Johnson leads Australia rout of India

Seamer Mitchell Johnson claimed his first five-wicket haul in one-day internationals to lead Australia to a crushing nine-wicket victory over India in the fifth match of the series on Thursday.

The 25-year-old took 5-26 in a display of remarkable swing bowling to bundle the hosts out for 148 in 39.4 overs.

Adam Gilchrist, who held six catches behind the stumps, hit a magnificent 79 not out, including seven fours and four sixes, as Australia reached 149-1 in 25.5 overs to take a 3-1 lead in the seven-match series.

Left-armer Johnson took the wickets of Yuvraj Singh (1), Robin Uthappa (5) and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (4) in a deadly opening spell to leave the hosts reeling at 43-5 by the 10th over after opting to bat.

Man-of-the-match Johnson snared Irfan Pathan (26) and Murali Kartik (0) in a fine second spell after fast bowler Brett Lee had dismissed Sachin Tendulkar for 47.

“We just wanted to execute things as well as we could and put their batsmen under pressure,” Australian captain Ricky Ponting said.

Tendulkar, playing his 400th one-day international, struck nine boundaries in his 73-ball knock and put on 49 for the sixth wicket before Lee had him caught behind with a delightful outswinger.

Tendulkar became the second player after Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya to play 400 one-dayers.

Majestic drives

India opener Saurav Ganguly was run out for nought in the first over after being sent back by Tendulkar, who began shakily but went on to play some majestic drives.

Dravid fell first ball lbw to Lee before Johnson had the in-form Yuvraj caught behind off an inside edge for the first of Gilchrist’s six catches, a record-equalling feat the wicketkeeper, achieved for the fifth time.

Uthappa was trapped lbw and Dhoni gloved one behind down the leg side.

“When we got that run out [Ganguly] and Dravid out immediately we just sent India on the back foot straightaway,” Ponting said.

A streaky 41-run stand between the last-wicket pair of Zaheer Khan (28) and Rudra Pratap Singh (12 not out) helped take the total near the 150-run mark.

Left-hander Gilchrist hit his 51st one-day fifty and was involved in two half-century stands to power Australia to victory on a pitch that helped the spinners.

Gilchrist, who faced 77 balls, put on 54 with Matthew Hayden (29) to give the side a sound start against the spin duo of Harbhajan Singh, who opened the bowling, and left-armer Murali Kartik, who was introduced in the eighth over.

Hayden was forced to use a runner after suffering from a hip injury while taking a run early in the innings.

“I asked him how he was, coming off the field, he said he’ll be fine,” Ponting said.

Gilchrist lashed Kartik for three sixes in an over and he and Ponting (39) guided their side to victory with an unbroken stand of 95.

“Apart from the toss everything went wrong,” Dhoni said.

The opening match of the series was washed out and the sixth game will be played on Sunday.—Reuters


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