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India Win Runathon To Force Series Decider

Virat Kohli hits out
Virat Kohli: Surely now the world's best ODI batsman?
©Action Images / Paul Childs Livepic

India 351-4 (Kohli 115no, Dhawan 100) beat
Australia 350-6 (Bailey 156) by 6 wickets
Sixth One-Day International, Nagpur

The rains relented and the runs began to flow once again in the One-Day International series between India and Australia. On this occasion in Nagpur, Australia’s total of 350 for six was insufficient for them to clinch victory. Instead, India’s powerful batting line-up, led by Virat Kohli, saw their side home in the final over of the run chase to set up a series decider in Bangalore on Saturday.

Kohli hit a hundred off 52 balls in the second game in Jaipur and was scarcely any more circumspect here. He took 61 balls to reach three figures and helped India score the 42 runs that they needed from the final four overs of their chase.

Openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan set the hosts off on the right track after George Bailey had continued his purple patch by taking 156 from the Indian attack to lead Australia to a seemingly ungettable total.

Sharma and Dhawan added 178 in fewer than 30 overs to lay the platform for Kohli’s pyrotechnics. Sharma was eventually removed by Aaron Finch when on 79, but Dhawan went onto reach his century before falling to James Faulkner.

It was then all down to Kohli. He dominated a third-wicket stand of 56 with Suresh Raina and coped well with losing both Raina and Yuvraj Singh in the 43rd over bowled by Mitchell Johnson.

Captain MS Dhoni provided a reassuring presence at the other end and the pair scored 61 runs from the 40 balls following Yuvraj’s departure to take India home.

Bailey, meanwhile, must be left wondering just what he needs to do to win Australia a cricket match. He could have been forgiven for thinking that a career-best 156 from 114 balls would have left him on the victorious side.

He and Shane Watson came together following the relatively early loss of both openers and both proceeded to hit centuries during a third-wicket partnership worth 168 in fewer than 24 overs. Watson was first to three figures, taking 93 balls, while Bailey followed soon afterwards off 84 balls.

A useful late cameo from Adam Voges supplemented Australia’s total as they scored 126 runs from the final 14 overs of their innings to propel themselves to a total that they would have reckoned would have been enough.

However, no score seems too big for India’s batting line-up in a series that has seen runs flow at an alarming rate. No bowler has been able to stem the tide thus far, with only the rain bringing them some temporary respite.

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