Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Is india showin signs to becom a champion side....

Just a day after the indian under-19 team lifted the world cup,it was time now for the seniors (with full of youngsters) driven by a charged harbhajan, won the CB series against australia by winning the 2nd final in gabba,,,,

Twenty three years after India's last significant limited-overs title in Australia, Sachin Tendulkar helped script another memorable chapter with an innings of skill and determination. There was to be no repeat of his twin centuries against Australia in 1998, but his 91 set up a total which, backed by Praveen Kumar's subtle-swinging accuracy, proved nine runs too much for Australia.

In a game that ebbed and flowed wonderfully, James Hopes took Australia agonisingly close to victory with his maiden fifty after Praveen returned from an 11-run 45th over to snap a threatening eight-wicket stand. Back when Australia dominated this tournament regularly Steve Waugh earned the moniker 'Ice Man' and under starry skies Hopes and Praveen gave it a modern context.

Hopes battled on with comfortable sweeps against the spinners and some deft placement down the ground. There was not a trace of emotion on face as he raised his fifty. Similarly, having given up 11 runs in his penultimate over, Praveen displayed awesome composure to bowl a three-run 47th, cleaning up Brett Lee.

That left Australia needing 29 from 18 balls. Sreesanth picked up a second wicket but Hopes refused to bow down, flat-batting a six over wide long-on to ratchet up the tension. With 13 required off the final over, Pathan came back on. A single to third man exposed Nathan Bracken, who chipped a slower ball to midwicket. Hopes crossed and drove a manic couple to long-off but could only drive the fourth ball into midwicket's diving lap. Sinking to the ground as India whooped and cried around him, Hopes cut an endearing figure, a hero on a losing side, but the entire Brisbane crowd stood to applaud a pulse-setting, nerve-wracking game - and the deserving winners.

The contest was set up by yet another masterclass from Tendulkar. In nearly three hours of nimble-footed driving, mainly to the off side, interspersed with soft on-side strokes, Tendulkar treated an appreciative crowd to a fine innings. India were steady during the Powerplays, scoring 36, 30 and 26 in three blocks, but made their best opening of the tournament. The ball didn't speed away to the ropes when the openers leaned into their drives and so they smartly adjusted gears, keeping the outfielders busy through a mixture of full-faced dabs to third man and flicks to deep square leg.

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