India notched up a 36-run victory over an in-form Australian team at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Friday. After the Indian batsmen piled up a huge total of 340-6 in their 50 overs, the ‘Men in Blue’ bowling cartel worked in unison to roll out the visitors for 304. With a game still to go, the three-match series is now squarely levelled at 1-1.
Earlier in the day, Australian skipper Aaron Finch won the toss and opted to field first. Team India openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan put on an 81-run first-wicket stand before skipper Virat Kohli joined forces with the latter. Captain Kohli brought up his 56th ODI fifty with 78 while Shikhar Dhawan underlined his credentials with a superlative 96 from just 90 balls.
Meanwhile, KL Rahul went about his business after arriving to the crease at 198-3. The stylish right-hander scored an industrious 52-ball 80 and struck six fours and three sixes to engineer India past the 300-run mark. On the back of tactful performances of Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, India’s total powered to 340-6 off their 50 overs.
Mumbai centurions David Warner and Aaron Finch both failed to get going in Rajkot as the two batsmen capitulated to fielding brilliance. Steve Smith anchored the majority of the innings but missed out on a well-deserved hundred. All five Indian bowlers contributed to the cause and Mohammed Shami led the pack with 3-77 from his 10 overs. Australia were eventually folded out for 304, falling short of their target by 36 runs.
The two teams will now clash in a series-deciding third ODI at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. The game is scheduled to be played on January 19 and the action will commence at 1:30 pm.