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India Win Run Fest To Square Series

Virat Kohli plays a shot
Virat Kohli's record-breaking innings helped India cruise to victory.
©Action Images / Paul Childs Livepic

India 362-1 (R Sharma 141no) beat
Australia 359-5 (Bailey 92no) by 9 wickets
Second One-Day International, Jaipur

India won a ridiculously high-scoring second ODI against Australia to square the seven-match series at one apiece. The Australians piled up 359 for five from their 50 overs as their top five all passed 50, but India made mincemeat of it.

Openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan powered 176 off the first 26 overs of the run chase, with Virat Kohli then joining Sharma to up the tempo even further. He smashed the fastest century by an Indian in ODI cricket off just 52 balls to ease India home in the 44th over by nine wickets.

Tonight’s chase is the second highest in the 3420-match history of ODI cricket, behind the 438 at Johannesburg.

Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma didn’t appear at all daunted by the huge total that Australia’s batsmen had piled up after winning the toss. Dhawan continued his superb form of late by reaching 50 off 55 balls, while Sharma made 50 off 54 as the 100 came up in just the 17th over.

Australia finally got a wicket with the score on 176 as Dhawan was caught by Brad Haddin off James Faulkner five short of a well-deserved century. However, that only made matters worse as Virat Kohli walked in.

He was with Sharma when he reached a welcome century off 102 balls and did the bulk of the run-scoring in their unbroken second-wicket partnership of 186 in just 104 balls. Kohli reached his century shortly before the end, with Sharma then finishing the match in fitting fashion by pummelling Glenn Maxwell for a hat-trick of boundaries.

Australia’s bowlers took a right battering as four conceded more than eight an over and two - Clint McKay and Shane Watson - went for more than nine.

Earlier in the day, their batsman had done a much better job. Aaron Finch and Phil Hughes began the match in what must rank as fairly sedate fashion in the circumstances, adding 74 in 15.2 overs for the first-wicket. Finch scored 50 of those off 53 balls, with Hughes taking a while to get going. He played the anchor role, hitting 83 off 103 balls, and added 108 with Shane Watson (59 off 53) balls for the second-wicket.

George Bailey and Glenn Maxwell then provided the late impetus and gave a taste of what was to come when Virat Kohli batted. Bailey bludgeoned five sixes en route to 92 not out off 50 balls, while Maxwell smacked 53 off only 32. The pair added 96 in little more than eight overs.

Australia ended on 359 for five, but with the form of the Indian batsmen, even another 100 might not have been enough. The two sides meet again in the third match at Mohali on Saturday.

© Cricket World 2013