Australians 297 for 7 (Symonds 78, Watson 70) beat Maharashtra CA XI 194 for 7 (Takawale 50) by 103 runs
Andrew Symonds and Shane Watson hit entertaining half-centuries and the bowlers got some useful practice as the Australians defeated the Maharashtra Cricket Assocation XI by 103 runs at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Watson's 70 as opener set the tone and Symonds struck seven sixes in a belligerent 78 that helped his side to 297, and in reply the MCA XI, hurt by Brett Lee's opening two-wicket burst, finished on 194 for 7.
For the MCA XI, Yogesh Takawale scored a fluent 50 before he retired, but no other batsmen dug in long enough to pose a serious threat to the Australians. This being Australia's first practice match ahead of their Champions Trophy opener on Wednesday, Cricinfo analyses each player's performance on the day.
Adam Gilchrist In his first one-day outing since April, Gilchrist did little to suggest he was in prime form ahead of the Champions Trophy. He played and missed, nearly ran himself out, and was squared up more than once by a medium-fast bowler by the name of Aditya Dole. His dismissal came about when he top-edged a slog sweep off Rohit Jadhav's offspin to mid-on for six in the seventh over.
Shane Watson Preferred as opener to Simon Katich, Watson cracked 70 off 83 balls and provided all the initial momentum. He edged past second slip early in his innings, but opened up after a sedate period with a lofted drive for six over extra cover off Anupam Sanklecha's medium pace. He employed the sweep shot effectively against the spinners but his preferred region was between cover and gully. He hit another six over mid-off and added 82 runs for the second wicket with Ricky Ponting. Watson fell in the 26th over when he chipped a simple catch back to the bowler. However, he did little with the ball, as he was erratic with his line and length. Will Australia continue to open with Watson in the Champions Trophy? Dene Hills, the assistant coach, did not let on when he spoke to the media after the game.
Ricky Ponting Ponting began iffily but had started to find his groove when Abhishek Raut dived forward and took a low catch at point to send him on his way for 24. Ponting was intent on coming on the front foot early in the innings and was struck on the pad offering no shot. He nudged and pushed for most of his runs and his two boundaries came through a hard cut through point and a steer past gully.
Damien Martyn Martyn, a touch artist if ever there was, pushed and eased the ball in the gaps to give Watson a more dependable partner than either Gilchrist or Ponting. Perhaps spurred by Symonds, Martyn too picked up a six with a slash over a diving Dheeraj Jadhav at third man, but the specialty of his innings was the deft footwork and ability to place the ball at will around the fielders. He became Jadhav's second wicket when he was trapped leg before for 42 from 54 balls after a 79-run stand with Symonds.
Andrew Symonds Symonds's rollicking 59-ball 78 set the Wankhede Stadium ablaze and was Australia's highest score. The smattering of a crowd assembled in the shaded areas of the stadium cheered in unison at his arrival, and roared to their feet when he thumped Burkul over wide-long on for six. At ease against both pace and spin, Symonds drove and swept hard as the runs ticked along at a rapid pace. Jadhav returned for a second spell and was carted for consecutive sixes - a flat-batted swipe over wide long-on and a sweep over wide midwicket - to send the crowd into rapture. Sixes number five, six and seven - each a few yards wider of long-on - came courtesy of Sairaj Bahutule in the 42nd over. He finally fell when he slashed at a wide delivery from Dole and was taken by the wicketkeeper. Unsurprisingly, he bowled offspin today and did a decent containment job. Picked up Sridharan Sriram with a straight delivery that beat the bat and hit middle stump.
Michael Hussey Hussey failed to ignite on this occasion, his aggressive swipe across the line going high in the air and settling in the bowler Dole's palms.
Brad Hogg Hogg played some fine nudges around the fielders, and was a good ally to Symonds after the main batsmen departed. He struck a fine six over wide long-on. Called on to bowl his chinamen and flippers, he took some stick but picked up Hrishikesh Kanitkar pulling to midwicket. Being Australia's premier spinner puts additional responsibility on Hogg in Indian conditions.
"I'll just vary my pace [in Indian conditions], probably try to bowl a little bit quicker," he said after play. "There's probably a bit more in the wickets here than at home in Australia. I'm just trying to find that length that you've got to bowl over here."
Brett Lee Lee used the batting opportunity well enough to score an unbeaten 13 from 25 deliveries, but it was with the ball that he was lethal. In his opening spell he removed Harshad Khidwale and Dheeraj Jadhav and beat the bat in every other over. More than once Lee was oohing and aahing after a close leg before shout. He finished with 2 for 13 from six overs.
Mitchell Johnson Johnson used the long handle to good effect at the tail, smashing an unbeaten 21 from 13 balls with two huge sixes. His bowling was ineffective, as every batsmen he bowled to saw him off with singles, twos and the odd boundary.
Glenn McGrath In between entertaining the crowd with his mock dismissals of Sachin Tendulkar, McGrath sent down some parsimonious opening overs to keep the Maharashtra openers at bay, and largely strokeless. He returned in the 39th over and immediately had U Birla hanging his bat out and edging to Gilchrist; a classic Pidgeon dismissal. He clean bowled Mansingh Nigde with the last ball of the innings, for good measure.
Nathan Bracken Largely unpenetrative, Bracken's left-arm pace posed little threat to Maharashtra's batsmen. Picked up a wicket towards the end of the innings and bowled consistently in the blockhole at the death.