DateLine: 9th June 2019
By Andy Jalil at Kia Oval
India emerge victorious in high scoring match
To ensure they didn’t lose early wickets in their response to India’s impressive total, Australia began cautiously with the first ten overs bringing them 34. But the first bowling change brought aggression from both opening batsmen with Hardik Pandya’s first two overs hit for 24 of which 19 came from the second over. After a four off the first ball, Aaron Finch hit a six and two fours off the last three balls of the eleventh over taking his score to 28 but eight runs later, in hesitating on a second run, he was run out for 36.
David Warner and Steve Smith scored steadily with good running between the wickets rather than playing too many big shots. After 20 overs they were 99 for one, more than double the scoring rate during the first ten overs. The fifty of their stand came at a-run-a-ball and Warner reached his half century from 77. The wickets that India would have wanted most were of Warner and Smith and the former’s came to them at the halfway point of the innings when Warner’s lofted shot was held at deep mid-wicket.
At Warner’s dismissal Australia were 220 short of their target and despite that neither Smith nor his new partner Usman Khawaja were going for big hits. At one stage they had struck two fours in ten overs. But the ones and twos were being taken at every opportunity. Smith reached his fifty from 60 balls and the 200 of the innings came from 224 but two runs later Khawaja, on 42 from 39, shuffled across his stumps attempting to play a straight ball between the wicketkeeper and fine leg and edged the ball on to his stumps.
Australia’s chances of a win in this match diminished drastically when the next two wickets fell on the score of 238 and six runs later the sixth went. Smith fell lbw on 69 from 70 balls and two balls later Jasprit Bumrah bowled Marcus Stoinis with the ball keeping a shade low and clipping the off stump. Bumrah then claimed his third wicket with Nathan Coulter-Nile held at the wide mid-wicket boundary. With Mitchell Starc being the second run-out casualty of the innings and Adam Zampa giving Kumar his third wicket from the last ball of the innings, Australia were dismissed for 316.
Earlier, the India innings was given a dream start by Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan with their sixth ODI century partnership for the first wicket against Australia. Along with the former opening pair for West Indies, Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes, Sharma and Dhawan have had the most three-figure opening stand by the same pair against a particular country. Greenidge and Haynes had done so against India.
Having decided to make first use of a fine batting pitch, both batsmen got after the runs straightaway. Australia made early bowling changes and when Coulter-Nile came on, his first over conceded 14 runs with three fours, all struck by Dhawan. He didn’t fare better in his next over with both batsmen taking a four. Coulter-Nile was briefly replaced and when he returned Dhawan pulled him for four to get into the forties and then brought up his half century from 53 balls.
Sharma, who had hit his only six of the innings to get to 38, reached his fifty from 61 balls, square cutting Starc for four. The partnership was finally broken with Sharma hanging his bat outside off stump to a rising ball from Coulter-Nile and was snapped up behind the stumps. The stand was of 127, giving India a superb platform for a huge total.
Dhawan then combined with Virat Kohli in another fine stand. He took his score to 77 with a lovely cover drive off Adam Zampa and another four, this time driven to long-on, saw him to 81. He got into the nineties with an upper cut off Cummins and that also brought the 50 of the stand. Finally, a risky scrambled single took him to his 17th ODI hundred (from 95 balls) and his 4th in World Cup tournaments. Australia were finally relieved when he departed to a catch on the square leg boundary for 117 from 109 balls. His 93-run stand with Kohli came from 89 balls.
But there was still pressure from remaining batsmen as Pandya went on the rampage with 48 from just 27 balls putting on 81 from 55 balls with Kohli, taking India to 301 for three. Thirty of Pandya’s runs had come from boundaries which included three sixes. He had made Australia pay for dropping him behind the stumps off the first ball he had faced. Coulter-Nile was the suffering bowler.
Kohli kept piling on India’s runs. His fifty had come from 55 balls but he upped his rate of scoring in a 37-run stand in 21 balls with MS Dhoni who gave a return catch to Stoinis on 27 from 14 and India were 338 for four. Ten runs later Kohli was held at deep point for 82 from 77 balls.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2004-2017 Micro Electronics Technology Inc., and CricketArchive