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7th ODI: India v Australia at Mumbai, Oct 17, 2007

Murali Kartik

Murali Kartik sustained an injury during fielding practice on the eve of the final ODI in Mumbai and very nearly didn't play. He got hit on the top of his right thumb and nursed a swollen finger through the night. Even on the morning of the match, his participation remained in doubt but, in the end, he pulled through. And how.

As has been the trend in the series, India's fast-bowlers copped a hammering with the new ball. Zaheer Khan had dismissed Michael Clarke with the first ball of the match but thereafter, Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist added 60 runs in 9.1 overs. Kartik was brought on in the 18th over with Australia on 108 for 2 and immediately pulled back the run-rate.

He began with a maiden and in his second over he dismissed Brad Hodge caught at slip and had Andrew Symonds caught at short cover the very next ball. Australia had slid from 108 for 2 to 117 for 4 and Kartik had figures of 2-2-0-2 at one stage.

Kartik varied his pace splendidly. He tossed the ball up, gave it a rip and got it to dip on the batsmen, beating them in the air. He mixed his pace up as well and bowled a mixed bag of conventional left-arm spin, the flighted slower one, and the arm ball which he used to trap Brad Haddin leg before.

In the 32nd over, Kartik delivered a crippling blow to Australia's innings. He followed up the wicket of Haddin by dismissing Brett Lee and Brad Hogg off the fourth and fifth deliveries to be on a hat-trick for the second time in the match. He also picked up the wicket of the aggressive James hopes and finished with 6 for 27 off ten overs the best figures for an Indian against Australia.

Kartik's work, however, was not done. India were botching up their run-chase when he strode to the middle to join Zaheer Khan with India on 143 for 8, needing 51 runs to win. Kartik played and missed several times and was lucky to survive a caught behind appeal against Lee. He managed to hang on and even steered three fours towards third man as India inched towards the target. Kartik shared an unbeaten 51-run stand with Zaheer and was on strike when the winning runs were scored four leg byes off Mitchell Johnson to take India to a two-wicket victory.

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