India show Twenty20 class

Australia beaten by seven wickets in Mumbai

By Graeme Mair.   Last Updated: 20/10/07 6:44pm

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Gambhir: 63 from 52 balls

Gambhir: 63 from 52 balls

Sky Bet

Gautam Gambhir made 63 as India chased down a target of 167 to beat Australia by seven wickets in Saturday's Twenty20 international.

Opening batsman Gambhir set the tone with his 52-ball knock and Robin Uthappa and Yuvraj Singh offered strong support to help India secure victory with 11 balls remaining.

Australian skipper Ricky Ponting's 76 provided the mainstay of his side's total of 166-5 after he opted to bat first on a typically spin-friendly wicket in Mumbai.

But it was never enough after Gambhir and Uthappa shared a stand of 82 for the second wicket that allowed India to overcome the early loss of Virender Sehwag.

Michael Clarke had Uthappa caught behind for 35 and Ben Hilfenhaus ended Gambhir's knock at 63, but India were always in control of the required rate.

Yuvraj hit three sixes during an unbeaten 31 from 25 balls to ensure the result was sealed from the first ball of the penultimate over.

Solid platform

Earlier, Adam Gilchrist hit three of the first four deliveries of Rudra Pratap Singh's opening over to the boundary, before playing all round the fifth to be bowled for 12.

Matthew Hayden and Ponting shared a 48-run, second-wicket partnership from 37 balls as Australia looked to be building a solid platform for their powerful middle order.

And when Hayden was bowled by Harbhajan Singh for 17, Andrew Symonds joined his skipper in a third-wicket stand of 50 from 37 balls.

But Symonds was run out for 20 following a mix-up to reduce Australia to 110-3 after 13.1 overs - from that point the innings never regained momentum.

Ponting's 53-ball innings was ended by Irfan Pathan from the final delivery of the 19th over, while Clarke boosted the final total to 166-5 with an unbeaten 25 from 15 balls.

The result cements India's status as the best international team in this format, having also triumphed at last month's inaugural ICC World Twenty20 event in South Africa.

For Australia it brings a disappointing end to a successful tour during which they won the 50-over one-day international series by a 4-2 margin.

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