Tailenders lead India to 2-wkt win

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/m/muralikartik_ap.jpg' class='caption'> An unbeaten 52-run partnership between Zaheer Khan and Murali Kartik gave India a tense two-wicket win in the final one dayer against Australia at Mumbai o

Updated: October 22, 2007 17:29 IST
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An unbeaten 52-run partnership between Zaheer Khan and Murali Kartik gave India a tense two-wicket win in the final one dayer against Australia at Mumbai on Wednesday.

Andrew Symonds was named Man of the Series for his magnificent run with the bat and Kartik was adjudged Man of the Match. Australia take the Future Cup 4-2.

Chasing 194, India were home with four overs to spare with Zaheer unbeaten on 31 and Kartik 21 not out.

Kartik was the hero with the ball, picking up a career-best 6 for 27 as India nipped out the last eight wickets for 76 runs and keeping Australia to 193 in 41.3 overs.

Kartik's 6 for 27 are the best figures ever by a left-arm spinner in ODIs, beating Sanath Jayasuriya's 6 for 29 against England in Moratuwa in 1992-93.

In reply Australia pacers were excellent with the new ball, reducing India to 76 for three. But a brilliant Robin Uthappa was upto the challenge and kept things in check with a classy 47 before Kartik and Zaheer held their nerve to seal the deal in 46 overs.

Earlier, like has been a norm in the series, India's chase at Mumbai was no different with Sourav Ganguly falling for a duck in the second over. Ganguly was all at sea as he got a thick outside edge through to Gilchrist.

Twelve balls later, Karthik took a walk back to the pavilion for the same score as Mitchell Johnson's twin strike reduced India to eight for two.

Sachin Tendulkar was looking good during his 36-ball stay at the crease for 21 before Brett Lee clipped him and India slumped into further trouble with the scoreboard reading 38 for three in 10.2 overs. He put up 30 runs along with Yuvraj Singh for the third wicket.

Soon after, Nathan Bracken then got into the act to remove Yuvraj Singh (15) and MS Dhoni (5) in quick succession to leave India wobbling at 63 for five.

Earlier, Australia was bowled out for 193 in 41.3 overs after electing to bat.

A fired up Zaheer Khan trapped Micheal Clarke on the first delivery of the match to give India an early breakthrough. This was Clarke's second consecutive first-ball duck in the series.

Ricky Ponting, who came in earlier than usual, went on the attack mode and along with Adam Gilchrist put up a 60-run partnership for the second wicket.

The duo scored briskly and were looking dangerous when Gilchrist played a wild slash and paid the price for it. He was caught by Harbhajan Singh for 19 runs off Irfan Pathan after a blistering start. Earlier, he got a reprieve when he was dropped on two by Robin Uthappa off Zaheer.

Ponting then hit a fluent half century - his 63rd in ODIs - and shared a 57-run partnership with Hodge to boost Australia.

Just when it seemed that the visitors were once enroute to a big total, Murali Kartik struck twice in two balls to pull things back for India. Kartik snared Hodge, who looked stratchy against spinners for 16 and Symonds, the hero of the last match for a golden duck.

After Kartik's twin strike took the edge off Australia's batting, RP Singh had Ponting caught behind for 57 runs, which came off 78 deliveries and included nine boundaries, to dent Australia further.

James Hopes and Brad Haddin then struck together for 33 runs before Kartik took three wickets in the 32nd over to send the Aussie innings into a tailspin. Haddin (19), Brag Hogg (0) and Brett Lee (0) fell in the span of five deliveries as Austalia were reduced to 162 for eight.

Kartik, who was on a hattrick on two ocassions in the innings, failed to achieve the feat.

Rahul Dravid was dropped and he was replaced by Dinesh Karthik. Sreesanth was also being given the miss. RP singh took his place.

Dravid has averaged just over 10 in his 6 innings against Australia in this series including 2 ducks.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said at the toss that Rahul Dravid had been 'rested'.

Australia were unchanged from the previous game. Matthew Hayden had not recovered from his hip injury.


Australia: Adam Gilchrist, Brad Haddin, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Brad Hodge, Andrew Symonds, Brad Hogg, James Hopes, Brett Lee, Nathan Bracken, Mitchell Johnson.

India: Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Dinesh Karthik, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Robin Uthappa, Irfan Pathan, Murali Kartik, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, RP Singh.

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