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Australia return to winning ways on Indian tour

PUNE, India, March 28 (AFP) - Mark Waugh hit an unbeaten 133 off 138 balls as world champions Australia swamped India by eight wickets here on Wednesday to level the five-match one-day series 1-1.

The Australians rode on an opening stand of 143 between Waugh and Matthew Hayden to surpass India's 248-9 with 29 deliveries to spare at the Nehru stadium here.

The win ended a disastrous three-week period for the tourists in which they lost the second and third Tests and the opening one-dayer at Bangalore last Sunday.

The Indians have themselves to blame for a reckless display with the bat despite a career-best 100 from left-hander Hemang Badani.

The hosts threw caution to the winds after electing to take first strike as three batsmen ran themselves out and the others perished to poor shots.

Mark Waugh showed no such indiscretion while compiling his 18th one-day century that was studded with 15 hits to the fence and one over it.

His only moment of uncertainity came on 84 when television replays failed to determine if Waugh or Darren Lehmann had been run out by a throw from subsitute fielder Yuvraj Singh.

Both batsmen were stranded in mid-field and the Indians, who believed Waugh was out, pleaded with the umpires to ask for replays even as Lehmann walked off.

Hayden, who compiled 549 in the three-Test series and 99 in the first one-dayer, continued his stunning form to hit five fours and a six in his 57.

After Hayden and Lehmann were removed within the space of 20 runs, Michael Bevan joined Waugh to put on the remaining 86 runs without fuss.

Bevan made 33 not out, including the winning boundary to square leg off left-arm spinner Sunil Joshi.

"It's good to end up on the winning side," Australian captain Steve Waugh said.

"It's not that we did not play well before, but today the fielding was good, the bowling satisfactory and the batting excellent.

"249 is always a competitive target but the good start from Hayden and Mark saw us win comfortably."

Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly praised Mark Waugh's batting but said his team contributed to Australia's win.

"We should have scored at least 30 more, but the silly run outs let us down," he said.

"The bowlers also did not put the ball in the right place although Mark Waugh batted superbly to take the game away from us."

Waugh, who also took a brilliant catch running back from mid-wicket to dismiss Joshi, was declared the man of the match.

The third international will be played in Indore on Saturday.

Earlier, Badani hit 10 boundaries and two sixes, the second big hit off Damien Martyn taking him to his highest one-day score of 77.

Badani put on 93 for the fourth wicket with Venkatsai Laxman (51) and 59 for the seventh with Joshi.

Sachin Tendulkar gave the hosts a flying start with six fours and a six in his 32 off 29 balls.

Most of Tendulkar's hits came with ferocious pull shots off McGrath, before he fell to the same stroke off Fleming, holing out to square leg.

Tendulkar, a veteran of 265 matches, needs another 34 runs to become the first batsman in the game's history to complete 10,000 one-day runs.

Laxman ran out Rahul Dravid and then fell in the same fashion himself.

Debutant Dinesh Mongia, who replaced the injured Virender Sehwag, also ran himself out after making two.

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