Gautam Ghambir scored 92 runs early and captain M.S. Dhoni provided the late scoring burst as India beat Australia by four wickets with two balls to spare Sunday in their limited-overs tri-series match at the Adelaide Oval.
Dhoni, 44 not out, hit a towering six in the final over as India reached 270-6, with Clint McKay taking 3-53 for Australia.
After Australia won the toss and elected to bat, David Hussey scored 72 and Peter Forrest, on debut, added 66 to give the home side a total of 269-8.
India won without star batsman Sachin Tendulkar, who was rested as he ponders his near yearlong quest to notch 100 international centuries.
The visitors needed 10 runs off the final three balls, and got there with two balls to spare. After smashing McKay’s third-last ball for six, Dhoni was caught on the boundary from the next ball — a chest-high full toss that was called a no ball as the Indian leader ran two.
Dhoni then struck another three runs to give the visitors their second win in three matches in the tri-series that also includes Sri Lanka.
Australia captain Michael Clarke scored 38. Umesh Yadav led the Indian bowling attack, taking 2-49.
Hussey and Forrest featured in a 98-run partnership in a reshuffled batting order. Veteran Ricky Ponting opened the innings with David Warner, Clarke batted at three and wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade slid down the order to seven.
Ponting made just six while Clarke raced to 21 from his first 13 deliveries in partnership with Warner.
But Warner, who was dropped on the third ball of the match, was run out for 18 in a mixup with Clarke.
Warner struck a cover drive but Rohit Sharma, diving to his left, fielded as the Australian pair found themselves at the striker’s end.
Clarke was fooled by a slower ball from Yadav, edging onto his stumps to leave Australia 81-3 in the 18th over.
Forrest and Hussey united for an innings-high partnership, with Forrest hitting consecutive sixes.
After Forrest fell, caught at deep midwicket, the reliable Hussey, whose 72 came from just 76 balls, put on 56 runs with allrounder Dan Christian (39) at better than a run-a-ball.