Monday, February 14, 2011

India begin World Cup-2011 campaign with a bang, beat Australia by 38 runs

Piyush Chawla and Harbhajan Singh spun India to a thumping 38-run win over Australia  in their first warm-up game of the Cricket World Cup in Bangalore on Sunday.

Chawla (4/31) and Harbhajan (3/15) exploited the conditions to perfection and troubled all the Australian batsmen on a turning track at Chinnaswamy Stadium to earn a morale boosting victory for India.

Earlier, Indian batsmen failed to live up to expectations as they were bowled out for 214 in 44.3 overs after electing to bat. Virender Sehwag top-scored with a 56-ball 54 while Yusuf Pathan made a 39-ball 32. None of the other top-order batsmen could make substantial contribute.

Chasing a modest 215 for a win, Australia were cruising at one stage on 118 for two before Chawla and Harbhajan cast a web around Australians to bowl them out for 176 in 37.5 overs in front of a packed crowd.

Surprise inclusion in the World Cup squad, Chawla proved his critics wrong and brought India back into the match with a double strike in consecutive deliveries in the 29th over and took two wickets later to play a huge role in India's victory.

The leg-spinner was a revelation as he extracted big turn from the track and varied his deliveries to unsettle the Australians.
Ponting, who returned to competitive cricket after a finger injury lay-off, top-scored for Australia with a hard-earned 57 that came off 85 balls after opening duo of Shane Watson (33) and Tim Paine (37) had given them a flying start.

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