Kartik salvages India's pride
Oct 18: Kartik's sixer with the ball pips Aussies to the post in the last match of the series
Left arm spinner Murali Kartik's all-round performance helped India beat Australia by two wickets and salvaged India's pride in a nerve-wracking seventh and final one-day international played at the Wankhade stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday.
First, Kartik bowled superbly to come up with a magical figures of six for 27 to contain Australia for 193 in 41.3 overs and, then, added an unbeaten 52-run partnership with Zaheer Khan for the ninth-wicket to seal the victory for the Indians.
The 31-year-old Kartik remained unbeaten on 21, but the bigger achievement was capturing half-a-dozen wickets and bowled out Aussies for the first time in the series under 50 overs on a surface, which seamed and in the conditions where the ball swung throughout.
Australia claimed the series 4-2 with the opening match washed out in Bangalore but last night the Indians took some of the shine off the touring side and restore some confidence of the team for them upcoming Pakistan series at home.
India left out former captain Rahul Dravid because of his lack of form before skipper Ricky Ponting proceeded to give Australia a flying start with a classy 57.
Earlier Ponting's decision for opting to bat in a day- night match turned the table on him, as Michael Clarke was plumb first ball, but though Zaheer did little wrong, RP Singh started poorly at the other end, conceding four wides in his opening over.
Ponting was ruthless while Adam Gilchrist struggled as the ball moved around. Zaheer was denied a second wicket as Gilchrist, on 2, edged one toward the slips. Uthappa could only get his fingertips to it. After a sedate start by his standards, Gilchrist was finding some touch with two fours in Pathan's opening over but he subsequently slashed one and Harbhajan took a fine catch at third man.
Dhoni opted for his spinners and Kartik delivered. RP Singh also played his part with the crucial wicket of Ponting, coming round the wicket to induce an edge.
If Kartik's first double-whammy put India in charge, the second killed off Australian hopes of a large total. Brad Haddin, dropped moments earlier by Zaheer at deep midwicket, was trapped in front by the arm ball before Brad Hogg and Lee fell to the fourth and fifth balls of the over.
"It was nice to get six wickets (for 27 runs), it doesn't happen every day," man of the match Kartik said after the match.
"At one point they were going great guns," added Kartik. "The way Ponting and Gilchrist were batting it was looking like the wicket was very easy."
In reply, Australia's pace bowlers came up to unsettle India's top order, before a defiant 65-run partnership between Robin Uthappa and Harbhajan Singh gave India some hope. Robin Uthappa scored a fine 47 to bring India back into the game
Lee bowled at fearsome pace, but if anything, India's plight only worsened with the introduction of Nathan Bracken's medium pace. Showing superb control of swing and seam, Bracken had Yuvraj Singh edging behind before slanting one away from Mahendra Singh Dhoni to get the same result.
However, it was a dazzling 52-run stand between Kartik and Zaheer Khan that gave India a consolation win in the series.
India at one stage is at 64 for 6, with only the Uthappa left of the top order but his partnership with Harbhajan spared a few blushes, before Michael Clarke and Johnson removed that pair.
Zaheer, however, whacked Brett Lee for a straight six, and when Kartik edged one between the wicketkeeper and slip for four. Four leg byes off Mitchell Johnson settled it with four overs to spare, and fittingly, it was Kartik who was on strike.
The winning runs came from four leg byes off Kartik's foot. Australia completes their tour of India with a one-off Twenty20 match at the Brabourne Stadium on Saturday. The Australians will surely come out all cylinders firing to prove that they are the World champions of the game in every manner, after losing to India in the Twenty20 World Cup semifinals last month.
Read More: Australia | Mumbai Indians | Mumbai | Bangalore Rural | Palia Jagmohan Singh | Marui Sahai Singh | Puremanbhawan Singh | Hamjapur Pathan | Pure Wade Singh | Katra Gulab Singh | Sarai Murar Singh | Kota Shiv Pratap Singh | Gularia B Singh | Mainthna Inder Singh | B-seam Colly | Murali | Dhoni | Kartik Choupathi | Pathan Khali So | Mural | Yuvraj Singh Reincarnated | Rahul Dravid | Mahendra Singh Dhoni
CONG LEADER KILLED, PARTY CHIEF ABDUCTED IN NAXAL ATTACK IN CG
May 25, 2013 at 9:44 PM
LAW TO CHECK MALPRACTICES IN SPORTS TO COME SOON - SIBAL
May 25, 2013 at 9:33 PM
KASHMIR___S COOL BREEZE GIVES RESPITE TO TOURIST
May 25, 2013 at 9:32 PM