MS Dhoni fails to lead his team to victory
AN EXTRAORDINARY switch-hit six from David Warner and a Matt Wade half century fired Australia to a 31-run victory over India in the first of two Twenty20 matches today.
Australia’s tally of 171 for four proved too tough a target for an India team hoping for a turnaround in fortunes after suffering a 4-0 hammering in the Test series and the tourists managed just 140 for six in the rain-delayed contest.
Warner took his time to get started before taking off with 18 runs in the third over, including a remarkable six when, with the ball in the air, he switched from his normal left-handed stance to club it over the boundary right-handed.
The Test opener skied the ball to Suresh Raina at extra cover to depart for 25 in the next over but debutant wicketkeeper Wade took up the mantle to hit 72 in 43 balls and anchor the Australian innings.
While Australia captain George Bailey was making his international debut, his bowling unit was chock full of experience and 40-year-old Brad Hogg, Brett Lee and David Hussey all got among the wickets to disrupt the Indian run chase.
Gautam Gambhir (20) and Virat Kohli (22) both got starts but it was only when skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (48 not out) and Ravi Ashwin (15 not out) came together for the seventh wicket that the Indians really took the game to the hosts.
It was too little, too late, however, and India’s travails on their travels were destined to continue at least until the second Twenty20 match in Melbourne on Friday (February 3).
Despite the wet weather, nearly 60,000 fans turned out for the first international cricket match at Sydney’s Olympic stadium, which hopes to host matches at the 50-over World Cup in 2015.
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