Clinical Aussies trounces cluless Indians

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Kochi, Oct 2: Chasing a gigantic total of 306 runs against Australia, India were skittle out for 222 with 15 balls remaining in the second one-dayer of the Future Cup series at Kochi on Tuesday. The tourists now have a 1-0 lead in the seven-match series. The opening one-dayer was abandoned due to rain at Bangalore on Saturday.

For Australia, Mitchell Johnson struck to bundle up Gautam Gambhir cheaply before Stuart Clarke removed dangerman Sachin Tendulkar for a paltry score of 16. Following Uthappa strike to hit a six off Lee, Sachin slammed a powerful shot, off a no ball, over the roof of the stadium. It took some time to retrieve the ball.

Yuvraj too managed to hit a six, that being the only accomplishment during his 14-minute stay at the crease. He played a clumsy shot off Hopes only to plant an easy catch to Hayden at short cover.

Uthappa, who looked in good stead, hit four boundaries and two sixes before being trapped by Clarke for 41. Former skipper Rahul Dravid, too, failed in rescuing his team from sliding into a morass as Johnson pouched a superb catch to dismiss him off Hogg. The batsman hit 31 off 48.

Earlier, it was dejÀ vu of the washed out match at Bangalore, as Australia slalomed to a grand total after a shaky start. From 8 for 2 within three overs, Hayden, Symonds and Haddin shored them up.

Indian seamers gave the team a good start after skipper MS Dhoni won the toss and elected to field. Zaheer Khan claimed the prized wicket of skipper Adam Gilchrist in the last delivery of the maiden over. Sreesanth struck an over later to dismiss Brad Hodge for a meagre score of three.

The bowlers reined the tourists for the next 12 overs, giving just 50 runs while scalping another crucial wicket.

Dhoni did an easy stumping to remove Michael Clarke off Irfan Pathan's delivery. The square leg umpire lifted the finger but, still in doubt, consulted the third umpire and Clarke, who was on his way back, stopped at the boundary to wait for the final decision. The decision was not in the batsman's favour, as he returned for 27.

But Matthew Hayden and Andrew Symonds consolidated by hitting impressive shots en route their crucial 94-run partnership. Pathan broke the partnership by dismissing Hayden for 75.

But Haddin stepped in to continue from where his predecessor left. He bolstered the innings with a 108-run stand with Symonds. The latter scored a brilliant 87 off 83 balls. Following his impressive streak from the opening tie, Haddin remained unbeaten at 87.

India made two changes from the side that played in the first ODI in Bangalore. Robin Uthappa replaced injured Sourav Ganguly while Harbhajan Singh was brought in place of RP Singh, which meant that India opted for two spinners in the match.

The match was delayed due to a wet outfield.

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