x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

India's Chawla rips through Australia attack

Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla triggered a dramatic batting collapse as India swept to an impressive 38-run victory over Australia in a World Cup warm-up game at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Brett Lee did the damage to India's batting line-up, supported by the rest of Australia's pace bowling attack.
Brett Lee did the damage to India's batting line-up, supported by the rest of Australia's pace bowling attack.

BANGALORE // Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla triggered a dramatic batting collapse as India swept to an impressive 38-run victory over Australia in a World Cup warm-up game at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Chawla ripped through the Australian middle order with four for 31 after Ricky Ponting's side had looked on course for a comfortable win. Experienced off-spinner Harbhajan Singh chipped in with three for 15 as Australia was bowled out for only 176 in 37.5 overs in reply to India's 214.

Ponting compiled a neat 57 but the Australian captain's effort was not enough on a pitch that provided plenty of turn for spin bowlers in the second innings.

Brett Lee was among the wicket takers as Australia's pace bowlers made good use of a lively pitch to dismiss India for 214 in 44.3 overs earlier in the day.

Lee finished with figures of three for 35 after useful strikes by other seamers, while opener Virender Sehwag top-scored for India with 54 at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

India, who elected to bat first, decided not to use Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan in a match in which all 15 players of the squad could be played with a maximum of 11 allowed to bat.

Sehwag was the only batsman from the top half of the Indian order to give a good account of himself. The lower order proved invaluable, though, as the home side recovered from 138 for eight at one stage.

The opener struck out early and reached his half-century with a huge six to Jason Krejza to move from 48 to 54. But he was out the very next delivery from the off-spinner as he tried a cut shot. Sehwag struck eight fours and that six, but his dismissal at 113 for five broke India's back.

Earlier, fellow opener Gautam Gambhir was caught by Cameron White off left-arm seamer Doug Bollinger for just six while Virat Kohli was looking well set when he played an uppish drive to David Hussey at point off John Hastings and was out for 21.

Left-hander Yuvraj Singh failed to judge the bounce of a short delivery from Mitchell Johnson that reared off and was caught by wicketkeeper Tim Paine for just one run, while captain MS Dhoni was bowled by Hastings for 11.

Suresh Raina, widely tipped to miss out on the starting XI at the World Cup, failed to impress in his 16-ball 12, edging a delivery from Lee to Paine immediately after Sehwag's departure.

Lee also came back to dismiss Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla in successive overs as India struggled at 138 for eight before Yusuf Pathan and Ravichandran Ashwin fought a determined rearguard action.

Pathan, who was dropped by Shane Watson at slip off Johnson when on 13, survived the incisive seam attack and then smashed two sixes off Hussey before holing out in the deep in the same over for 32 off 38 balls.

Ashwin scored an unbeaten 25 off 47 while last-man Ashish Nehra managed 19 useful runs.

Sunday's contest was the first practice game for either side. Australia next plays South Africa in a warm-up fixture here on Tuesday while India takes on New Zealand at Chennai on Wednesday.

The World Cup begins with a game between India and Bangladesh at Dhaka on February 19.