Brisbane: Riding on Ben Hilfenhaus' maiden five-wicket haul in one-day internationals, Australia bundled out India for 178 to win the seventh match of the tri-series by 110 runs in Brisbane on Sunday. India's chase of 289 was over before it started when they failed to recover from three early strikes. Australia now have 14 points from five matches while India are second in the table with 10 points from five games.
It was again the batting which failed India, particularly the top order. From a scoreline of 36 for 4, only MS Dhoni stood out with a battling 56 as India were handed a heavy defeat. Hilfenhaus, returning to Australia's one-day side after a long gap, finished with career-best figures of 5 for 33 that included the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar (3).
After early wickets, there was no consolidation from the lower-order, other than the stand of 46 between Dhoni and Suresh Raina (28) for the fifth wicket. The Indian batsmen fell prey to some brilliant bowling by Hilfenhaus and Brett Lee (3 for 49) and never recovered from their new-ball strikes.
After electing to bat, Australia got off to a good start as David Warner (43) and Matthew Wade (45) added 70. Wade was dropped by Rohit Sharma on 0 off the second ball of the innings and made the Indians pay, while Michael Hussey enjoyed three reprieves during his game-changing 59 off 52 balls. India had done well to get rid of Warner and Ricky Ponting, but failed to go for the kill.
Wade and newcomer Peter Forrest played watchfully and kept the scoreboard ticking. MS Dhoni made the folly of continuing with fill-in spinners Suresh Raina and Rohit, and even Rohit's dismissal of Wade – who chipped a simple return catch back to the bowler – failed to stop Australia from posting a big total.
Michael Hussey's innings began in bizarre circumstances. On 1, he stretched forward to a delivery from Raina that beat the bat, and Dhoni took off the bails in a flash. The on-field umpires went upstairs, and after replays showed Hussey had dragged his back foot in, the third umpire Bruce Oxenford inexplicably pressed the 'out' button. This mistake was corrected immediately and the on-field umpires called Michael Hussey back.
Hussey was dropped on 13 by Rohit at short midwicket off Raina, and stamped his authority with a 100-run stand with Forrest. Irfan Pathan struck to remove both batsman in the 44th over, but David Hussey and Daniel Christian plundered 110 runs from the last 10 overs. In the 49th over Christian hit four consecutive boundaries off Vinay Kumar, and his unbeaten 30 off 18 balls took his team's score to 288.