Listless India suffer another crushing defeat

Australia reach the CB Series final with an 87-run win in Sydney.

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Stand-in captain Waton celebrates a wicket on Sunday. (Reuters)Sydney: Australia crushed India by 87 runs in the 10th CB Series ODI to qualify for the tri-series final at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday.

India’s top-order failed yet again as they were bowled out for 165 in the 40th over chasing Australia’s 252-9. It was India’s third straight defeat in the competition.

To qualify for the final, India must now beat Sri Lanka with a bonus point in Hobart on Tuesday. Their qualification will also depend on Sri Lanka losing the final league game to Australia.

Australia were captained by Shane Watson today, who stood in for Michael Clarke, out with an injured back. Watson was playing his first international after missing most of the Australian summer due to hamstring and calf injuries.

Man-of-the-match David Warner top-scored with 68 off 66 in Australia's innings, while Matthew Wade (56 off 66) and David Hussey (54 off 64) also scored half-centuries.

India put in another abject batting display and crashed to 104 for six in the 27th over in a match where they always looked to be struggling against the well-drilled Australians.

The opening combination of Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag yet again. Sehwag has 35 runs in four innings and Tendulkar 104 in six, yet the two have been persisted with at the top of the order at the cost of the in-form Gambhir, who continues to bat at No. 3.

India haven’t yet given a chance to Manoj Tiwary in the middle order, while Rohit Sharma was left out of the side after five poor scores in the tournament.

India are yet to bat first in the competition and Australia chose to bat today, given how poorly India have chased.

Praveen Kumar bowled impressively with the new ball, dismissing Watson and Peter Forrest. India were behind the over rate again and Dhoni could bowl just 11 overs between Irfan Pathan and Umesh Yadav.

Virender Sehwag and Ravindra Jadeja were given an extended bowl of 19 overs, and Dhoni managed to squeeze in his overs on time. But this allowed Wade and Hussey to easily build a 94-run partnership.

Irfan had to leave the field after he collided with Suresh Raina trying to catch Warner in the outfield. Raina took the catch running back from square leg but hit Irfan who was running in from long leg.

Both fielders lay on the ground in pain, and were lucky to get away with minimal damage. India’s attack looked thin at this point, but they recovered well to hold Australia to just 252.