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19th-Jan-2015

Australia beat India by 4 wickets in a close finish

By Agency

Despite a defeat at Australia's hands in their opening game of the Carlton Mid Tri-series, India's bowlers impressed though left it too late to come back before losing the game by four wickets at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.
Match 2 of the Carlton Mid Tri-series was set up for a close finish as India bowled tightly and struck quick blows in the end, but Aaron Finch's 96, Steven Smith's 47 and their 101-run stand had done enough damage to ensure Australia's second win in a row.
India, deciding to bat, reached 267 for 8 thanks to Rohit Sharma (138) and Suresh Raina's (51) partnership of 126 runs, which helped the visitors recover from a precarious 59 for 3. But they were at least 15-20 runs short in the end as Australia's disciplined death-over bowling restricted India's stroke-play.
Rohit-Raina gave India more than a chance to post a total close to 300 but as soon as Raina fell after scoring his half-century, India lost their way.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni was just not his usual self as he struggled to get the ball away in the later stages of the game and once Starc got rid of the Indian captain, it was always going to be a daunting task for the Indians to get close to 300.
Axar Patel and Bhuvneshwar Kumar did not trouble the scorers as India lost wickets in clusters which got the hosts right on top after India's good recovery.
Rohit soon departed and Ashwin could only extend India's score to 267 for 8 at the end of 50 overs.
Starc was the pick of the bowlers for the Aussies, picking up his career best figures of 6 for 43 while Shane Watson was economical in his spell.
GS Sandhu, who has roots in India, made his debut and picked up the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane.
Finch and David Warner then came out attacking to put up 51 in 9.1 overs, after which Shane Watson (41) and Smith (47) ensured Australia didn't lose way in run-chase.
India came back strongly after lack of discipline from the pacers at the start of Australia innings, except Bhuvneshwar Kumar who bowled a spell of 1 for 44 in 9.5 overs. Yadav, who gave away 12 runs in his first over, came back well to bowl with pace and accuracy in the end. He finished with figures of 2 for 55.
James Faulkner (9*) and Brad Haddin (13*) held their nerves in the dying stages to finish the game with an over to spare.
Australia, with two wins and a bonus point are leading the points table, followed by India and England.
India will be up against England in their next match, to be played in Brisbane on Tuesday.