Indian captain M S Dhoni again proved the man for the occasion as he lifted his side to an extraordinary win over Australia in their tri-series one-day international in Adelaide yesterday.
Delighted: India skipper MS Dhoni celebrates the win with R Ashwin yesterday. Pic/AFP
Australia made 269-8 after winning the toss and electing to bat, but India replied with their best ever run chase at the Adelaide Oval to win with two balls to spare.
The Indians looked beaten when they needed 13 off the last over and managed just a single from the first two deliveries from paceman Clint McKay, who had been the best of the Australian bowlers.
Dhoni turned down the opportunity of a second run from the second ball of the over, wanting to be on strike. He lived up to his confidence when he hit a massive six down the ground from the next ball to suddenly slash the target in half with three balls remaining.
Dhoni was caught on the mid-wicket boundary from the next ball, but it was called a no-ball for being a full toss above waist high, the Indian batsmen running two and collecting a third run for the sundry.
With three balls still remaining, Dhoni flicked the next ball into the leg side for the winning three runs to cap a remarkable comeback and their best performance of a generally disastrous tour.
Dhoni, also the hero with the bat in last year's World Cup final win, had barely taken a risk until the last over as he tried to be the anchor for the late run chase, and finished with 44 not out from 58 balls.
While Dhoni got India home, opener Gautam Gambhir laid the foundation with 92 from 111 balls.
In the Australian innings, there were half-centuries for David Hussey (72) and debutant Peter Forrest (66).