Lee fires Aussies into final
Kuala Lumpur, September 22:
Fast bowler Brett Lee took five wickets as Australia defeated India by 18 runs to book its place in a tri-series final.
Lee grabbed his sixth five-wicket haul after Australia went through a middle order collapse, including three run outs. Opener Matthew Hayden made 54 runs and Brad Haddin had 46 to lead Australia to its score of 213 in 48.1 overs.
India made a poor start to its innings, losing its top four wickets for 50 runs before left-handed batsman Dinesh Mongia raised hopes with an unbeaten 63 in a 62-run, sixth wicket partnership Mahendra Singh Dhoni. But once Dhoni fell for 23, the remaining batting lineup collapsed and India was all out for 195 in 43.5 overs.
Australia will now play West Indies in the final on Sunday.
Clark took two wickets for 36 runs in eight overs. Lee was the pick of the Australian bowlers, removing openers Sachin Tendulkar (4) and Virender Sehwag (10) in his first spell. Tendulkar was caught at point trying to steer a rising delivery while Sehwag was bowled.
Lee returned later to remove Dhoni before making short work of the tailenders, comprising Rudra Pratap Singh and Munaf Patel, the last man to go. Lee finished with 5-38 in 8.5 overs. Only Mongia stood in the way of an Australian victory, coming in at No 5 after the fall of Rahul Dravid (7) who was out to Clark in the same over that he removed Mohammed Kaif (21). Mongia’s 90-ball innings contained five fours.
India, asked to bowl first after Australia captain Ricky Ponting won the toss at Kinrara Oval, fielded magnificently, while five bowlers shared the spoils headed by Ajit Agarkar’s 2-44 runs in eight overs. Australia’s running between the wickets was disastrous as it lost three wickets to run outs and survived two more, including that of wicketkeeper batsman Haddin when he was on one run.
Australia crumbled from 36 for no loss to 117 for six before Haddin teamed up with Brad Hogg to repair the damage after the middle-order failure with a 77-run partnership for the seventh wicket. Haddin’s knock included four sixes and one four, which he hit one delivery before he was caught behind while trying another big hit.
M Hayden run out 54
S Katich c Raina b Agarkar 9
R Ponting c Agarkar b Patel 4
D Martyn run out 19
A Symonds lbw b Mongia 2
M Hussey c Dravid b Harbhajan 13
B Haddin c Dhoni b Rudra 46
B Hogg run out 38
B Lee c Sehwag b Rudra 7
S Clark b Agarkar 2
G McGrath not out 0
Extras: 19 (6lb, 9w, 4nb)
Total: 213 (48.1 overs)
FoW: 1-36, 2-49, 3-87, 4-97, 5-97, 6-117, 7-194,
India bowling: Agarkar 8-0-44-2, Patel 9-1-32-1, Rudra 9.1-1-43-2, Harbhajan 10-2-24-1,
Mongia 9-0-43-1, Sehwag 3-0-21-0
V Sehwag b Lee 10
S Tendulkar c Hussey b Lee 4
M Kaif c & b Clark 21
R Dravid lbw b Clark 7
D Mongia not out 63
S Raina b Hogg 26
M Dhoni c Martyn b Lee 23
A Agarkar lbw b Hogg 9
H Singh c Haddin b Symonds 0
R Singh c Hussey b Lee 4
M Patel c Symonds b Lee 1
Extras: 27 (7lb, 16w, nb4)
Total: 195 (43.5 overs)
FoW: 1-7, 2-20, 3-47, 4-50, 5-96, 6-158, 7-184,
Australia bowling: Lee 8.5-0-38-5,
McGrath 8-1-25-0, Clark 8-0-36-2,
Symonds 9-0-41-1, Hogg 10-0-48-2