MS Dhoni powered India to a maiden victory in the One Day International against Australia at Adelaide by four wickets in a nerve breaking encounter.
The Kangaroos scored the highest score of their current home season by putting 269 runs on board for the loss of eight wickets in their allotted quota of 50 overs. India chased the target on the fourth ball of the last over for the loss of six wickets.
Gautam Gambhir was declared ’Player of the match’ for his solid batting performance while opening the innings.
The fourth match of the Commonwealth Bank Series 2011-12, was organized at Adelaide Oval on February 12, 2012.
Earlier, Michael Clarke won the toss and elected to bat while Ricky Ponting was sent to open the innings. The poor run of form continued for Ponting as he lasted for just 14 deliveries and scored six runs as the first wicket fell at 14 runs. David Warner and Clarke tried to consolidate but managed 39 runs for the second wicket as the earlier was gone for 18. Clarke added their miseries by leaving the field after the addition of 28 runs in the total at his personal feat of 38.
The debutant Peter Forrest and the limited overs specialist David Hussey consolidated the innings and counter attacked the rival bowling. Forrest achieved his maiden fifty in the very first match in the 32nd over, tried to accelerate but was gone for 66 runs off 83 balls with two sixes and 5 fours. The fourth wicket contributed 98 runs partnership as Daniel Christian joined in with Hussey who took total control of the game.
David Hussy lost his wicket for 72 runs off 76 balls and was the fifth batsman who went back to the pavilion as the score moved to 235 runs. Christian carried on with the task but ran himself out for 39 as the home side managed 269 runs with two wickets in hand at the closure of the 50th over.
Vinay Kumar and Umesh Yadav shared two wickets each and Zaheer Khan chipped in with one wicket.
India initiated the innings with their regular openers Gambhir and Virender Sehwag on a positive note while utilizing all scoring opportunities. They accumulated 52 runs for the first wicket when Sehwag was caught by Hussey off Clint McKay for 20.
The second wicket fell at 90 when the promising Virat Kohli was dismissed cheaply for 18 runs. Gambhir was solid as rock and the young Rohit Sharma assisted him well at the other end. They kept the target in mind while moving the score board and associated valuable 76 runs for the third wicket.
Rohit Sharma was gone at that stage for 33 runs and Gambhir was unlucky to miss his century by eight runs. India was in some sort of trouble at 178 for four wickets in 34.1 overs when Suresh Raina and Dhoni took charge. They boosted the total to 239 in 46.1 overs as Raina was bowled by Xavier Doherty for 38 runs.
All eyes were set on Dhoni for getting 31 runs in the remaining overs with the available batsmen and he kept on charging. India required 13 runs to win the match in the last over from Clint McKay, Dhoni smashed the biggest six of the match on the third ball of the over, two runs from the next ball which was a no ball and pulled the fourth ball for three and earned the much needed victory for the visitors.
He led the team from the front and remained unbeaten on 44 runs as the blue shirts thrashed 270 runs for the loss of six wickets.
McKay was the highest wicket taker with three, Doherty got two and Ryan Harris claimed one wicket.
India won the tense match by four wickets and earned four valuable points and is holding the second spot with eight points as Australia leads with nine after playing three matches each as Sri Lanka has lost the both matches played so far.