India overpower Australia in a run feast at The Oval
Australia and India are among the fore runners in the 2019 World Cup 2019 and quite likely to meet in the final at Lord’s on July 14. In the pool match both the teams were keen to outsmart each other but India emerged as the winner by 36 runs.
India 352 - 5
Result - India win by 36 runs
Virat Kohli, the Indian captain had no hesitation to bat first on a flat wicket with a hint of variable bounce. The two sides have a fairly good idea of each others’ strengths and were expected to come hard at each other, knowing fully well attacking cricket is the way forward to gain an upper hand against the opposition. The full house at The Oval was in for a treat and they were not disappointed
One could not fault a tentative approach from the India openers – Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan - with the first boundary in the fifth over as they were up against a disciplined line and length by Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc. The first powerplay only brought 41 runs on the board but Australia still were still searching for the first wicket. After taking three fours off Coulter-Nile, Dhawan was hit on the left thumb by Cummins and was uncomfortable fo half an hour or so.
After 41-0 in the first powerplay the rate of scoring did progressed to 75-0 after 15 overs. India had clear advantage. The first six arrived in the 17th over, a hook off Coulter-Nile by Sharma, who would perish to the same bowler for 57 off 70 balls. Dhawan, showing good character would carry on to a brilliant match-winning innings – 117 off 109 balls with 16 hits to the fence.
India having reached 236-2 after 40 overs were looking for another 100 but with Virta Kohli accelerating in the manner only he could do were able to add another 116 in the last 10 overs. Kohli twice hit Starc for six in his 82 off 77 balls, showing how devastating he can be and have absolutely no fear of any bowler in cricket world.
Australia paid a heavy price for dropping Hardik Pandya, before he got off the mark for he smashed 48 off just 27 balls with 4 fours and 3 sixes. His cameo powered India to a mammoth 352-5 as the run-rate climbed dramatically from 5.90 to 7.04 runs per over. A perfect finish that put India in a very strong position to win this crucial pool fixture in the World Cup.
Australia, facing a mountainous, never quite going as both openers Aaron Finch and David Warner were not offered room to score any boundaries. Warner who can murder any bowling attack on his day had 14 dot balls to his name. It required a big 19-run over to score to reach 48-0 in the first powerplay of 10 overs.
At 20 over mark, Australia were 99-1, and well behind their target and Warner, not at his most fluent on a double-paced wicket, with a most uncharacteristic 45 off 72 balls. His final dismissal for 56 off 84 balls in the 25th over was a blessing in disguise for his side.
Kohli is an experienced captain and did not miss a trick today by stifling the opposition. He did not allow any of the Australian batsmen to free their arms and India’s two wrist spinners – Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal – bowled superbly, varying their pace so well. Both are set to play crucial role in India’s attempt to topple the big sides.
The pressure of such a gigantic run chase was such that even Steven Smith (69 off 70 balls) and Usman Khawaja (42 off 39 balls) could not force the pace and it became an impossible task. Australia’s best white-ball batsman, Glenn Maxwell, walked in at No.5 with the asking rate having climbed to 11.33 runs per over with his side still requiring 151 runs off 86 balls. Chahal send him back in the 41st over and Australia were facing a certain defeat. Wicket-keeper Alex Carey lashed out a fifty off 25 balls – the fastest of the 2019 World Cup – but his efforts merely delayed the inevitable, as India registered its second win in as many matches of the World Cup.
India - Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli(c), KL Rahul, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni(wk), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
Australia - David Warner, Aaron Finch(c), Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey(wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa
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