x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Australia clinch series in India

Australia defeat India by six wickets in the sixth One Day International to clinch the seven-match series 4-2.

GAUHATI, INDIA // Pace bowlers Doug Bollinger and Mitchell Johnson ripped through the Indian top order Sunday as Australia took a six-wicket victory and a winning 4-2 lead in the seven-match limited-overs series against India. Bollinger had figures of 5-35 and Johnson claimed 3-39 to bundle India out for 170 in 48 overs in the sixth one-dayer. Australia then reached 172 for the loss of four wickets in 41.5 overs to clinch the series. Man of the match Bollinger and Johnson shared eight wickets as Australia benefited from India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's decision to bat first after winning the toss in the northeastern city of Gauhati. India got off to a torrid start, losing opener Virender Sehwag for four and Gautam Gambhir for a duck in the first over of the day. Johnson, who returned to the Australian lineup after sitting out of the last match, beat Sehwag with an in-swinger to shatter his stumps with his fourth delivery, then knocked out Gambhir's off-stump two balls later. India suffered another setback when Bollinger capitalized on his quick reflexes to snap a return catch and dismiss Sachin Tendulkar for 10. Yuvraj Singh (6) was bowled by Bollinger when the ball bounced off his pads to strike the stumps even as the batsmen tried to knock it away. Suresh Raina became Johnson's third victim by lobbing the ball into the hands of Nathan Hauritz at short mid-on. Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja featured in a cautious 48-run stand for the sixth wicket. Dhoni hit just one boundary off 77 deliveries to reach 24 before being trapped lbw by Bollinger, who bowled Harbhajan Singh for a duck two balls later to reduce India to 75-7. Jadeja top scored with a 103-ball 57 and put on 74 runs for the eighth wicket with Praveen Kumar, who scored an unbeaten 54 off 51 deliveries. Jadeja became Bollinger's fifth victim when he pulled the ball straight to Cameron White at mid-wicket. His watchful knock included six boundaries. Kumar went on to post his maiden half-century, lofting paceman Clint McKay for a straight six and struck seven boundaries to bolster the Indian score before running out of partners as Ashish Nehra (4) and Munaf Patel (0) fell in the space of three deliveries from pace bowler Shane Watson (2-27). Chasing a modest target, Australia lost opener Shaun Marsh early for six, but Watson struck 10 boundaries in scoring run-a-ball 49 and shared a 61-run stand with captain Ponting, who made 25. Both Watson and Ponting fell to offspinner Harbhajan (2-23) in quick succession. Watson top-edged a sweep to Sehwag and Ponting was caught by Raina at leg-slip. Australia was 90-3 when Michael Hussey joined White at the crease. The two put the visitors on course for victory through with a cautious 53-run fourth-wicket stand. White made 25 off 48 balls without hitting a boundary. He was the fourth man out, lbw to part-time offspinner Raina (1-13). Hussey remained unbeaten on 35 from 62 deliveries, while Adam Voges made 23 not out. The seventh and last match will be played in Mumbai on Wednesday. *AP