India ride on the backs of Kohli, Dhoni and Karthik to level the series at Adelaide. It seemed to be a tough chase of 299 runs. But it was beautifully shepherded by captain Virat Kohli.
After he got out, it was veteran finisher MS Dhoni and Nidahas Trophy hero Dinesh Karthik, who saw their team home. Both of them showed excellent calmness and exceptional technique.
Australia took the game deep into the last over, but the masters of the finishers ended it in style. Dhoni and Karthik even ran a lot in the death overs to seal the brilliant victory. As a result the series will be decided in the last game on Friday.
Openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan started things nicely, with the latter taking the attack to the opposition. Dhawan crossed the 30-run mark in no time, but threw his wicket to Jason Behrendorff.
Rohit slowly built his innings, but failed to scored big. He scored 43 off 52 balls and got out to Marcus Stoinis. Virat Kohli and number four Ambati Rayadu started taking the team to a comfortable position.
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But Rayudu was not looking entirely comfortable and lost his wicket to part-time bowler Glenn Maxwell. Dhoni walked out when India were 160/3. With a half-century in the previous game, Dhoni quickly got off the blocks.
Dhoni patiently rotated the strike while Kohli shifted gears and smashed Behrendorff out of the park. Moreover the risks paid dividends as Kohli notched his 39th ODI century. However he soon got out at 104, which made the things interesting again.
Australia believed for some time that were in the game. But Dhoni, who was set in the crease, was joined by Dinesh Karthik. Both of them played smart cricket and didn’t get nervous despite the climbing the run-rate.
They took some gutsy decisions which went in their favour and eventually won the game. Dhoni’s finishing skills once again came to the fore and he was ably supported by Karthik.
Australia build innings on Shaun Marsh’s ton
Australia had elected to bat first after winning the toss. They lost Aaron Finch and Alex Carey quickly. But it was Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja who started rebuilding the innings slowly.
Khawaja got run out thanks to Ravindra Jadeja’s brilliance on the field. But Marsh ended up scoring an exceptional ton. Peter Handscomb and Marcus Stoinis helped as Marsh added 52 and 55 runs for the fourth and fifth wicket respectively.
Glenn Maxwell hunted the ball harshly in the last 10 overs. Debutant Mohammed Siraj was at the receiving end mostly. The Kangaroos threatened to go past 300-run mark as they added 94 runs in less than 11 overs.
But pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar varied his pace and started the mini collapse. He ended with four wickets in the game. Australia ended 50 overs with 298 runs on board with the loss of 9 wickets.
Eventually world’s finisher scored an unbeaten 55 off 54 balls to take his team home. Karthik supported him nicely with 25 off just 14 deliveries.