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Spinners, Bhuvneshwar strangle Australia in chase of 253

Kuldeep Yadav celebrating his hat-trick in the Eden Gardens ODI
Kuldeep Yadav celebrating his hat-trick in the Eden Gardens ODI

India 252 (Kohli 92) beat
Australia 202 (Stoinis 62no) by 50 runs
Second One-Day International in Kolkata

A clinical bowling display from India saw them dismiss Australia for 202 runs in 43.1 overs and complete a 50 run victory in the second One-Day International at Eden Gardens in Kolkata to claim a 2-0 lead in the series.

Weather defies forecast but Australia struggled to cope up with heat

After the ground was under covers for the most part of the week and the forecast was for a thunderstorm on Thursday, it looked like another truncated game was on the cards but to everyone's surprise, there was bright sunshine and the lack of humidity put the Australians in a spot of bother with their pace bowlers and Matthew Wade pulled out numerous times during the game, unable to tackle the heat.

Rahane-Kohli provide a solid platform for India:

India won the toss and decided to bat first but Nathan Coulter-Nile (3-51) struck early once again to dismiss Rohit Sharma (7) caught and bowled off his own bowling. However, Virat Kohli (92) and Ajinkya Rahane (55) brought the innings back on track with 102 run stand for the second wicket. The duo capitalised on the tired fast bowlers and some sloppy fielding from the Australians. The Indian captain brought his 45th ODI fifty in the 22nd over and few deliveries later, Rahane completed his own half-century before an indecision in running costed his wicket.

Australia bounce back in end overs

Things were in place for another Kohli century and Kedar Jadhav (24) provided the much needed impetus in the middle overs but Coulter-Nile once again returned back to be among the wickets as he dismissed both of them in quick succession while Manish Pandey (3) and MS Dhoni (5) failed as well. Just when it looked like India might be bowled out under 220, Hardik Pandya (20) and Bhuvneshwar (20) played sensible knocks to take the score to 252 runs before they were dismissed in the final delivery of the innings.

Indian pacers exhibit terrific skill

Pace bowling has been the new found strength of India and it was evident with the way Bhuvneshwar (3-9) and Jasprit Bumrah (0-39) as the Australian opener struggled to put the bat on the ball. Bhuvneshwar provided the initial breakthrough when he castled Hilton Cartwright (1) and soon also had David Warner (1) caught in the slips. He had a chance to pick his third wicket but Rohit had dropped Travis Head (39) in the first slip in the seventh over.

Spinners turn game in India's favour

Head continued to play aggressive cricket along with Steven Smith (59) as things eased out for the visitors. The pair added 76 runs between them and for the first time in the innings, Australia looked to gain control. With runs leaking fast, Kohli had to introduce the spinners Yuzvendra Chahal (2-34) and Kuldeep Yadav (3-54) and the leg-spinner showed his prowess when he had Head caught at mid-wicket.

Glenn Maxwell (14) struck two sixes off Kuldeep to inject some momentum before he was stumped brilliantly by Dhoni to give Chahal his second wicket. Smith fell immediately on reaching his fifty and by the 30th over, Australia slipped to 138 for five. Any chance of an Australian comeback was put-off by Kuldeep as he claimed a hat-trick in the 33rd over accounting for Wade (2), Ashton Agar (0) and Cummins (0) and by then the visitors were reeling at 148 for eight.

Stoinis effort goes in vain

With wickets tumbling at the other end, Marcus Stoinis (62 not out) rallied with the tail as he struck six boundaries and three sixes during his 65 ball knock and added 34 and 20 runs with Coulter-Nile (8) and Richardson (0) but the Indian bowlers did well to keep him under pressure. The innings finally came to an end when Bhuvneshwar trapped Richardson LBW in the 44th over to help India complete a 50 run win and a 2-0 lead in the series. Kohli was awarded the man of the match for setting up India's win.

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