Lee bowls Australia past India and into DLF Cup final
by AFP

Ground:Kinrara Academy Oval, Kuala Lumpur
Scorecard:Australia v India
Player:D Mongia, Harbhajan Singh, MM Patel, RP Singh, AB Agarkar, GB Hogg, BJ Haddin, ML Hayden, B Lee, GB Hogg, SR Clark
Event:DLF Cup 2006/07

DateLine: 22nd September 2006


A fiery Brett Lee bowled Australia into the DLF Cup one-day final on Friday, grabbing three late wickets to hand his side a tense 18-run victory over India.


It sets up a final showdown with the West Indies on Sunday.


Set 214 to win, India looked on the brink of winning at 185-6 before Lee returned to the attack and polished off the tail.


He accounted for Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag in his first spell and ended with 5-38 off 8.5 overs.


Dinesh Mongia was India's rock, remaining not out on 63.


Australia were skittled out for 213 but the target was never going to be easy with Glenn McGrath and Lee in action, and India got off to a bad start when Tendulkar fell for four.


McGrath thought he'd got the master batsman on his first ball when Tendulkar attempted a pull but missed. It hit his shoulder, rifling into wicketkeeper Brad Haddin's gloves.


He appealed for the catch and umpire Mark Benson gave him out before deciding he'd got it wrong and waved him back to the crease.


Ricky Ponting wasn't happy but cheered up five balls later when Tendulkar sliced a Lee rocket to Michael Hussey at point.


Lee was storming in and bowled Sehwag for 10 in his next over.


Stuart Clark, who was smacked for 87 off seven overs in his last match, took the chance to redeem himself, taking a reflex catch off his own bowling to dismiss Mohammad Kaif for 21.


He followed it three balls later by bagging the key wicket of Rahul Dravid, trapping him lbw for seven to leave the Indians in big trouble.


But Mongia and Suresh Raina knuckled down, putting on a 46-run stand for the fifth wicket before Raina fell for 26 to spinner Brad Hogg.


MS Dhoni joined Mongia and they added 62 before Lee came back for his second spell and temped Dhoni (23) to hole out to Damien Martyn.


Hogg got Ajit Agarkar and Andrew Symonds snared Harbhajan Singh, before Lee ripped into the tail.


Earlier, a seventh wicket stand of 77 between Haddin and Hogg saved Australia's blushes after poor running between the wickets cost them dear.


The pair came together with Australia in trouble at 117 for six to steer them to a defendable score after Ponting won the toss and batted.


Harbhajan Singh was again in top form, taking 1-24 from his 10 overs. Matthew Hayden top-scored with a gritty 54. Haddin (46) and Hogg (38) were the only others to find their groove.


Agarkar made the early breakthrough, tempting Simon Katich to flay at a ball outside off stump and Raina took a spectacular diving catch.


Then in marched Ponting, knowing that the last two Australian captains who failed to reach the finals of a tri-series -- Mark Taylor in 1997 and Steve Waugh in 2002 -- lost their jobs.


He looked nervous and lasted just eight balls, caught at fine leg by Agarkar for four off Patel.


Hayden appeared set for a big innings before a disastrous mix-up with Martyn cost him his wicket, run out.


Mongia was brought into the action and his left arm spin paid dividends when Martyn was also run out, for 19. Symonds went the next ball for two.


Haddin and Hussey came together but didn't last long, with Hussey edging Harbhajan to Dravid at slip on 13.


It brought Hogg to the crease, and with Haddin he steered Australia towards the 200 mark.

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)