India saved by rain against Australia
by AFP

Ground:Kinrara Academy Oval, Kuala Lumpur
Scorecard:Australia v India
Player:AB Agarkar, Harbhajan Singh, MM Patel, MJ Clarke, SR Watson, MG Johnson
Event:DLF Cup 2006/07

DateLine: 16th September 2006


An on-fire Mitchell Johnson took four wickets in 12 balls before rain rescued India in their DLF Cup one-day match against Australia here Saturday, which was abandoned.


The contest had initially been reduced to 29 overs after rain caused a 90-minute delay. India was 16-0 after five overs in reply to Australia's 244 all out in 49.2 overs when the match was first interrupted.


When they resumed they needed another 154 to win off 24 overs, but it was never going to happen.


They threw away five wickets in the first three overs, four of them to Johnson, a lightening fast bowler touted as the next Brett Lee.


"We probably had the game in the bag before the rain came down. It is a shame the weather ruined it," said Australian captain Ricky Ponting, who paid tribute to Johnson.


"I'm excited by Johnson. He's a bloke with all the right attributes to play for Australia and we saw that tonight."


Rahul Dravid (2) was first to go, trying to loft Johnson over cover but finding Damien Martyn instead.


Irfan Pathan was bowled first ball and in the next over Virender Sehwag was run-out for eight in a disastrous mix up with Sachin Tendulkar.


Sehwag cracked the ball through covers but it pulled up in the soggy outfield. The batsmen ran two and Sehwag set off for the third but Tendulkar wasn't interested, leaving his partner stranded.


Two balls later and Tendulkar (12) joined Sehwag the pavilion, nicking a Johnson delivery to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.


Johnson got his fourth minutes later when Yuvraj Singh edged to a jubilant Brad Hogg for 0 before more rain mercifully ended India's torment and the game was called off.


Johnson ended with 4-11 off four overs and Dravid admitted he was relieved the weather saved them.


"It's frustrating that we couldn't get the full 50 overs but I'm pretty relieved to get away with," he said.


Before the rains came comeback kings Glenn McGrath and Tendulkar had been locked in a fascinating battle.


The match had been billed as a showdown between the pair, both back after lengthy breaks from the game, and McGrath made his intentions clear in his first ball to the master batsman.


He dug it in short and smashed Tendulkar on the helmet. His next ball was unplayable and the showdown was on before rain ended the party prematurely. McGrath didn't bowl again.


Earlier, all-rounder Shane Watson hit a career-best 79 and Michael Clarke helped himself to 64 in Australia's innings.


Watson rattled off 10 fours and two sixes for his highest one-day innings since making his limited overs debut against South Africa in 2002.


But India's bowling was tight, with spinner Harbhajan Singh the pick of the bunch, taking 2-24 off 10 economical overs. Munaf Patel grabbed 3-53.


Under dark skies and with thunder rumbling, India got their breakthrough in the 10th over when Sehwag caught Phil Jaques for 25 when he edged Patel.


Ponting came to the crease and unleashed four boundaries in his 19 before being bagged by Tendulkar at short fine leg as he attempted another big hit off Pathan.


Watson, who was dropped early in his innings, was motoring at the other end, but India's bowlers gave little away and Martyn fell cheaply for four.


Clarke helped Watson keep the scoreboard ticking over before Watson fell, flicking a delivery from Harbhajan Singh to Suresh Raina at midwicket.

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)


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