Australia go top in one-day series after steamrollering India

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Australia moved top of the Commonwealth Bank Series table with a comprehensive 110-run bonus-point win over India in Brisbane.

Set 289 for victory, the visitors lost early wickets under sustained pressure from Ben Hilfenhaus (five for 33) and Brett Lee (three for 49), and were unable to fight their way back into the contest.

They were eventually bowled out for a lowly 178, despite the best efforts of captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (56).

Australia’s win takes them to 14 points, ahead of India on ten and Sri Lanka seven.

The only negative for Australia was another failure for skipper Ricky Ponting. The veteran failed to reach double figures for the fifth consecutive innings this series as he managed just seven – his highest score of the series – to leave his place in the 50-over set-up in jeopardy.

He was the only Australian batsman not to get a start though, as half-centuries from Mike Hussey and Peter Forrest helped the hosts to 288 for five.

David Hussey (26 not out) and Dan Christian (30 not out) were pivotal in the final overs, icing the cake with an unbeaten 65 runs from 36 balls, including four consecutive boundaries to Christian and 18 runs from the penultimate over.

Australia then broke the game open when Hilfenhaus and Lee shared two wickets each in reducing India to 36 for four. Dan Christian then removed Suresh Raina and, floundering at 89 for five at the halfway point of their chase, the India’s bid was derailed.

Dhoni did briefly provide a spark for the tourists, launching Lee for a big six, but Hilfenhaus had him caught by Christian before running through the tail.

Earlier, David Warner and Matthew Wade got off to a solid start, adding 70 before Warner became the first wicket for Irfan Pathan (three for 61) after scoring 43 from 46 balls.

Ponting then struggled for fluency, taking 26 balls for his seven runs, before he fell for the trap laid by Zaheer Khan.

After belting the first six of his innings in the 26th over and seemingly building into top-gear, Wade had a concentration failure in the next, popping a gentle catch back down the wicket to give part-timer Rohit Sharma a wicket in his first over.

It was nearly a double disaster for the hosts when Michael Hussey was given out stumped by the third umpire facing Raina in the next over, but he was quickly called back to the crease after a message was relayed to the centre-wicket umpires that the dismissal graphic had been incorrectly displayed on screen.

And Hussey’s luck stayed true when he was badly dropped by Umesh Yadav off Zaheer before his brother David helped to break India with his slog through the final overs with Christian.