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5th ODI, Margao, April 06, 2001, Australia tour of India
(48/50 ov, T:266) 269/6

Australia won by 4 wickets (with 12 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
87* (113)
Player Of The Series
303 runs

Bevan excels as Australia take Pepsi Trophy

Michael Gwyl Bevan is an ODI legend

Santhosh S
Michael Gwyl Bevan is an ODI legend. After today's match-winning heroics with the bat he has an astonishing batting average of 57.41. Time and again he has carried Australia through to some remarkable victories. Friday was yet another crunch day for the touring Australians and he showed his class by making an unbeaten 87 to carry his team to victory in the fifth ODI match against India, played at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Margao.
Required to make 266 to win, Australia made 269/6 in 48 overs to score an exciting victory. Going into the match at 2-2, both teams had everything to play for. The Australian run chase got off to a flying start with Matthew Hayden carrying on with his resounding form. He got into the act straightaway smashing boundaries off Srinath. He cracked a straight six off Srinath as the partnership between him and Gilchrist bulged to 70 runs off 10 overs.
Ajit Agarkar's first over cost him 17 runs, Gilchrist smashing a six and two boundaries. In the 11th over Srinath struck two heavy blows. First he removed Hayden who had made 36 runs (42 balls, 5 fours, 1 six) and then in the same over he had Ricky Ponting (4) caught behind by Vijay Dahiya.
Gilchrist saw to it that the Aussies did not go on the defensive by unleashing an attack on Harbhajan Singh and Srinath as runs flowed unabated. Gilchrist raced to his fifty off just 28 balls. With the introduction of spinners from either ends, runs started to come in trickles. The boundaries dried up as Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh kept a tight leash on the Aussie batsmen. Bevan and Gilchrist had to rely on quick running between the wickets.
Gilchrist lost his wicket to Tendulkar, bowled while trying to guide a ball to third-man. He made 76 runs off 60 balls with the help of ten boundaries and a mighty six. Along with Bevan he added 68 valuable runs in 13.3 overs for the third wicket and in the process steadying the Australian innings.
A middle order collapse ensued. Steve Waugh (17) was caught by Agarkar off Tendulkar at the boundary line. Darren Lehmann (1) played a cut shot straight into the hands of Yuvraj Singh off the bowling of Tendulkar. Hemang Badani held a good catch off the bowling of Srinath, at the cover fence to dismiss Andrew Symonds (7). India was clawing back into the match with Australia in some trouble at 202/6 in the 40th over.
With the match keenly poised, there were renewed hopes of an Indian victory. Bevan would have none of that as he and Ian Harvey knocked of the required runs off 8.5 overs. Bevan who was declared Man of the Match, made 87 glorious runs, punctuating his knock with a huge six off Harbhajan Singh and five strokes past the ropes. Harvey played a little cameo of 25 which was struck off just 26 balls.
Earlier in the day, Sourav Ganguly won the toss and elected to bat first on a pitch that was predicted to break up in the afternoon. Sachin Tendulkar hit a couple of boundaries and threatened to cut loose. Tendulkar (15) was caught behind by Gilchrist; trying to play a drive on the rise off Nathan Bracken.
Ganguly, whose wretched form with the bat has been the cause of concern for a while, came good today. He smashed Shane Warne out of the attack. Two sixes and nine boundaries flowed from his bat in making 74 runs off 83 balls before he was caught at point by Ponting off a bouncer from McGrath.
Laxman's magic touch with the bat produced his maiden ODI hundred. He played an elegant innings of 101 off 107 balls, lacing his knock with 10 boundaries. He was particularly severe on Shane Warne and the part-time bowling of Symonds and Lehmann. Laxman's knock came to end when he skied a catch to Gilchrist off Harvey's bowling.
Dravid (31) and Laxman added 97 runs for the fourth wicket in 16 overs. That was the last significant contribution with the bat as the middle and lower order failed to make an impact on the splendid start. Badani (7) and Yuvraj Singh (17) could not keep the momentum going. Dahiya remained unbeaten on 15 as India finished on 265/6 in 50 overs.
Australia will take some comfort from this One-Day Series victory after having lost the Test series 2-1. Remarkably the most productive Australian batsmen in the Test series, Matthew Hayden was included in the ODI team at the last moment. He did not disappoint the selectors who reposed faith in him. No wonder he took the Man of the Series award for the one dayers too.

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