Sharma ton in vain as Aussies dominate India – Hosts consolidate lead in series

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Australia’s George Bailey (right), plays a shot past India’s wicket-keeper MS Dhoni during the 2nd One-Day International cricket match  between Australia and India in Brisbane, Australia on Jan 15. (AP)
Australia’s George Bailey (right), plays a shot past India’s wicket-keeper MS Dhoni during the 2nd One-Day International cricket match between Australia and India in Brisbane, Australia on Jan 15. (AP)

BRISBANE, Australia, Jan 15, (AFP): Australia set a new record run chase at the Gabba in Brisbane on Friday as they cruised to a seven wicket victory over India in the second one day international.

After Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and chose to bat, the visitors finished their 50 overs at 308-8, thanks largely to a second successive century from opener Rohit Sharma (124), following his 171 not out in the first ODI in Perth on Tuesday.

But the total always looked too small to defend on a flat Gabba wicket and once Australia’s openers Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh put on a 145-run stand, the result never looked in doubt.

Finch and Marsh both scored 71 while captain Steve Smith (46) and George Bailey (76 not out) continued their good form as they guided Australia towards the victory total.

India had some hope when Smith was bowled by Umesh Yadav going for an ugly heave with the score on 244, but Bailey and Maxwell put on 65 runs from only 49 balls to see Australia home with six balls to spare.

It was the second big run chase of the series and came three days after Australia chased down 309 to win in Perth.

“We’ve always got confidence we can chase down any total,” Finch said.

“Compared to our bowling line up our batting is quite experienced.

“We’ve got guys that have played together as a team for some time now.

“Chasing 300 is never easy but we back ourselves, and we’re doing it at the moment.”

India looked to be well in the game as the two Australian openers started slowly, struggling with their timing and placement.

The Indian bowling was far tighter than it had been in Perth and the required run rate began to creep up.

But after the first drinks break the Australians began to attack at every opportunity.

Finch said later that after India had bowled well in the first 17 overs he and Marsh had to try and pick up the pace.

Finch brought up his 50 in the 21st over and Marsh in the 22nd as the two openers began to accelerate.

Finch raced to 71 then tried to smash left arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja over mid-off only to be caught brilliantly in the deep by a diving Ajinkya Rahane.

Marsh, who was dropped three times in his innings, fell soon after when Ishant Sharma squared him up and he got a leading edge to Virat Kohli at cover.

But Smith and Bailey calmly went about their work and batted India out of the game.

Dhoni conceded his pace bowlers were struggling with the Australian conditions.

“On a wicket like this and with this outfield, they don’t get any reverse swing as such, so you have to hit the deck hard and you have to consistently hit areas,” he said.

“The moment you make an error the batsmen take advantage.”

Earlier Sharma’s golden run continued with a chanceless century.

He enjoyed big partnerships of 125 with Kohli (59) and 121 with Rahane (89) as the Indians punished a below-par Australian attack.

Although the score was the biggest by an international team in ODIs at the Gabba, the Indians looked headed for a much bigger total until they lost a clatter of wickets in the final few overs.

Dhoni said India had tried to pick up the pace in the last 10 overs to put pressure on the home side.

“We tried our best to score, but at the end of the day it’s execution and I feel in the last 10 overs they bowled well,” he said.

“It’s always a difficult one because when you keep losing wickets it become more and more difficult for new batsmen to come and in and straight away play the big shot, especially when the bowlers are executing their plans.”

The two teams move to Melbourne where India must win on Sunday to keep the series alive.

Australia vs India Scoreboard

BRISBANE, Australia, Jan 15, (AFP): Scoreboard from the second one-day international between Australia and India at the Gabba in Brisbane on Friday:

INDIA

  1. Sharma run out…………………. 124
  2. Dhawan c Wade b Paris…………… 6
  3. Kohli run out……………………… 59
  4. Rahane c Smith b Faulkner……….. 89
  5. M.S. Dhoni c Maxwell b Boland……… 11
  6. Pandey c Paris b Faulkner………… 6
  7. Jadeja run out……………………… 5
  8. Ashwin c Boland b Hastings……….. 1
  9. Yadav not out……………………… 0

Extras (w7)………………………….. 7

Total (8 wickets, 50 overs)…………. 308

Fall of wickets: 1-9 (Dhawan), 2-134 (Kohli), 3-255 (R. Sharma), 4-276 (Dhoni), 5-298 (Rahane), 6-302 (Pandey), 7-306 (Ashwin), 8-308 (Jadeja)

Did not bat: I. Sharma, B. Sran

Bowling: Paris 8-0-40-1 (1w), Richardson 8-1-61-0 (1w), Hastings 8-0-46-1 (2w), Boland 10-0-64-1 (3w), Maxwell 6-0-33-0, Faulkner 10-0-64-2

AUSTRALIA

  1. Finch c Rahane b Jadeja………….. 71
  2. Marsh c Kohli b I. Sharma………… 71
  3. Smith b Yadav……………………. 46
  4. Bailey not out…………………….. 76
  5. Maxwell not out………………….. 26

Extras (lb7, w11 nb1)……………….. 19

Total (3 wickets: 49 overs)…………. 309

Fall of wickets: 1-145 (Finch), 2-166 (Marsh), 3-244 (Smith)

Did not bat: M. Wade, J. Faulkner, J. Hastings, K. Richardson, J. Paris, S. Boland

Bowling: Sran 9-1-51-0 (1w 1nb), I. Sharma 10-0-60-1 (8w), Yadav 10-0-74-1 (2w), Jadeja 9-0-50-1, Ashwin 10-0-60-0, Kohli 1-0-7-0

Toss: India

Result: Australia won by seven wickets

Man of the match: Rohit Sharma (IND)

Series: Australia lead 2-0

Umpires: Richard Kettleborough (ENG), Mick Martell (AUS)

TV umpire: Simon Fry (AUS)

Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL)

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