Dhoni and Yuvraj see India through to 2-1 series

New Delhi, November 01: Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh made light of a top-order slump to pace India to a comfortable six-wicket victory in the third one-dayer against Australia at the dew-drenched Ferozeshah Kotla here Saturday.

Chasing a competitive 230-run target on a difficult slow and low pitch, India lost three quick wickets before Yuvraj (78 off 96 balls) and Dhoni (71 not out off 95 balls) put on a match-winning 148-run partnership to see the hosts home with ten balls to spare.

The back-to-back victories at Nagpur and here give India a 2-1 lead in the seven-match series.

The Indian bowlers paved the way for the victory after skipper Ricky Ponting’s decision to bat first backfired. At Nagpur he put India in hoping the dew would aid them but it didn’t. And here he gambled with dew again and made life difficult for his bowlers under the lights.

Australia managed a reasonable 229 for five as the innings revolved around Michael Hussey (81), his third consecutive half century, and Ponting, who opened the innings for the second time in his career, took 92 balls to carefully compile 59 runs.

The Indian chase began positively, Sachin Tendulkar cracking Mitchell Johnson for two fours in the first over and seemed to be taking charge of the innings as Virender Sehwag struggled to get going.

The Australian pacers tightened the screws and the next four of the Indian innings came in the ninth over off Sehwag’s blade. Two balls later Sehwag’s middle stump went for a toss as Johnson brought one back to crash through his defence.

Johnson was again in the thick of things when his sharp throw found Tendulkar short of crease. Gautam Gambhir, who had earlier in the day left the field struck on the neck by a Ponting pull, was the next to be dismissed as Nathan Hauritz got one to turn sharply to take the off-stump. India were in deep trouble with three wickets down for 53 runs.

Yuvraj and Dhoni then did an admirable repair job, eschewing aggressive instincts and rotating strike with singles.

Dhoni, who had hit 124 at Nagpur, played the role of sheet anchor while Yuvraj dispatched the loose balls to the ropes.

Yuvraj cut loose in the 34th over, clobbering debutant Moises Henriques for a six and a four, timing the strokes beautifully.

In the next over, Adam Voges was at the receiving end as Yuvraj struck him for a four and a six. The capacity crowd suddenly came alive and had something to cheer for. They roared at every Yuvraj strike, eight fours and two sixes to be precise.

It seemed that the sudden flurry of strokes would soon see India closing the match, but all of a sudden the runs slowed to a trickle.

Henriques got his revenge when he trapped Yuvraj lbw with India still requiring 29 off 36 balls.

India took the batting power play and Dhoni stayed firm and used the field restrictions to hit powerful strokes. It was all over soon without any hiccups.

Earlier, Indian spinners got good purchase from the slow Kotla track. They completely dominated in the middle overs, giving nothing away to the Australian batsmen. Ravindra Jadeja was the pick of the bowler taking two wickets for 41 in nine overs.

Ponting and Watson were watchful in the beginning, not taking any unnecessary risk, and 41 runs came from the first 10 overs. Praveen Kumar kept them on a tight leash and his fine opening spell of four overs costing only 10 runs.

Watson accelerated once he settled down and added 72 runs with Ponting before Yuvraj had him stumped smartly by Dhoni.

Ponting and Hussey were then completely tied down by Jadeja (2-41), Yuvraj (1-30) and Suresh Raina (1-23), exploiting the slow track.

In the 18th over India had a major injury scare when Gautam Gambhir, fielding at short leg, was struck on his neck as he tried to evade a pull from Ponting. Gambhir left the field for medical attention.

Jadeja who was impressive in the first two one-dayers, maintained a steady line and was rewarded when he trapped Ponting lbw. The second wicket stand of 56 runs took 89 balls.

Raina got an inside edge of Cameron White’s bat and Austraia were down to 129 for three. Harbhajan Singh, who was the talking point before the match for not being able to take wickets in the middle overs, dismissed Adam Voges (17) caught by Praveen Kumar in the deep.

From there on Hussey steered the innings, striking three fours and one six. Australia took their batting powerplay in the 45th over, but India managed well to concede only 36 runs in five overs.

he following is the scoreboard of the third One-day international between India and Australia at the Ferozeshah Kotla here Saturday.

Shane Watson st Dhoni b Yuvraj Singh 41

Ricky Ponting lbw b Jadeja 59

Mike Hussey not out 81

Cameron White c Dhoni b Raina 0

Adam Voges c Kumar b Harbhajan Singh 17

Moises Henriques b Jadeja 12

Mitchell Johnson not out 9

Extras: (b 4, lb 3, w 3) 10

Total:( For five wickets in 50 overs) 229

Fall of wickets: 1-72 (Watson, 16.2 overs), 2-128 (Ponting, 31.1), 3-129 (White, 32.4), 4-172 (Voges, 41.5), 5-200 (Henriques, 46.3)


Praveen Kumar 5-1-16-0

Ashish Nehra 9-0-51-0

Ishant Sharma 5-0-24-0

Ravindra Jadeja 9-1-41-2

Harbhajan Singh 10-0-37-1

Yuvraj Singh 8-0-30-1

Suresh Raina 4-0-23-1


Virender Sehwag b Johnson 11

Sachin Tendulkar run out (Johnson) 32

Gautam Gambhir b Hauritz 6

Yuvraj Singh lbw b Henriques 78

Mahendra Singh Dhoni not out 71

Suresh Raina not out 9

Extras (b 4, lb 4, w 14, nb 1) 23

Total (for four wickets in 48.2 overs) 230

Fall of wickets: 1-37 (Sehwag, 8.5 overs), 2-51 (Tendulkar, 13.3), 3-53 (Gambhir, 15.2), 4-201 (Yuvraj, 43.6), 4-201 (Yuvraj Singh, 43.6)


Mitchell Johnson 9.2-2-43-1

Peter Siddle 10-0-41-0

Doug Bollinger 10-0-26-0

Moises Henriques 8-0-51-1

Nathan Hauritz 10-0-48-1

Adam Voges 1-0-13-0

Result: India win by six wickets, take 2-1 lead

Toss: Australia, who chose to bat

Umpires: Sanjay Hazare and Amiesh Saheba

TV umpire: Shavir Tarapore

Match referee: Chris Broad (England)