MARK WAUGH'S BRILLIANT CENTURY ENSURES AUSTRALIAN VICTORY
Mark Waugh with an elegant 133* and Michael Bevan 33* took Australia past the Indian score of 248 with 4.5 overs to spare. Australia cruised to 249/2 in 45.1 overs for a convincing eight wicket victory to level the series 1-1.
Australia who were 167/2 at the end of 30 overs, never lost focus and sailed past the Indian score without any further hiccups. Though the ball was turning and jumping a bit, the Indian bowlers failed to raise their game a notch as Mark Waugh single-handedly mastered them.
Bevan is an ODI legend who does play well in the middle and latter part of the innings. He is one player who plays at his best in the end, seeing his team through to victory. Today Bevan's job was much easier as Mark Waugh could do nothing wrong. Bevan helped the Aussie cause with a confident 33 not out, which included four strokes past the ropes.
Waugh completed his 18th hundred in ODIs in 98 balls and went on to remain unbeaten on 133. He punctuated his knock with fifteen boundaries and a massive six off Tendulkar. He made batting look so easy as he went about his business in his usual elan. Mark Waugh was named the Man of the Match.
AUSTRALIA TAKES COMMAND AS MARK WAUGH SHINES
Australia were 167/2 at the end of the 30th over with Mark Waugh unbeaten on 94 (91 balls, 13 fours) and Michael Bevan on four. Australia usually wins when Mark Waugh scores a big one, and today Waugh has been in awesome touch.
There was high drama in the 30th over, Darren Lehmann (1) pushed a ball to mid-wicket and charged down for a quick single, there was a mix-up and the keeper disturbed the stumps with both the batsmen stranded in the middle of the pitch. Lehmann just walked off the ground and Ganguly asked for a TV replay to ensure that it was Mark Waugh who got out. The umpires were talked into calling for the replay, which did not give any conclusive evidence. Umpires couldn't give a batsman out on the basis of the shadows.
In the 19th over, bowled by Harbhajan Singh, Hayden lofted him straight, high and handsome for a massive six to bring up the 100-partnership for the first wicket. In the same over, Mark Waugh spanked a square cut into the point fence to reach his 50th ODI fifty. His fifty runs came in as many balls faced.
Ganguly had to bring himself and Tendulkar into the attack in an effort to get the breakthrough. Hayden rocked onto his back foot and pulled Tendulkar through mid-wicket for a four to get to his half century. Hayden faced 67 balls to get to his fifty.
Mark Waugh and Hayden played sensibly picking up the singles and twos in accumulating runs. Waugh's good form and confidence was evident when he played an exquisite late cut off Ganguly and the ball sped to the third man fence.
Hayden went for a big shot off the bowling of Zaheer Khan and all he could do was send the ball high in the air; the ball came down straight into the hands of Ganguly. Hayden made 57 runs off 81 balls, which included a six and five hits past the ropes.
AUSTRALIA MAKES A STEADY START, 80/0 AFTER 15 OVERS
Australia required to make 249 for a victory in 50 overs have made a good start and are 80/0 after 15 overs. Mark Waugh is unbeaten on 39 (41 balls, 6 fours) and Matthew Hayden is on 31 (49 balls, 4 fours).
Australia started their run chase rather cautiously making sure that they did not lose early wickets. Mark Waugh square drove Srinath in the third over for a four and in the following over guided Zaheer Khan through slips for another to step up the scoring.
Matthew Hayden took nine balls to get off his mark, square cutting Srinath to the point fence. He followed that by pulling Zaheer Khan through mid-wicket for another four in the sixth over.
Mark Waugh caressed a stroke through mid-wicket for four off the bowling of Zaheer Khan; just a flick of the wrists and the ball sped to the fence. Hayden played a cracking square cut to the fence off the bowling of Srinath in the ninth over and the Australians were slowly taking control of their run chase.
Ganguly brought Harbhajan Singh into the attack in the 11th over. Immediately he had Hayden in a lot of trouble, beating the bat with spin and bounce. Joshi was introduced in the following over and Mark Waugh despatched him to the mid-wicket fence in grand style.
In the 13th over India had a big chance to dismiss Mark Waugh who was looking for a quick single. Dinesh Mongia picked the ball up and threw it too high to Dahiya and Waugh had enough time to make it back to his crease.
Mark Waugh stamped his authority as he smashed a square drive off Joshi and then lofted Harbhajan Singh high over mid-wicket, the ball bounced once and crashed into the fence.
HEMANG BADANI (100) POWERS INDIA TO 248/9
Hemang Badani's cracking maiden century (100) took India to a challenging score of 248/9 in 50 overs. Badani's brilliance with the bat produced ten boundaries and two sixes off 98 balls, before holing out to Lehmann at long-on off the bowling of Bracken in the 49th over.
Earlier, VVS Laxman and Hemang Badani added 93 runs for the fourth wicket in 20.2 overs. In the 35th over of the Indian innings, Badani played Fleming to Steve Waugh at mid-wicket and refused to go for the run straight away, Laxman went charging down for the single and had to go back, but could not beat the throw. Laxman made 51 off 86 balls with the help of three boundaries.
Dinesh Mongia (2) lasted only for 7 balls before he got involved in a mix-up and was run out. Mongia played it behind square on the off side, Badani made a dash to the striker's end for the single, while Mongia was looking at the fielder Mark Waugh who made a diving stop. But a poor throw to the keeper coaxed Mongia into running for the single; Steve Waugh stopped the overthrow and passed it on to Fleming who did the rest at the bowler's end.
In the 38th over, Badani gave Symonds the charge and lofted the ball to long-on. The ever-reliable Michael Bevan got under the simplest of catches and in a momentary loss of concentration spilled it down. Vijay Dahiya (2) who smashed a sparkling fifty in the first match played a rash shot off Fleming to Bracken at long-on. The catch was taken and India were reduced to 162/6 in the 39th over.
Damien Martyn was brought back into the attack in the 42nd over. His two overs cost Australia 21 runs as he finished with the figures of 7-0-41-0. Badani made a meal of Martyn's bowling striking him for a huge six and then flaying him through point for four. Bracken went for 13 runs in the 45th over of the innings but came back strongly to dismiss Joshi (19), caught brilliantly by Mark Waugh, running around at deep point to take the skier. Joshi helped Badani add 59 runs in eight overs.
Zaheer Khan (15) played couple of heaves to the boundary before being yorked by McGrath in the last over. Aussie fielding was not of the highest order as they gave away easy runs. It will take an inspired effort from their batsmen to get past the Indian score.
LAXMAN AND BADANI TAKE INDIA TO 130/3 IN 30 OVERS
India who were struggling at 60/3 at the end of the 15th over, have made steady progress and added 70 runs in the following fifteen overs. VVS Laxman (41*) has played a very responsible knock, not going for flashy strokes and relying on accumulating runs. He has struck three boundaries so far off 73 balls.
Hemang Badani has looked more aggressive of the two batsmen, striking the ball past the ropes five times. His unbeaten 36 has come off 40 balls and he looks good for a big score. Badani survived a big appeal for caught behind off the bowling of Nathan Bracken (the ball flicking his thigh) and responded with an astonishing cracking straight drive for four.
Australia have been bowling with their part time bowlers Martyn, Symonds and Mark Waugh. Their fielding has been a bit rusty, giving away easy runs to the batsmen. The listless effort on the ground prompted Mark Waugh to hurl the ball hard into the pitch in disgust after completing an over.
With Laxman and Badani piling up the runs, Steve Waugh will have to turn to his frontline bowlers to break the flourishing partnership.
INDIA STRUGGLE TO 60/3 AFTER 15 OVERS
Sachin Tendulkar's blitz and the Australian fightback has been the story of the first 15 overs. India have moved to 60/3 at the end of the 15th over. VVS Laxman (10*) and Hemang Badani (0*) are at the crease.
On a placid pitch that is not assisting the pace bowlers by any means, Tendulkar got into the act straightaway, pulling McGrath for a huge six. He later nonchalantly swung McGrath into the mid-wicket fence for a four. Runs flowed from the little master's blade and had McGrath shaking his head in utter disbelief.
Saurav Ganguly’s poor run of form with the bat continues. He had made just four runs, before being bowled by McGrath off the inside edge in the seventh over.
In the following over, Tendulkar pulled a short-pitched delivery from Damien Fleming in the air, straight to Daren Lehmann positioned at mid-wicket; the catch was taken and the Aussies rejoiced at the most valuable wicket in international cricket. Tendulkar made 32 off 29 balls, which included six powerfully struck fours and a six.
Rahul Dravid started with a cracking square drive off Fleming for four. Laxman and Dravid seemed like taking India to a big score when tragedy in the form of a run out struck in the 15th over. Laxman played a shot to Bevan at mid-wicket and took off for a run, seeing the agile Bevan swoop on the ball, he stopped and ran back to his crease, leaving Dravid (13) stranded in the middle.
INDIA WIN TOSS AND ELECT TO BAT FIRST
India have won the toss and elected to bat first in the second One Day International match played against Australia at the Nehru Stadium, Poona.
On a pitch that might take turn later in the day, India has gone in with two changes. Sunil Joshi, the left-arm spinner comes in to the side in place of Ajit Agarkar. Left-handed batsman Dinesh Mongia replaces the injured Virendra Shewag.
Australia have made some serious changes to their team. Darren Lehmann, Andrew Symonds and Nathan Bracken replace Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne and Ian Harvey.
Australia will be keen to win this match and level the series. They will have to bear in mind that India have given themselves a good chance by picking in the extra spinner. Australia will be up against the likes of Harbhajan Singh, Sunil Joshi and Sachin Tendulkar. Dinesh Mongia can also give the ball a tweak with his left-arm orthodox spin. Lehmann and Symonds should give Australia the needed impetus in their middle order.
*SC Ganguly, SR Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, R Dravid, HK Badani, D Mongia, +V Dahiya, J Srinath, SB Joshi, Harbhajan Singh, Z Khan.
ML Hayden, ME Waugh, A Symonds, MG Bevan, DS Lehmann, *SR Waugh, DR Martyn, +AC Gilchrist, NW Bracken, DW Fleming, GD McGrath.
Umpires: I Sivaram, SC Gupta
Third Umpire: CR Mohite
Match Referee: CW Smith