Australia win another run fest

Cricket Second ODI : Rohit's ton in vain again as Smith's men chase down India's 300-plus target

Australia win another run fest

Rohit Sharma’s second successive century was once again overshadowed by Australia’s collective batting might as the hosts continued their dominance over Indian bowlers to notch up a seven-wicket victory in the second one-dayer and take a 2-0 series lead here on Friday.

Rohit, who was adjudged the man of the match, stood out for a second consecutive game with a 127-ball 124, which was the cornerstone of India’s 308/8, a score that could easily have been more if not for late collapse.

With 11 fours and three sixes, Rohit was the outstanding performer — Ajinkya Rahane (89) and vice-captain Virat Kohli (59) being the other notable contributors. This was Rohit’s 10th ODI hundred.

However, the Australians never looked in trouble as they easily chased down the steep target with an over to spare, exposing India’s bowling frailties.

Openers Aaron Finch (71) and Shaun Marsh (71) laid the foundation before George Bailey (76 not out) and Steve Smith (46) snatched the game from India for a second time in three days.

The Indian bowlers were disappointing to say the least and never managed to threaten the Aussies, who scored at will and paced their chase to perfection yet again.

Ishant Sharma (1/60), playing an ODI after 354 days, was especially wayward and undid all the good work done by his new-ball partner Barinder Sran (0/51). Ishant was also guilty of dropping Marsh early in his innings.

En route the victory, Australia completed the highest- ever run-chase in Brisbane, beating their own previous record of 301/9 achieved against England in January 2014.

This was after Indian skipper MS Dhoni once again won the toss and elected to bat. The visitors made a solitary change to their eleven, bringing in Ishant for Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Australia made three changes to their line-up from the opening ODI in Perth-- Shaun Marsh came in for David Warner, while John Hastings and Kane Richardson came in for the rested Mitchell Marsh and Josh Hazlewood.

The two teams will now travel to Melbourne for the crucial third match to be held on Sunday.

Handling pressure

The ease with which the Aussies chased a huge target was once again a masterclass in handling pressure.

Marsh (71, 84b, 5x4) and Finch (71, 81b, 7x4, 1x6) started cautiously, but the run-rate was helped by a number of extra deliveries bowled by the Indian pacers.

Spin was introduced as early as the 11th over, and both R Ashwin (0/60) and Ravindra Jadeja (1/50) came in to bowl in tandem.

They seemed to get some purchase off the pitch, putting a squeeze on the run flow. It prompted Marsh to go for a big shot in the 13th over, off Jadeja, but Ishant dropped a sitter at long on. Marsh was on 19 at that time and would go on to enjoy three more botched attempts in the field.

He finally departed in the 30th over, miscuing one off Ishant, giving some hope to the Indian cause. But Smith and Bailey put on a 78-run stand for the third wicket to dash any hopes for the visitors.

Earlier, Rohit was aided well by Kohli and Rahane even as the batting order once again stuttered in the death overs.

Sharma started the proceedings with Shikhar Dhawan (6) as usual, but the latter fell early once again. The left-hander was out caught behind in the third over, slashing off Joel Paris (1-40).

It brought Kohli to the crease and along with Sharma, he tried to raise a stand similar to the 200-plus one they had put up in Perth.

The ingredients were just right once again, as they started off well and the 50-mark came up in the 11th over. Glenn Maxwell (0-33) was introduced early into the attack here, but he didn’t have the requisite effect as the two batsmen put on their 50-run stand in just 57 balls.

score board

INDIA
Rohit (run out)    124
S Dhawan c Wade b Paris    6
Kohli (run out)    59
Rahane c Smith b Faulkner    89
Dhoni c Maxwell b Boland    11
Pandey c Paris b Faulkner    6
Jadeja (run out)    5
Ashwin c Boland b Hastings    1
Yadav (not out)    0
Extras (W-7)    7
Total (for 8 wkts, 50 overs)    308
Fall of wickets: 1-9, 2-134, 3-255, 4-276, 5-298, 6-302, 7-306, 8-308.
Bowling: Paris 8-0-40-1, Richardson 8-1-61-0, Hastings 8-0-46-1, Boland 10-0-64-1, Maxwell 6-0-33-0, Faulkner 10-0-64-2.
AUSTRALIA
Finch c Rahane b Jadeja    71
S Marsh c Kohli b Ishant    71
Smith b Yadav    46
Bailey (not out)    76
Maxwell (not out)    26
Extras (LB-7, WD-11, NB-1)    19
Total (For 3 wkts, 49 overs)    309
Fall of wickets: 1-145, 2-166, 3-244.
Bowling: Sran 9-1-51-0, Ishant 10-0-60-1, Yadav 10-0-74-1, Jadeja 9-0-50-1, Ashwin 10-0-60-0, Kohli 1-0-7-0.

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