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November 2, 2009

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Yuvraj, Dhoni put Aussies to sword

YUVRAJ Singh top-scored with 78 and shared a big partnership with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to power India to a six-wicket win over Australia in the third one-day international in New Delhi on Saturday.

Mike Hussey scored his third successive fifty, on his way to an unbeaten 81, after skipper Ricky Ponting made a cautious 59 as opener to help injury-hit Australia post 229-5 after winning the toss.

India finished on 230 for four in 48.2 overs to take a 2-1 lead in the seven-game series.

Man of the match Yuvraj shared in a 148-run fourth-wicket partnership with Dhoni, who was unbeaten on 71 following his match-winning 124 in the previous game in Nagpur on Wednesday.

The pair rescued the innings from 53 for three after Virender Sehwag (11), Sachin Tendulkar (32) and Gautam Gambhir (6) fell in succession.

"It was a slow wicket so getting my first 30 runs, that was the target," Yuvraj said. "Me and Mahi (Dhoni) played smart cricket."

Yuvraj struck eight fours and two sixes while Dhoni curbed his natural instincts on a slow pitch in his 95-ball effort.

Left-arm Mitchell Johnson gave Australia hopes of victory when he bowled Sehwag after fellow paceman Peter Siddle had left him hobbled with a yorker to his left foot.

Johnson also ran out Tendulkar with a direct hit from mid-on before offspinner Nathan Hauritz struck second ball to clean bowl Gambhir, who had earlier been left dazed after Ponting's full-blooded pull struck him below his ear while India fielded.

Earlier, the naturally aggressive Ponting and accumulator Hussey switched roles to guide Australia, hit by a spate of injuries, when it batted. Hussey underlined his touch after scoring 73 and 53 in the first two games, after Ponting dug in with a 92-ball effort.


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