Australia v India, 1st Twenty20, Sydney February 1, 2012

Matthew Wade fifty sets up Australia win


Australia 4 for 171 (Wade 72, Hussey 42) beat India 6 for 140 (Dhoni 48*, Hussey 2-4) by 31 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

A punishing 72 from Matthew Wade and telling cameos with bat and ball from David Hussey delivered a 31-run victory for Australia over India in the first Twenty20 international at Stadium Australia in Sydney, which hosted events during the Olympics in 2000.

Watched by a crowd of 59,659, the largest ever for a cricket match in Sydney, Australia's new Twenty20 captain George Bailey enjoyed the winner's plaudits in his first match, just as Dave Gregory had done in the very first Test in 1877 when he was the last Australian to make his debut as captain.

His ingenuity in the field rather contrasted with India's captain, MS Dhoni. In the penultimate over, with the target well out of reach, Dhoni's bat flew from his hands as he attempted to make a defiant swing at Brett Lee. The tour has gone the same way, and it did not improve in the format of the IPL.

At the start of what amounts to a five-match Twenty20 and ODI audition for a more permanent berth behind the stumps in place of Brad Haddin, Wade did his cause no harm with an innings of poise, power and some invention after Dhoni sent the hosts in to bat.

Wade and Hussey pushed Australia to 4 for 171, a steep target on a tacky pitch, before Bailey employed a trio of spinners to devastating effect. Hussey took the figures with 2 for 4 from his two overs, but the recalled 40-year-old Brad Hogg and the Twenty20 debutant Xavier Doherty also helped to sink India's chase after they had made a promising start to be 1 for 47 in the sixth over.

If the chase was to succeed, India's pursuit likely required a sizeable score from Virender Sehwag. He managed one cut that skimmed to the backward point boundary, but the early swing gained by Lee was enough to draw an edge from a bat angled towards mid-on, and Hussey held the sharp chance at slip.

Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli prospered for a time, lifting the visitors to 1 for 47 in the sixth over. Bailey had brought on the spin of Doherty and Hussey to constrict the rate, and the latter made the vital break by coaxing Gambhir to drive to cover.

Next over brought Hogg's introduction and he found enough tweak and variation to cause doubts in the minds of the batsmen, despite their education by spin. Kohli tried to swing him out of the stadium, but found less of the middle of the bat than the toe, and was well held by Warner at long on.

India were now slipping badly, and Hussey added to their disquiet by finding a biting off break that bowled Rohit Sharma off his pads for a golden duck. As the reserve Test batsman on tour, Rohit had waited a long time for that one delivery.

Christian nipped out Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja, all the while supported by Bailey's bright field placements and busy advice from mid-off or cover. Dhoni and Ashwin formed the most notable partnership of the innings, but it served only to decrease the margin of another defeat on tour for the visitors.

Warner had a new opening partner in Wade, and together they set about making a swift start against an opening attack comprising R Ashwin's spin and the swing of Praveen Kumar - much missed during the Test series.

As he had done in Adelaide, Ashwin kept Warner quiet to begin with, the first over going for only two runs. Wade's first boundary was a streaky edge off Praveen, and nine from the first 12 balls was a halting start.

But Warner found his range in the third, starting with an outrageous "switch punch" that sailed over wide long off, or long on depending on one's perspective. He followed up by driving a full toss to the point boundary then swinging another six over Ashwin's head.

The innings now had momentum, but Warner gave it up by miscuing Vinay Kumar and skying a catch to Raina, running back from extra cover. Warner left unhappily, but his replacement Birt was capable of hitting almost as hard. He found his stride by lofting Vinay over long off, without much apparent effort, but also played out a few dots before he drew blood from the hands of Rahul Sharma with a fearfully struck drive that was technically a dropped return catch.

Birt eventually perished to Ashwin, picking out Raina at cover, but his exit appeared to rouse Wade. To that point he had played neatly for 36 from 25 balls, but his next 34 were thrashed from only 14. Twice he cleared the fence, and each blow added intrigue to his battle with Haddin for the Australia wicketkeeper's spot.

A brief rain delay did not reduce Australia's allocation, but it did change the game's rhythm, and Wade was out to his second ball faced on resumption, bowled when trying to cut Raina off the stumps. Hussey and Bailey struggled initially to find the boundary, but Hussey connected with one clean blow in the final over to help the hosts past 170, a total that proved to be well beyond India.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mansoor on February 4, 2012, 14:17 GMT

    matthew wade is a new batsmen and he will win every match for Australia

  • Dummy4 on February 2, 2012, 17:06 GMT

    vinay u r best,oly consistent wicket taker for india.we luv u... kudos man...keep playin like this!

  • Bob on February 2, 2012, 13:58 GMT

    Reading a few of the comments on here, one could be forgiven for thinking that because of IPL India should be the top dogs in that format. What seems to be forgotten is that the IPL depends on foreign imports for a heck of a lot of its playing talent. It would be interesting to see how the stats of each team would look comparing the imports to the home players. Having watched a lot of it, my guess is that it would be the foreign players who produce the goods and that the home stars account for the large crowds.

  • Cric on February 2, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    the XI for next game should be Gambhir, Sachin (sehwag can be dropped), Virat, Raina,Rohit,MSD,Ashwin, Umesh, Irfan, Praveen, Rahul

  • Cric on February 2, 2012, 13:07 GMT

    The problem for the indian team startd in the toss itself. i am not sure what motivated indian captain to bowl under a overcast condition. As for regarding pitch analysing capablities outside India, we could see the captain has no idea either to choose in toss or selecting team. Ozzies had 2 seamers 1 med pacer and 1 main spinner and 1 parttime spinner. the difference between their bowling and our were there bowled stump t ostump on a good length our bowlers bowled everwhere they wanted to and the captain did not stop it. Also their spinners were quick and our bowler gave them enough time that they might had tea before hitting for six. As fas as batting concerned every one fell down due to the pressure of run rate and captains cool's cool batting

    The end line is that Indian team played as if they dont know cricket and dont have brain and ozzies played good cricket. The indian team should first lear nhow to bowl and where to bowl. until then there will be a loss

  • yogi on February 2, 2012, 12:49 GMT

    @ RagsGH well said mate. It seems that this forum has become a VinayKumar haters club. Why damn the poor guy without properly testing him out? He is one of the very few, who give 100% on the field. As far as your suggestion of including Uthappa, I second your statements.He is one batsman who can take on the might of this very good Aussie bowling.

  • yogi on February 2, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    No seniors, young legs, fresh mind set, positive approach, aggressive attitude........etc, still the woes continue. We play 3-4 months of T20 every year, despite that we lose. What can one say? GOD SAVE INDIAN CRICKET.

  • shahid on February 2, 2012, 11:56 GMT

    Poor Rahane, I wonder what should he do to get into the team? he played well enough against England when evrybody failed. He is outstanding in subcontinent, good outside but still he is out of team just for the sake of Sehwag who played only played two good innings of 175 and 219 in last two years against weak oppositions on batting tracks and Ghambir who played only one a good innings in WC final. I must say Indian deserve to lose becasue they do not want to drop these so called stars, and they are wasting their talent.

  • Raghavendra on February 2, 2012, 10:31 GMT

    @Precioustar84: Mr. What is your problem?? Why your including Vinay Kumar name with Sehwag and Gambir. ?/??/ He is the only bowler along with Rahul Sharma performed well yesterday. No point in hating Vinay Kumar when he is bowling well.!! I agree his speed is 130 135 etc but that does not mean that he never perform. What rest did in test matches where Vinay was not there..>> problem here is with batting. Remove that waste body Sehwag and next is Gambir..! Replace with Uttappa and Rahane..!! You can retain Sehwag and Gambir for the subcontinent matches. Not surely for overseas. Let Vinay play few more matches he will be a great player. !

  • Deepak on February 2, 2012, 10:24 GMT

    My proposed Indian team for World T20 2012 : STARTING XI - 1. Rahane 2. N Ojha / D Karthik (wk) 3. Kohli 4. Rohit Sharma 5. M Tiwary 6. Raina (C) 7. Jadeja 8. Ashwin 9. P Kumar 10. V Kumar 11. P Ojha..... RESERVES - 12. Uthappa 13. Y Pathan 14. I Pathan 15. Rahul Sharma

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