a return catch to the part-time bowler.

Wade batted for 67 minutes and hit two fours and a six as Australia slumped to 117 for 3 in the 28th over. It was still a fortuitous knock since he was reprieved by Rohit Sharma, leaping in front of first slip Sachin Tendulkar.

Drama and confusion followed in the 29th over when Suresh Raina dragged Mike Hussey out of his crease in his seventh over and as the batsman missed, Mahendra Singh Dhoni removed the bails.

Indians were certain and celebrations had begun when the third umpire ruled the batsman out.

However, third umpire Bruce Oxenford had pressed the wrong button and soon there was this unusual scene of both onfield umpires, Steve Davis and Billy Bowden running behind the departing Hussey and politely escorting him back to the crease.

A livid Dhoni had some pointed remarks to make to Bowden, the square leg umpire who had referred the decision to third umpire. Mike Hussey at this stage was on 1 and Australia were 119 for 3 in the 29th over.

Teams (from):

Australia: Ricky Ponting (c) David Warner (vc), George Bailey, Daniel Christian, Xavier Doherty, Peter Forrest, Ben Hilfenhaus, Jon Holland, Dave Hussey, Mike Hussey, Brett Lee, Clint McKay, Mitchell Starc and Matthew Wade.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c), Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, Vinay Kumar, Zaheer Khan and Umesh Yadav.

Umpires: Brent Bowden (New Zealand) and Steve Davis (Aus)

Third umpire: Bruce Oxenford (Aus)

Match referee: Andy Pycroft (Zim)