Smith headlines Australia’s series win
Australia have bagged the three-match series with a game to go as they thrash India by 51 runs in the second ODI at Sydney Cricket Ground.
The win also puts Australia on top of the ICC World Cup Super League points table with 40 points.
India were given a mountainous task of chasing 390 runs to keep the series alive. Skipper Virat Kohli was among the runs but that was not enough to get over the line. He missed out on a 71st international century, making 87-ball 89 runs including 7 fours and 2 sixes. Josh Hazlewood got the prize scalp as Moises Henriques grabbed a stunner at mid-wicket.
The tourists needed a big knock from one of their batsmen but that seemed to be far away as KL Rahul was the only other to score over 50-plus. Rahul battled 66 balls for his 76, hitting 5 sixes and 4 fours.
India managed 338/9 in their 50 overs with no other real support from their batting order. Ravindra Jadeja’s late 11-ball 24 at the back could only reduce the margin of loss.
Pat Cummins was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 67. Hazlewood and Adam Zampa took two each.
Earlier, Australia’s innings was a ‘deja vu’ of the first ODI when Smith slammed 62-ball ton, the third fastest by an Australian in ODIs. Two days later, Smith has done it again in 62 balls. The only noticeable differences are Australia scoring 15 runs more and Smith being the lone centurion. This is Australia’s highest total against India, beating the previous match’s score.
Smith took a single off Yuzvendra Chahal to bring up his third consecutive century vs India. Overall, this is his fifth ODI hundred against them.
Smith top-scored the innings with 104 runs from 64 balls, hitting 14 fours and 2 sixes. He had made 66-ball 105 in the series opener on Friday.
Winning the toss, David Warner and skipper Aaron Finch provided Australia yet another pulsating start, adding 142 runs for the opening stand. Finch made 60 off 69 while Warner went close to a hundred but a superb direct hit from Shreyas Iyer got him walking back to the pavilion, scoring 77-ball 83 runs with 7 fours and 3 sixes.
Glenn Maxwell butchered Indian bowling in the death overs, smashing 4 sixes and 4 fours in a brisk 29-ball unbeaten 63 runs. Marnus Labuschagne made his third ODI half century with a 61-ball 70.
Hardik Pandya rolled his arms for four overs and took the big wicket of Smith in the 42nd over. Otherwise, it was a sorry looking scorecard for Virat Kohli’s bowlers. Jasprit Bumrah leaked 79 runs in his ten overs for one wicket.
Five men have made scores of 50 or more in Australia’s innings, the second instance of such in ODIs. The first time it happened was again by Australia against India in Jaipur in 2013.
Australia 389/4 in 50 overs (Smith 104, Warner 83, Labuschagne 70, Maxwell 63*; Pandya 1/24)
India 338/9 in 50 overs (Kohli 89, Rahul 76; Cummins 3/67, Hazelwood 2/59)
Australia won by 51 runs
Man of the Match: Steve Smith