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Australia's Twenty20 woes continue

Twenty20 masters India comfortably accounted for Australia on a barmy night of raucous celebrations for home fans at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.

The world champions in cricket's new format crushed the tourists by seven wickets in the first Twenty20 international played on Indian soil.

Opener Gautam Gambhir (63) led the home side's successful run chase and, after his departure, the big-hitting Yuvraj Singh (31no) lashed Stuart Clark for consecutive sixes.

Captain Mahendra Dhoni struck the winning runs by hitting Brett Lee over the boundary as India claimed victory with 11 balls to spare.

Ricky Ponting's 76 from 53 balls earlier propelled Australia to 5-166 from their 20 overs but Indian spin duo Harbhajan Singh (1-17 off four overs) and Murali Kartik (0-27 off four overs) put the clamps on Australia's innings.

Australia continued their policy of not picking a specialist spinner in the 20-over-a-side game and it hurt them as part-time tweaker Michael Clarke was the most economical bowler.

The result meant consecutive Twenty20 wins for India over Australia after knocking off the World Cup holders in the semi-finals of last month's world championship in South Africa.

Australia's 4-2 triumph in the seven-match one-day series seemed a distant memory for Indian fans who embraced the frenzied new form of the game.

The tourists were outpointed in a few areas with their bowlers not providing enough variety compared to the more enterprising Indian attack.

Security was beefed up following the repeated racial abuse of Andrew Symonds and CCTV cameras installed in the stadium.

But there was no definitive sign of trouble despite Symonds (20) being constantly and loudly booed by the hostile crowd whenever he was part of the action.

Ponting said his men had not scored enough runs and the 24 extras they gave away in the Indian innings hurt them in the end.

"I think we were a bit short with our batting I thought their spinners bowled particularly well during the middle of the innings," he said

"We handled their faster bowlers quite well today the wicket, as you could see when Michael Clarke was bowling, it was holding up a little bit for the spinners, it was difficult to bat against and they bowled really well through that stage.

"We were probably 15 runs short and if we had scored around 180 and not bowled so many wides and no balls it might have been a reasonable game of cricket."

Indian captain Mahendra Dhoni said the back-to-back wins over the tourists in the space of four days had boosted his side's confidence before the return contests in Australia in the coming months.

"When you are winning the confidence level it goes a bit higher and confidence is a big thing in international cricket," he said.

source - smh.com.au
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