Four tons of fun as India trounce Oz

2013-10-31 00:00

VIRAT Kohli and Shikar Dhawan were the centurions as India batted sensationally to beat Australia by six wickets in the sixth one-day international in Nagpur yesterday.

In a match that was astonishingly similar to the second ODI in Jaipur, the hosts showed little concern in search of the daunting target as they made 351 for four at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium.

Much like the second match, India built a solid platform up front, with openers Shikar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma putting on 178 runs for the first wicket.

Sharma fell for 79 off the bowling of Aaron Finch, which allowed Virat Kohli — who scored the fastest ODI 100 by an Indian player in the second match — to step things up as he bludgeoned the Aussie bowlers all over the show.

He went on to smash 18 fours and a six as he reached 115 from just 66 balls.

Shikar Dhawan recorded his third career hundred, before James Faulk­ner bowled him out with exactly 100 to his name, which came from 102 balls.

Earlier, George Bailey and Shane Watson each scored a century as Australia posted 350 for six, after the home side had won the toss and chosen to field.

Watson and the Aussie skipper combined to register a record third wicket partnership of 168 runs.

The imperious looking Watson played three consecutive perfectly-timed fours to bring up his ninth ODI ton, before missing a straight delivery that dragged in a little from Mohamed Shami. His 102 runs (from 94 balls) included 13 fours and three sixes.

It was not all plain sailing for the 32-year-old all-rounder, who could have been out in the 17th over when Ravi Jadeja got him to sky one, which was comfortably taken by Rohit Sharma at mid-off.

He was given a reprieve when the umpire asked to have a look at Ravi Jadeja’s front foot landing and the third official ruled that Jadeja did not have any part of his foot behind the line.

Bailey, who was in the form of his life, passed 85 runs for the fourth time on the tour and was on his way to only his second ODI century. He went on to post his highest career score of 156 from a mere 114 balls, which included 13 fours and six sixes.

Jadeja would be responsible for the demise of the 31-year-old Tasmanian. He had him caught at long-off at a stage when the right-hand middle-order batsman was throwing the proverbial kitchen sink at just about every delivery.

The series is level at 2-2 with one match to play on November 2 in Bangalore.

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