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India vs Australia, CB Series, 1ST Final

India scored a stylish six-wicket win against Australia in the 1st final of the CB Series played at SCG (Sydney Cricket Ground) on Sunday, 2nd March, 2008. In a match where individual efforts ruled the roost, Australia was made to bear the brunt of Tendulkar's raw power with the bat, which earned India a 1-0 lead in the CB Series finals. Setting up a competitive target of 240 for India, Australia failed to deliver the goods in the Indian innings and messed up its chances in the opening finals.

Getting lucky with the toss, Australia chose to go in with the bat but had to face early blues with Gilchrist, Ponting and Clarke departing for single digit scores. Hayden and Symonds took charge of the situation from here on, setting up nothing less than a century-stand, which laid a foundation for Australia to built upon. For India, it was Harbhajan Singh, who provided the much-needed break with the wickets of Hayden and Symonds. Aussies decided they could do with a couple of extra partnerships and executed the plan well with Hussey and Hopes coming up with a 38-run stand followed by another 39-run partnership between Hussey and Hogg after Hopes' fall. It was a well-timed run-out effort from Dhoni and Pathan, which sent Hussey packing to the advantage of visitors. Except for Pathan, with exceptionally poor figures of 63/1, Indian bowlers did a fine job on the whole, keeping Australia on leash and finally restricting them to the cricket score of 239 runs for 8 wickets in the allotted quota of 50 overs.

Given the Australian bowling potential and the reputation of Sydney for hosting a too many competitive low-scoring matches, Australia did not seem to have a real cause for worry and things seemed pretty much in balance. India started off with a fine half-century stand for the opening wicket before Hussey took a classic diving catch off Hopes to eliminate Uthappa. A couple of more wickets followed in quick succession in the form of Gambhir and Yuvraj, making the Indian scorecard read 87 runs for 3 wickets. Judging the situation well, Tendulkar and Rohit struck the cord of perfect harmony next to combine aggression and calculated judgment in just the right proportion to see India off the threat of giving in to another cricketing debacle. The partnership proved too much for the Australians, who looked desperate to find their way back in the game, as Tendulkar kept calling all the shots at one end while Rohit provided the perfect balance at the other end with his determined yet cautious approach. By the time Hopes could get rid of Rohit, the damage had already been inflicted. To make the occasion look picture-perfect, skipper stepped in to finish off things in style with Tendulkar celebrating another classic unbeaten century effort, which saw India home with a memorable six-wicket victory against Australia. With India placed in the driver's seat in the finals of CB Series, Australia must have learnt a few things after conceding its second consecutive loss in the series, which they would certainly not like to become a trend.

Last Updated on 24 August 2012