Australia crush India to clinch series 4-2

GUWAHATI: Australia crushed India by six wickets in the sixth One-day International here on Sunday and also won the series 4-2.

The seventh and final match will be played on Wednesday at Mumbai.

Chasing an easy target, Australia made 172 for the loss of four wickets with 49 balls left.

Shane Watson struck 49 but Australia suffered a mini collapse when off-spinner Harbhajan Singh took the wickets of Watson and Ricky Ponting (25) in quick succession.

Michael Hussey (35 not out) put on 53 for the fourth wicket with Cameron White (25) and 29 with Adam Voges (23 not out) to guide the team to victory in 41.5 overs.

For India, spinner Harbhajan Singh claimed two wickets and seamer Munaf Patel took one wicket.

Earlier, Australia’s left-arm pacemen Doug Bollinger and Mitchell Johnson combined to bowl out India for 170 off 48 overs.

Bollinger picked 5-35 to equal his career-best figures while Johnson took 3-39 after Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat at the Nehru stadium.

Ravindra Jadeja top-scored for the home team with a fighting 57 off 103 balls with six fours for his second half-century from nine one-day internationals.

The left-handed batsman also put on 48 runs with Dhoni (24) and another 74 with Praveen Kumar who hit an unbeaten 51-ball 54 with seven fours and a six to lend respectability to India’s total.

The Indians were off to a disastrous start with Johnson striking in the very first over to remove Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir in the space of two balls.

Then Sachin Tendulkar, who struck a brilliant 175 off 141 balls in the fifth ODI at Hyderabad, was caught and bowled by Bollinger for 10.

Yuvraj Singh (six) lost his wicket to the same bowler in a bizarre fashion and soon India were reduced to a precarious 27-5 in the ninth over when Suresh Raina was dismissed by Johnson but Jadeja and Kumar ensured India crossed the 100-run mark.

The injury-hit Australians brought back Johnson in place of Ben Hilfenhaus while India fielded an unchanged side.

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