India fall to 51-run defeat; Australia win series
Steve SmithIANS (FIle photo)

India fall to 51-run defeat; Australia win series

Sydney, November 29, 2020

Australia beat India by 51 runs in the second ODI on Sunday at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). The hosts have thus sealed victory in the three-match series, having taken an unassailable 2-0 lead.

Chasing a mammoth target of 390, India were restricted to 338/9 after another century from Steve Smith took Australia to 389/4 batting first.

India started with a 58-run stand between openers Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan. The pair departed within a few balls of each other after which captain Virat Kohli anchored the middle order. Kohli and Shreyas Iyer steadied the ship for the visitors and just as they were looking to shift gears, the latter fell to Moises Henriques thanks to a stunning catch by Smith at deep midwicket.

Kohli soldiered on with KL Rahul at the other end before falling to a brilliant catch, this time by Henriques himself, at midwicket again off Josh Hazlewood.

Kohli made 89 off 87 balls, putting up partnerships of 93 with Iyer and 72 with Rahul.

Rahul and Hardik Pandya then put up 63 for the fifth wicket but both succumbed to the pressure that came with the rising required run rate.

Earlier, Smith smashed 104 off 64 balls, reaching three figures in just 62 balls for the second consecutive time in this series. He put up 136 runs with Marnus Labuschagne, which was the second century partnership for Australia in the match after the 142-run opening stand between captain Aaron Finch and David Warner.

Smith finally fell to Pandya, who was handed the ball for the first time since making his comeback from a back injury after which Glenn Maxwell smashed 63 off 29 balls to take Australia within 11 runs of the 400-run mark.

Electing to bat first, Australia once again had a great start as Finch and Warner made most of the batting friendly conditions.

Finch was the first wicket to fall in the 23rd over as he went back to the pavilion after contributing with 60 runs, which included six 4s and a six.

However, Warner continued from the other end and looked all set for a well-deserved century before Shreyas Iyer's brilliance in the outfield saw the left-handed batsman getting run out at his individual score of 83, an innings studded with seven 4s and three 6s.

Smith continued from where he left off in the last match as he scored boundaries at will and kept the Indian bowlers under immense pressure. Such was his sheer dominance that skipper Virat Kohli had to brought in a semi-fit Pandya to bowl in the 36th over of the innings.

Smith and Marnus Labuschagne shared a 132-run partnership during the course of which Smith brought up his 11th hundred in just 62 balls. The 32-year-old, after scoring 104 runs with the help of fourteen 4s and two 6s, was caught at short third-man off the bowling of Pandya.

Glenn Maxwell, who came in next, kept collecting runs for Australia quickly like in the first ODI as he and Labuschagne made use of each and every scoring opportunity and kept piling misery on the Indian bowlers. Both stitched an 80-run partnership before Labuschagne fell in the 49th over at his individual score of 70 runs.

In the 50th over, Maxwell brought up his half century, made off just 25 balls. Australia ended their innings at 389/4 with Maxwell and Moises Henriques remaining unbeaten on 63 and 2, respectively.

The third and final ODI will be played in Canberra on Wednesday.

Brief scores: Aus 389/4 in 50 overs (Steve Smith 104, David Warner 83; Mohammed Shami 1/73) vs Ind 338/9 in 50 overs (Virat Kohli 89, KL Rahul 76; Pat Cummins 3/67)

IANS

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