India tour of Australia, Only T20I: Australia v India at Melbourne, Feb 1, 2008
Australia won by 9 wickets (with 52 balls remaining)
1 February 2008 - night match (20-over match)

7.35pmMexican Waves have begun, the game's not even started, and they're supposed to be banned remember. The atmosphere is absolutely alive. Fireworks as the Aussies run out. Mark Nicholas on Nine is imploring Adam Gilchrist to talk to him as Gilchrist is miked up, but he's having none of it, possibly because he can't hear above the roars.

Brett "Binga" Lee to have first dart at Gautam Gambhir. And he's being roared and roared and he's only warming up.

7.30pm My Cricinfo colleagues are out in force at the MCG. Dileep Premachandran is there too and he's been stunned by the women's performance today, producing an appreciation of Ellyse Perry for us. Highlights of the game, by the way, will be on Nine on February 10.

Sid, meanwhile, intones: "For every cheer that Gilly gets in this one-day series people should remember the boos he got on his first-class, Test and ODI debuts."

7.25pm News from Unsurprisingville: "Massive boos when Harbhajan's name is announced," notes Sid, "and big cheers for Sreesanth." Good old disco hips. "The biggest cheers for Gilly, though." Naturellement.

7.15pm Australia look like this: 1 Michael Clarke (capt), 2 Adam Gilchrist (wk), 3 Brad Hodge, 4 Michael Hussey, 5 Andrew Symonds, 6 Adam Voges, 7 David Hussey, 8 James Hopes, 9 Ashley Noffke, 10 Brett Lee, 11 Nathan Bracken.

Note Hodge will slot in at 3, taking advantage of Ponting's absence. No Luke Pomersbach-style last minute call-ups today.

7.05pm Mahendra Dhoni has won the toss and India will bat.

"Some random group is supposed to perform," notes Sid. "They should have called up the Arctic Monkeys specially for this series. Rogue Traders, fits these two teams actually." He said it. Not sure about the Monkeys, mind, their concert at Old Trafford last year churned up the pitch a treat.

7.00pm India's team shapes up so: 1 Virender Sehwag, 2 Gautam Gambhir, 3 Dinesh Karthik, 4 Rohit Sharma, 5 Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt, wk), 6 Robin Uthappa, 7 Irfan Pathan, 8 Praveen Kumar, 9 Harbhajan Singh, 10 Sreesanth, 11 Ishant Sharma.

Brydon Coverdale has been here all day, watching the ground fill up from before the women's match and he's got an estimate for us: "I'm guessing there's a good 70,000+ people here already." Not bad. Then again, Siddhartha Vaidyanathan reckons more people are outside than in, and the ground's not even half-full. Hmm. Either way, we're just over half an hour away from kick-off so it will soon be full.

6.55pm local time Greetings everyone and welcome along to the Twenty20 where world champions India take on Australia at the MCG. Ricky Ponting misses his second Twenty20 in a row, he has a back injury today, while he rested from the New Zealand slaying in Perth a few months ago. "With the uncertain nature and frantic nature we're just a bit concerned he could pull up short," reasoned coach Tim Nielsen.

Michael Clarke will captain again, his record so far, played 1 won 1. David Hussey should make his debut for Australia, meanwhile.

Early news in from the ground: Sachin Tendulkar, Suresh Raina, Piyush Chawla and Yuvraj Singh are all out for India. The full team when we have it.

The stadium's been warmed already by a stand-out performance by 17-year-old dual international Ellyse Perry who helped Australia stun England in the first match of the women's tour. They had a good crowd of around 30000 at the peak.

A huge turnout is expected for this match, around 85000 in this sell-out match. It will be Adam Gilchrist's final Twenty20, while Australia will want to get one over on India, who were successful at the first world tournament in South Africa in September. I'm Jenny Thompson by the way and I'll be bringing you every ball, ball-by-ball, because Cricinfo are good like that. Stay tuned.


Lee to Gambhir, 1 wide, an anticlimax if there ever was one, Lee spears down leg and the left-hander whooshes round gamely, a touch too late, and Gilchrist tidies up


Lee to Gambhir, no run, straighter one, good length, driven back to the bowler

"With an atmosphere like this every day, you wouldn't retire ever," says Gilchrist, who can finally hear what's going on.


Lee to Gambhir, 1 wide, it was a fraction short, down leg, Gilchrist helping out with the commentary there, practising for a new media career


Lee to Gambhir, 3 runs, outside off, a touch short, and creamily driven on the front foot through the gap between point and extra cover who set off in vain pursuit. Neat timing and neater placement


Lee to Sehwag, no run, Sehwag's first ball is a dot, up there just outside off and he drives off his toes square to point where the shaven Clarke picks up the ball without a fuss


Lee to Sehwag, no run, a very similar ball and another dot results as Captain Clarke tidies up once more

Kanti from USA writes in: "I'm sure the Maracana will be something similar for Brazil v Argentina"


Lee to Sehwag, OUT, Sehwag's run-out at the non-striker's end, dropping down his hands, Clarke stopping the ball well at point with a dive to the left and a direct hit shudders down the stumps. Sehwag crashes his bat into the ground as he walks off, furious

V Sehwag run out 0 (5m 3b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

"Surely he didn't hear the call," says Sid, shaking his head. "You can't in this mayhem." Dinesh Karthik is roared in now.


Lee to Gambhir, no run, pushed across the left hander, deliberately, who leaves it well alone

The action is packed. Sid clarifies the cheer for Karthik "because the run-out decision has just flashed across the screen."

End of over 1 (5 runs) India 5/1 (RR: 5.00)

    • G Gambhir 3 (3b)
    • KD Karthik 0 (0b)
    • B Lee 1-0-5-0

Bracken now


Bracken to Karthik, 1 run, a push to backward point for a quick single


Bracken to Gambhir, 2 runs, plenty of room outside off and the ball is crashed over mid-off


Bracken to Gambhir, FOUR, top shot there, too full on leg, and Gambhir merely turns his wrists on that one, flicking it away tennis-like through fine leg


Bracken to Gambhir, OUT, and now a soft dismissal, the ball landing outside off and Gambhir hardly gets any bat on a tame would-be-lofted drive to mid-off where Hopes takes an easy catch

G Gambhir c Hopes b Bracken 9 (9m 6b 1x4 0x6) SR: 150.00


Bracken to Uthappa, 1 run, pushed across the right hander, who defends to backward point off the back foot


Bracken to Karthik, 1 run, slower delivery across the right hander, who waits and guides it with good control out to third man

"Good noise," says Andrew Symonds, appreciatively. "There's heaps of people here, it's good to see."

End of over 2 (9 runs) India 14/2 (RR: 7.00)

    • KD Karthik 2 (2b)
    • RV Uthappa 1 (1b)
    • NW Bracken 1-0-9-1
    • B Lee 1-0-5-0

Lee to Karthik, no run, short, outside off, the ball's left alone with some shouldered arms

Two slips and a gully. The wicket's slow, too, by the way


Lee to Karthik, no run, short ball that came through at under 150, the batsman doing well to sway back on one knee as the ball was coming straight at him


Lee to Karthik, no run, good pace again, a sharp and straight one rapping him on the hands as it climbed from short


Lee to Karthik, FOUR, outside off and if you're going to chop, chop hard as the saying doesn't go, the batsman shaping to cut off the back foot and the top edge flies hard and high to bounce once before the rope behind the keeper

Karthik deserved six reckons Sid. Hmm, batsman's game and all that.


Lee to Karthik, 2 runs, outside off, a touch short, and driven well down the ground, straight and David Hussey chases that one down

Good to see the two brothers out there, remember there were two sisters, twins in fact, out there earlier in the shape of the Blackwells


Lee to Karthik, OUT, booming low full toss, Karthik plays all around it and he just didn't see it, the ball skittles the sticks

KD Karthik b Lee 8 (9m 8b 1x4 0x6) SR: 100.00

India in early trouble already, Australia not yet showing signs of missing pace ace Shaun Tait who helped them to victory in Perth against New Zealand

End of over 3 (6 runs) India 20/3 (RR: 6.66)

    • RV Uthappa 1 (1b)
    • B Lee 2-0-11-1
    • NW Bracken 1-0-9-1

Gilchrist is keeping with a lid on, right up to the stumps


Bracken to Uthappa, no run, right up there on off, and defended well on the front foot


Bracken to Uthappa, OUT, slower ball, a touch of loop in at the right hander who waits for the ball to cross him and then drives uppishly to mid-off where David Hussey gets on the international scoresheet for the first time

RV Uthappa c DJ Hussey b Bracken 1 (7m 3b 0x4 0x6) SR: 33.33

Captain's knock required now


Bracken to Dhoni, no run, slower delivery again, Dhoni lets that one past him and the ball's tidied up by Gilchrist


Bracken to Dhoni, no run, rolls his fingers over a would-be incutter, tightens up the batsman on off and it's defended forward


Bracken to Dhoni, no run, plants it on a good length again and all the batsman can do is defend

One slip for Dhoni, note you


Bracken to Dhoni, no run, plants his front foot down the track, thinks about cover-driving as the ball leaps over the bat which he tucks behind the pad at the last

A wicket maiden, that's rarer than a (insert witty comparison here)

End of over 4 (wicket maiden) India 20/4 (RR: 5.00)

    • MS Dhoni 0 (4b)
    • RG Sharma 0 (0b)
    • NW Bracken 2-1-9-2
    • B Lee 2-0-11-1

Right, India are the back foot and they need some decent batting to reward the crowd and make Australia work for a result


Lee to RG Sharma, no run, up there on off, defended on the front foot


Lee to RG Sharma, 1 run, bangs a bouncer down off and Sharma's off the mark in streaky fashion, surprised by the lift and somehow pokes it down past first slip, through the vacant second in fact


Lee to Dhoni, no run, boomed up there on off and defended on the front foot this time


Lee to Dhoni, no run, straighter bouncer, but still down the off channel, and a shuffle of a back foot cut goes up in the air

"To be sitting here at this time is not my ideal choice," smiles Ponting from the dug out, who's missing out with a back injury.


Lee to Dhoni, no run, short ball through off again, left alone this time


Lee to Dhoni, 1 run, slower full toss, driven out straight past the bowler, the two mid- fielders meeting in the middle to tidy up inside the rope

End of over 5 (2 runs) India 22/4 (RR: 4.40)

    • MS Dhoni 1 (8b)
    • RG Sharma 1 (2b)
    • B Lee 3-0-13-1
    • NW Bracken 2-1-9-2

Here's Ashley Noffke now, who I believe has just signed for Middlesex.


Noffke to Dhoni, no run, starts tidily enough, a drive to mid-off


Noffke to Dhoni, 1 run, a shortish one, straight, and boomed off the back foot with a bit of a golf swing along the ground, Bracken tidying up well at mid-on

"India are playing this as if the chartered flight is still waiting," says Sid


Noffke to RG Sharma, FOUR, short ball, hooked off the nose through a very fine, fine leg


Noffke to RG Sharma, 1 run, short ball again, played down off the back foot


Noffke to Dhoni, 1 run, bends one in on off, driven out to short midwicket, dabbed down


Noffke to RG Sharma, 1 run, outside off, the batsman rocks onto the back foot and caresses the short ball through the gully to ease a single

"There's a Pup, a Catfish and a Wombat out there," notes Dileep, stopping there.

End of over 6 (8 runs) India 30/4 (RR: 5.00)

    • RG Sharma 7 (5b 1x4)
    • MS Dhoni 3 (11b)
    • AA Noffke 1-0-8-0
    • B Lee 3-0-13-1

Hopes into the attack


Hopes to RG Sharma, no run, on off, shortish, worked back down off the back foot

"Nice work, Jimbo!" growls Gilchrist


Hopes to RG Sharma, 1 run, nipped back in from outside off, the batsman walks back, exposes his stumps but connects well with a back-foot cut


Hopes to Dhoni, 1 run, on leg, turned round behind square for an easy single


Hopes to RG Sharma, OUT, Hopes strikes with his fourth ball! The ball comes in on a good length on off, Sharma shapes to swivel a pull round, misses, and his off stump is clipped

RG Sharma b Hopes 8 (15m 8b 1x4 0x6) SR: 100.00

Oops. India slump further now


Hopes to Pathan, 2 runs, banged in short outside off, doesn't really lift off the surface, and eased through the covers


Hopes to Pathan, no run, stays over, pushed across the left hander, who rises on to the balls of his feet and pushes into the covers

Another handy over for Australia

End of over 7 (4 runs) India 34/5 (RR: 4.85)

    • IK Pathan 2 (2b)
    • MS Dhoni 4 (12b)
    • JR Hopes 1-0-4-1
    • AA Noffke 1-0-8-0

Noffke to Dhoni, no run, outside off, short one rising through to the keeper


Noffke to Dhoni, 1 run, slower delivery, driven out straight to mid-off for a quick single

They've just called Twenty20 "rock'n'roll" on Nine, my fiance had had a bet how long that would take. Speaking of betting, one man has staked $50,000 on Australia to win this. That's looking quite safe at these early stages, but lots of play left in this match


Noffke to Pathan, no run, eased on the front foot, defended forward


Noffke to Pathan, 1 run, right up there, straight, defended forward

Noffke always looks, with his action, as if he's going to bowl a lot faster than he actually does. Still delivers at a fair lick, mind, around the laste 130s


Noffke to Dhoni, 1 run, on a good length, defended on the front foot


Noffke to Pathan, 1 run, that one at 128kph, on off, and driven out to mid-off for an easy single

End of over 8 (4 runs) India 38/5 (RR: 4.75)

    • IK Pathan 4 (5b)
    • MS Dhoni 6 (15b)
    • AA Noffke 2-0-12-0
    • JR Hopes 1-0-4-1

"Can we change this to a 10-10 match?" wonders Sunil


Hopes to Pathan, no run, Up there and defended on the front foot.


Hopes to Pathan, 1 run, finds the gap square of the wicket

Plenty of you calling for Tendulkar and Ganguly. It's a bit too late for that, I'm afraid


Hopes to Dhoni, no run, outside off, driven to the covers


Hopes to Dhoni, no run, slower delivery, 110kph, up there on off and defended on the front foot


Hopes to Dhoni, no run, a touch quicker, outside off, and driven into the covers now


Hopes to Dhoni, no run, nipped in from off, defended down off the back foot

End of over 9 (1 run) India 39/5 (RR: 4.33)

    • MS Dhoni 6 (19b)
    • IK Pathan 5 (7b)
    • JR Hopes 2-0-5-1
    • AA Noffke 2-0-12-0

Huge cheers as David Hussey comes on to bowl in front of his home crowd


DJ Hussey to Pathan, 1 run, starts well with one outside off, driven into the covers, Symonds returns withan underarm shy but he's too late


DJ Hussey to Dhoni, 1 run, back over the wicket now, a touch full outside off, driven to the covers


DJ Hussey to Pathan, 2 runs, outside off, tucked on the front foot behind point


DJ Hussey to Pathan, no run, round the wicket, up there on the toes on off, pushed on the front foot towards mid-on


DJ Hussey to Pathan, no run, slides one through outside off, an appeal for a stumping, but the foot was well grounded, no need for a replay


DJ Hussey to Pathan, no run, on the front foot, pushes forward defensively at a good-length delivery

Not a bad first over

End of over 10 (4 runs) India 43/5 (RR: 4.30)

    • IK Pathan 8 (12b)
    • MS Dhoni 7 (20b)
    • DJ Hussey 1-0-4-0
    • JR Hopes 2-0-5-1

Hopes to Dhoni, 1 run, tightens him up outside off, the ball veering back in, but he does well to make room to drive forward to mid-off


Hopes to Pathan, 1 run, on leg, tucked well off the legs to midwicket


Hopes to Dhoni, no run, on off, tries to work that one out to short midwicket, the bottom hand coming up off the bat, no run, Symonds tries to run him out


Hopes to Dhoni, 1 run, outside off, Dhoni ever so nearly chops on to his stumps, the ball deflecting down off the inside edge and in front of, then wide of, leg stump


Hopes to Pathan, 2 runs, up there on leg, a neat flick off the legs behind square

Mark Nicholas finds it "ridiculous" that Tendulkar's on the sidelines and you have to agree


Hopes to Pathan, no run, pushed out to point off the back foot

End of over 11 (5 runs) India 48/5 (RR: 4.36)

    • IK Pathan 11 (15b)
    • MS Dhoni 9 (23b)
    • JR Hopes 3-0-10-1
    • DJ Hussey 1-0-4-0

This pair are the first to show any signs of building any kind of partnership so far, and it's still early days


DJ Hussey to Dhoni, no run, on off, turned off the legs towards midwicket


DJ Hussey to Dhoni, 1 wide, definite wide down leg


DJ Hussey to Dhoni, no run, swirls one in on off, the ball arcing out, Dhoni flashes hard at it


DJ Hussey to Dhoni, no run, up there on off, the batsman waits, presents a very straight bat towards cover


DJ Hussey to Dhoni, OUT, swivels in on middle, a touch short, and that's Hussey's first wicket as Dhoni stands tall and swats a pull to deep midwicket which doesn't quite have the legs

MS Dhoni c Lee b DJ Hussey 9 (30m 27b 0x4 0x6) SR: 33.33


DJ Hussey to Kumar, no run, up there on off and defended on the front foot


DJ Hussey to Kumar, no run, outside off, flapped into the ground, the batsman not at all getting hold of a drive to mid-off

End of over 12 (1 run) India 49/6 (RR: 4.08)

    • P Kumar 0 (2b)
    • IK Pathan 11 (15b)
    • DJ Hussey 2-0-5-1
    • JR Hopes 3-0-10-1

Voges now


Voges to Pathan, 1 run, outside off, worked down to third man


Voges to Kumar, no run, a touch of turn, the ball not really coming on to the bat, worked out to the covers


Voges to Kumar, 1 run, outside off, enough room to drive hard through cover


Voges to Pathan, 1 run, on leg, turned round to short midwicket, quietly, and the batsmen run through


Voges to Kumar, no run, right up there, driven forward, back to the bowler, without much power


Voges to Kumar, 1 run, driven out, again without much power, to mid-off

End of over 13 (4 runs) India 53/6 (RR: 4.07)

    • P Kumar 2 (6b)
    • IK Pathan 13 (17b)
    • AC Voges 1-0-4-0
    • DJ Hussey 2-0-5-1

Quick salute for India's fifty and Pathan's double figures, by the way


DJ Hussey to Kumar, 1 run, down leg, swept round well to backward square


DJ Hussey to Pathan, 2 runs, brisked off the toes to the covers, and they run the second well


DJ Hussey to Pathan, 1 run, round the wicket, played back towards the covers


DJ Hussey to Kumar, 2 runs, stabbed down off the back foot through to deep third man

The crowd behind the screen have to shuffle over every time it moves else they can't see. Good sprint training


DJ Hussey to Kumar, 1 run, worked out to mid-on this time


DJ Hussey to Pathan, no run, flayed to midwicket but didn't quite pick the gap nor the full face of the bat, and it's tidied up easily

Here's S Rajesh, our resident real-life Statsguru: "The lowest score in a Twenty20 international is 73. Another wicket here, and India might well be challenging that record." Oh he of little faith...

End of over 14 (7 runs) India 60/6 (RR: 4.28)

    • IK Pathan 16 (20b)
    • P Kumar 6 (9b)
    • DJ Hussey 3-0-12-1
    • AC Voges 1-0-4-0

Noffke to Kumar, OUT, outside off, plenty of room, driven hard but aerially to a wideish long-off

P Kumar c Voges b Noffke 6 (8m 10b 0x4 0x6) SR: 60.00

..or he of much prescience!

The boos will tell you who's coming in now


Noffke to Harbhajan Singh, 1 run, starts with a bouncer, played down off the back foot and they shuffle through a quick single


Noffke to Pathan, no run, waits for one on off, and defends back down on the front foot


Noffke to Pathan, no run, on leg, played down to short mid-on where Harbhajan would have been well out with a direct hit from Michael Hussey


Noffke to Pathan, 1 run, outside off, driven to the covers


Noffke to Harbhajan Singh, no run, down leg, short ball, Harbhajan plays for the rise that doesn't come, he was shaping to pull uppishly, but the ball inside cannoned into his bottom edge and back down onto the pitch

End of over 15 (2 runs) India 62/7 (RR: 4.13)

    • Harbhajan Singh 1 (2b)
    • IK Pathan 17 (23b)
    • AA Noffke 3-0-14-1
    • DJ Hussey 3-0-12-1

Voges to Pathan, 1 run, outside off, crashed the ball to long-on, not the most attractive shot but brought up a single


Voges to Harbhajan Singh, OUT, swivelled in to the middle stump and a magnificent catch from Clarke, who's fielding has been excellent from the off, removes the batsman with a diving effort

Harbhajan Singh c Clarke b Voges 1 (5m 3b 0x4 0x6) SR: 33.33

Harbhajan had connected very cleanly indeed, moving back to free his arms, and he walks off fuming

Here's Sreesanth, and in comes a silly point, with a helmet


Voges to Sreesanth, OUT, steps down the track, outside off, to meet the ball that doesn't quite come on to the bat, shapes to drive over cover, takes a slight edge, spoons to gully and that's another terrific catch, scooped low

S Sreesanth c Hodge b Voges 0 (1m 1b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

Hat-trick ball for Voges

Everyone around the bat, and I mean everyone apart from the bowler


Voges to I Sharma, no run, ooh, Ishant nearly found one of the many close in on the off, the ball just bouncing in front of gully


Voges to I Sharma, no run, worked out towards short midwicket

Here's Rajesh. "Whatever happens here, Australia still hold the record for being dismissed in the least number of overs in Twenty20 internationals. They were bundled out in 14.3 overs versus England in 2005."


Voges to I Sharma, no run, outside off, driven forward with hardly any power, more of a defensive push in fact

Cracking over from Voges

End of over 16 (1 run) India 63/9 (RR: 3.93)

    • I Sharma 0 (3b)
    • IK Pathan 18 (24b)
    • AC Voges 2-0-5-2
    • AA Noffke 3-0-14-1

Noffke to Pathan, 3 runs, width outside off, driven aerially towrads deep cover, where Hodge tidies up just inside the rope


Noffke to I Sharma, 1 run, off the mark with an edgy single, Ishant not getting over the ball, leaning back and popping one up, but safe, through the covers


Noffke to Pathan, 2 runs, on leg, turned well off the toes behind square for a safe two


Noffke to Pathan, 1 run, right up there on off, and defended into the ground


Noffke to I Sharma, 1 run, doesn't control that one, standing back and offering the bat towards the gully


Noffke to Pathan, 1 run, outside off, driven out to mid-off, a straight shot

End of over 17 (9 runs) India 72/9 (RR: 4.23)

    • IK Pathan 25 (28b)
    • I Sharma 2 (5b)
    • AA Noffke 4-0-23-1
    • AC Voges 2-0-5-2

Bracken to Pathan, 1 run, nipped back from outside off, worked down on the front foot


Bracken to I Sharma, 1 run, crashed over the ring to deep cover, and India have avoided equalling the lowest score in a Twenty20 international


Bracken to Pathan, OUT, He's gone this time, stepping back, exposing his stumps, and trying to crack a back-foot cut off one which nipped in, Gilchrist taking the edge

IK Pathan c †Gilchrist b Bracken 26 (41m 30b 0x4 0x6) SR: 86.66

"I'm getting out at the right time, I can't keep up with that pace," smiles Gilchrist, who's just taken his last dismissal in a Twenty20. "That wicket is very slow, so we're not quite there yet, a lot of work to do."

Rajesh is back: "If Australia chase this down in less than 7.4 overs, they'll create a record for the largest margin of victory in a Twenty20 international. New Zealand had beaten Kenya with 74 balls remaining in Durban during the T20 World Cup."

Well then, Australia are in the driver's seat, and India are at the bus stop right now. Can they pull something dramatic out of the bag? We'll have to see.

One man, aside from the $50000 backer, has staked $67000 to win $57500. To get it he needs Gilchrist and Symonds to make less than 32 and 31 respectively (having needed Sehwag and Gambhir to make under 29). If Australia win he makes an extra $22000. Don't think he'll cash in on Ponting and Tendulkar bets he's made, though, but he's still in line to make a packet.

Here come the umpires.






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