Reinforcements do the job - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Reinforcements do the job

By Adam Cooper 10/01/2004 05:44:40 AM Comments (0)

Before the tri-series opener, Australian captain Ricky Ponting made no secret of his desire for his one-day reinforcements to lift a cricket side drained from a taxing and emotional Test series against India.

Ponting said it was up to players like Andrew Symonds, Michael Clarke and Ian Harvey to put the spring back in Australia's step in the one-dayers, and after Friday night's 18-run win over India at the MCG, the skipper could not have asked for anything more.

The trio gave Australia runs, wickets, catches and a run-out and also provided some urgency that was missing when the going got tough during the Tests.

Symonds underlined his value in limited-overs cricket by rescuing his side with a fine 88 and then taking 2-47 with his medium pacers.

Clarke could have had a double on the field such was his omnipresence and four catches, a wicket and a 63 in a partnership of 143 with Symonds continued his golden run in the 50-over game over the past year.

Harvey also played a crucial hand, smashing a quickfire 28 and then claiming a double breakthrough in his ninth over when Indians Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh were poised to take their side past Australia's 288.

Harvey firstly had Singh caught - by Clarke, of course - and then next ball, removed Ganguly with a direct hit after the Indian captain backed up too far on Sanjay Bangar's bunt.

With Ganguly gone for 82 so too was India and Harvey finished with 3-52.

Symonds, who was "a bit dirty on myself" for not batting through Australia's innings, said he and his fellow one-day call-ups felt compelled to try and lift the spirits of the Test players after a tough four-match series.

"It's interesting because I think what's happened is we've had a team play very well against us in the Test matches and we probably haven't had that before," he said.

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