Australia held Ranji Trophy champions Mumbai to a draw in the three day warm up match played at the CCI in Mumbai on Saturday. Australia were 141 for six in 55 overs at the finish. Steve Waugh (34 not out) and Damien Fleming (22 not out) were unbeaten at final draw of stumps.
Mumbai who declared their first innings at 328 for nine, closed their second innings at 191 for eight, shortly after lunch. Australia who were set to get 317 runs for victory, were never in with a chance. In fact they faced defeat until Waugh and Fleming added 61 valuable runs for the unbroken seventh wicket.
The Australians proved in the match that they had the batting strength to offset any reverses early in the order. Also, their bowling attack came good in the latter part of the match. Shane Warne sent a clear message with a seven wicket haul in the second innings.
All the three days of the match were well contested. The World champions looked rusty on the first day but came back well on the last two days of the match. Steve Waugh led from the front and top scored in both the innings. He was also unbeaten on both occasions. The two skippers led their teams well with fighting knocks with the bat and the tail wagged successfully for both sides.
This morning, Warne pegged back Mumbai with a magical spell. He bagged seven of the eight wickets to fall in Mumbai's second innings, conceding 56 runs off 21.3 overs. Glenn McGrath picked up the other wicket.
Going after a tough target, the Australians soon ran into trouble. The openers would have liked to spend valuable time in the middle before the Test match. Michael Slater played a steady innings and displayed vintage strokes all around the ground. In his brief innings he showed excellent ball selection and aggressive batting style, something that was lacking the first time around.
Slater made 32 before he was stumped by Dighe off Sairaj Bahutule. Ricky Ponting followed soon, dismissed by the same duo. Adam Gilchrist and Justin Langer were out to mistimed strokes, the former being castled and the latter holing out to mid-wicket.
The Australians at tea were 60 for three off 20 overs. It was once again Steve Waugh who bailed the visiting team out of trouble. Three more wickets fell after the interval before Waugh and Damien Fleming figured in their match saving partnership. Sairaj Bahutule was the bowler who did the most to torment the Australians, picking up four for 38.