Hyderabad, Oct 5: Australia badger India with a second successive win in the seven-match Future Cup series at Hyderabad on Friday. Electing to bat, the tourists put a competitive total of 290 runs before wrapping up the opponents for 243 in the third one-dayer.
Earlier, Brett Lee gave the tourists an early breakthrough by trapping Gautam Gambhir for a meagre score of six. Mitchell Johnson then caught Robin Uthappa leg-before for a duck. Lee returned, an over later, to dismiss former skipper Rahul Dravid for nought.
Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh led a partial recovery but India were unable to dominate against Australia's assortment of medium-pace and slow bowlers. Brad Hogg broke the 95-run stand by dismissing Sachin for 43 off 71 balls.
Lee claimed his third wicket of the day in the form of skipper MS Dhoni's dismissal. The wicketkeeper-batsman hit 33 off 37 before returning to the pavilion.
All hopes then rested on Yuvraj Singh, who completed a brillant century but did not find much support from second fiddles.
Young batsman Rohit Sharma, who replaced second off spinner Ramesh Powar, failed to live up to the expectations as he was bundled up for a forgettable score off James Hopes. Next, Brad Hogg trapped Irfan Pathan.
Australia narrowly missed the 300-run mark after skipper Ricky Ponting won the toss and chose to bat in overcast conditions. Openers Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist gave the team a good start with their 76-run stand. The latter was, however, bundled up by Irfan Pathan in the 14th over. The pacer changed his line and length to catch Gilchrist off the guard with a slow and fullish delivery.
The infamous 'Indian butterfingers' worked, yet again, in the opponents' favour as Zaheer failed to convert an excellent opportunity into a wicket. He missed the ball while hitting the stumps in an attempt to dismiss Hayden. The batsman, however, succumbed to a poor delivery off Pathan in the 21st over for the score of 60.
Ponting, too, had a near-death experience as he narrowly missed being stumped by his Indian counterpart in the 20th over. Harbhajan's doosra just missed the glory.
Spinners Harbhajan Singh, Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh justified skipper Dhoni's words by restricting the opponents from going on a run-scoring spree in the middle overs. But the lull was transitory as Andrew Symonds entered the fray to launch a powerful attack after Sreesanth pouched a catch to dismiss Ricky Ponting for 25 off Yuvraj's bowling.
Surprisingly for Australia, who started the match with two boundaries in a row in the maiden over, the first six came as late as in the 39th over and not surprisingly, the shot was a massive one.
In the last six overs Australia lost a flurry of wickets. Zaheer struck in close succession to remove Michael Clarke (59) and Brad Hodge (3). Sreesanth chipped in to remove Andrew Symonds and Hopes in the last over of the innings. Symonds hit 89 off 67 balls before falling to the pacer.
After the first game was abandoned due to rain, Australia won the second by 84 runs to go 1-0 up in the seven-match series. Ponting returned to lead the side after missing the first two games due to a hamstring injury suffered at last month's Twenty20 World Cup.
Reserve stumper Brad Haddin was dropped despite scoring 69 and 87 not out, with top order batsman Brad Hodge retained despite failing to reach double figures in both previous games.