India defeated Australia by 36 runs in their second ODI against Australia at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Friday to level the series 1-1.
Opener Shikhar Dhawan, skipper Virat Kohli and KL Rahul made fifties to power India to 340 for 6 before the bowlers kept chipping away to cut Australia 36 runs short, despite Steve Smith’s 98.
Australia seemed to have a solid chance before the departure of Smith. But the likelihood of the visitors winning the match kept decreasing after he was bowled by Kuldeep Yadav in the 36th over.
David Warner was the first to fall, looking to slap a wide one from Mohammed Shami towards cover point. He connected well but Manish Pandey leaped to take a one-handed stunner.
Aaron Finch added 62 runs with Smith for the second wicket before getting stumped for 33. He missed a heave off Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul whipped the bails off in a flash.
Smith had looked uncomfortable against the short ball initially but started scoring freely as the innings progressed. Marnus Labuschagne looked the part in his maiden ODI innings. He seemed comfortable against spin and pace alike and formed a 96-run partnership with Smith.
Jadeja provided India the key breakthrough when he had Labuschagne caught at long-off when the latter tried to accelerate the scoring. The increasing scoreboard pressure started taking its toll as the batsmen had to begin taking more risks.
Alex Carey fell for 18 to Kuldeep. The other bowlers then made light work of the lower order.India had received a fine start to the innings with openers Rohit Sharma and Dhawan putting on 81 runs, before Rohit (42) was trapped in front by Adam Zampa when he looked to play an extravagant sweep.
Dhawan looked his confidence self after his 74 in the previous game. He tried to bring up his century with a pull shot but ended up picking out the man at deep backward square leg.
Kohli scored 78 off 76 balls, but was dismissed yet again by Zampa when he tried to clear the ropes straight behind the bowler’s head, only for Ashton Agar to pull off a fine relay catch, popping the ball to Mitchell Starc before going over the ropes.
But it was Rahul’s late onslaught that really made the difference in the end. He was aggressive from the start, and his 52-ball knock featured six hits to the fence and three over it to yield him 80 runs, taking India close to the 350-run mark.
Zampa was the pick of the bowlers for the visitors, taking 3 for 50 in his 10 overs. Mitchell Starc, who bagged three in the series opener in Mumbai, seemed to have an off day, going for 78 runs off his 10 without taking a wicket.
Australia won toss
R Sharma lbw b Zampa 42
S Dhawan c Starc b Richardson 96
*V Kohli c Starc b Zampa 78
S Iyer b Zampa 7
†KL Rahul run out 80
M Pandey c Agar b Richardson 2
R Jadeja not out 20
M Shami not out 1
Extras (b5, lb4, w5) 14
Total (6 wickets, 50 overs) 340
Did not bat: K. Yadav, N. Saini, J. Bumrah
Fall: 1-81, 2-184, 3-198, 4-276, 5-280, 6-338
Bowling: Cummins 10-1-53-0, Starc 10-0-78-0, Richardson 10-0-73-2, Zampa 10-0-50-3, Agar 8-0-63-0, Labuschagne 2-0-14-0
D Warner c Pandey b Shami 15
*A Finch st Rahul b Jadeja 33
S Smith b Yadav 98
M Labuschagne c Shami b Jadeja 46
†A Carey c Kohli b Yadav 18
A Turner b Shami 13
A Agar lbw b Saini 25
P Cummins b Shami 0
M Starc c Rahul b Saini 6
K Richardson not out 24
A Zampa c Rahul b Bumrah 6
Extras (lb 10, w 10) 20
Total (all out, 49.1 overs) 304
Fall: 1-20, 2-82, 3-178, 4-220, 5-221, 6-259, 7-259, 8-274, 9-275
Bowling: Bumrah 9.1-2-32-1, Shami 10-0-77-3, Saini 10-0-62-2, Jadeja 10-0-58-2, Yadav 10-0-65-2
Result: India won by 36 runs
Man of the Match: KL Rahul (India)
Umpires: Richard Kettleborough (England), Virender Sharma (India). TV umpire: Michael Gough (England). Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (Sri Lanka)
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