Australia batsmen crumble as India easy win

Read the article of Australia batsmen crumble as India easy win - Benson & Hedges World Series Cup one-day international tournament of the 5th ODI match played between India and Australia at Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne in 16th January 1986.

A Massive MCG crowd of 52,612 was left lamenting last night by the spectre yet again of Australia's brittle batting line-up, A brilliant lone hand of 73 not out by young NSW all-rounder Steve Waugh could not lift Australia past a total of 161 which India easily overtook with the loss of only two wickets.

Australia's defeat was not only a major disappointment for the spectators but a severe let down for a bruised and battered home team which had given the impression only two and four days ago that it was at last on the way back.

The Indians coasted home after Australia lost its first five wickets for 50 runs after Kapil Dev sent them in. Boon batted strongly for second top score of 23 before being run out but only two other Australian batsmen (Matthews 11) and (McDermott 12) reached double figures.

Steve Waugh's slashing innings which won him the man of the match. award set the crowd alight for a while but as wickets tumbled around him it all became hauntingly reminiscent of Tuesday's match in Sydney against New Zealand when only Greg Ritchie scored more than 20 in Australia's total of 6-153.

The home team got up that time but they never looked like winning against India last night. Veteran opener Sunil Gavaskar laid the ground for India's win scoring 59 off 100 balls. He was strongly supported by Mohinder Armanath who finished unbeaten on 58.

Simon Davis bowled outstandingly for Australia again, conceding only 16 runs off 9 overs (the game was reduced to 45 overs by early afternoon rain) and Craig McDermott supported him well. But the rest of the attack fell away with Dave Gilbert man of the match two days ago with five wickets conceding 41 runs off seven overs.

Australia however can blame its top order batting for the loss. Geoff Marsh is badly out of touch and Australia will need to look for a new opener to join the in form Boon this coming weekend in Perth.

Captain Alan Border, suffering the effects of the long season and the responsibility of lifting the spirits of an inexperienced side, was out first ball. Speaking at the after match presentation, he said: "There is no doubt the batting is letting us down. We may have to think about an extra batsman in the line up. However there is no point in panicking after one bad performance."

In the Australians' defence, perhaps they were overly conscious of the pending rain and looked for quick runs early in case the game was shortened to 15 overs which provides the team batting last with a distinct advantage. Whatever, the experiment in sending Matthews first drop backfired. He was run out for 11.

The loss leaves Australia still leading the WSC table on five points from four games with India on four points and New Zealand on one, both having played one game less.

Australia faces New Zealand again on Sunday and it is possible that young Queensland all rounder Glenn Trimble will come into the line up. His hard hitting style could stiffen the middle order. The big question is to find a reliable opening partner for Boon.