India Salvage Some Pride… (News Pics Videos

India wins final ODI in a thrilling match
Video1 Video 2 India pulled off an incredible two-wicket victory relying on the tail-enders to salvage some pride in the seventh and final cricket One-dayer against Australia here on Wednesday night.

In a low-scoring thriller, India first bundled out Australia for a paltry 193 in 41.3 overs, riding on Murali Kartik's career-best six for 27 and then staged a dramatic recovery to overhaul the target with four overs to spare and reduce the margin to 4-2 in the series. The Indians owed their remarkable victory to left-arm spinner Kartik, who produced a mesmerising spell to derail the Australian batting and then was involved in a cheeky 52run unbeaten partnership with Zaheer Khan (31 not out) to guide the team home. (Reuters Photo) The Australians, who have already wrapped up the series, had the Indians tottering at 64 for 6 and it seemed only a matter of time for the inevitable but the game took a dramatic turn with Robin Uthappa (47) leading the recovery. Kartik's career-best haul and unbeaten 21 runs earned him the Man of the Match award.

The seventh wicket pair added 65 runs in 13.1 overs to take the score past the 100-run mark. After Uthappa was out at 129 and Harbhajan Singh (19) on 143, Zaheer and Kartik kept the home team in the hunt and finally steered them home with an unbroken half century stand for the ninth wicket. The determined fight-back by the lower order batsmen came after the Australian bowlers had cut a swathe through the jittery top-order. The cheap dismissals of Sourav Ganguly and Dinesh Karthik, who replaced the out-ofform Rahul Dravid in the eleven, for ducks within the first four overs by Mitchell Johnson set the tone for yet another batting collapse. Both Ganguly and Kartik perished by edging Johnson behind the wicket to Adam Gilchrist who then pouched Yuvraj Singh (15) and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (5) off the other left-arm swing bowler Nathan Bracken to complete his 400th victim in ODIs. In between, Sachin Tendulkar (21) perished dragging Brett Lee on to his stumps, leaving half the side back in the dressing room with only the 18th over in progress for 63 Irfan Pathan followed a run later edging to the slip cordon off James Hopes before Uthappa and Harbhajan showed defiance to take the total past the 100-mark and keep the packed gathering in good cheer. However, once it was broken by left arm slow bowler Michael Clarke, who trapped Uthappa with an arm ball at 129, the end looked near and the match swung further the

Aussies' way when Harbhajan was sent back by Johnson. But Zaheer and Murali Kartik had other ideas as they guided India to a thrilling victory. The meek capitulation by the top order nearly laid to waste a superb spell of slow bowling by Kartik who destroyed the high-flying Australian batting with magical figures of 6 for 27, during which he was on a hat-trick twice. Kartik, who grabbed two wickets off successive balls on two occasions, sent the visitors to their doom in the dead-rubber tie to bring back memories of a similar display against the same opposition in a similar series-winning Test contest almost three years ago. Australia, choosing to bat first on winning the toss, were shot out in only 41.3 overs with 31-year-old Kartik grabbing his first-ever haul of more than three wickets in 33 ODIs, bettering his previous best of 3 for 36 against the West Indies at Jodhpur in November, 2002. The Railways cricketer, recalled to the squad midway through the series at the insistence of captain Dhoni, removed Brad Hodge (16) and Andrew Symonds (0) off successive balls in the last two balls of his second over to bring the Australians down a bit. After being denied a hat-trick in the first ball of his third over, Kartik struck three big blows in his eighth over, off the first, fourth and fifth balls, to get rid off Brad Haddin (19), Brad Hogg and Lee, both for ducks, to leave the tourists gasping at 162 for eight in the 32nd over. Haddin was trapped leg before with an arm ball while Hogg and Lee were caught in the close-in cordon defending sharply spinning deliveries. He added the wicket of James Hopes (22), who was bowled through the gate going back, with his penultimate ball. Kartik, denied a hat-trick for the second time too, claimed his first two wickets to reduce Australia to 117 for four at the end of the three power plays. Australia were a sorry-reading 177 for nine when he ended his spell, but recovered a bit through a 16-run last-wicket stand between Mitchell Johnson (24 not out) and last man Nathan Bracken before R P Singh dismissed the latter and terminated the innings. Kartik made the ball spin and turn on a pitch affording good bounce, but his comrade-atarms in the famous Test victory and capturer of five wickets then, Harbhajan Singh, was a bit unlucky to see Haddin grassed off a skier by Zaheer Khan at wide mid wicket. Aussie captain Ricky Ponting played the lone ranger with authority in making 57 with nine fours while the others fell like a pack of cards.

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