Clinical India steamroll Australia by 99 runs

Updated: 28 October 2009 16:26 IST

An all-round performance by a confident-looking Indian team fetched them a comprehensive 99 run victory over Australia in their 2nd ODI in Nagpur.


Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni struck a breathtaking 124 as India put up an all-round display to crush Australia by 99 runs in the second one-dayer to level the seven-match series 1-1, here on Wednesday.

Dhoni smashed a 107-ball 124 to guide India to a record 354 for seven, the highest against Australia, after they were sent in to bat before the home team bowlers bundled out the visitors for 255 in 48.3 overs at VCA Stadium at Jamtha, to cancel out their narrow four-run loss in Vadodara on Sunday.

Besides tearing visiting attack to shreds to notch up his fifth ODI ton in 147 matches, Dhoni clobbered two century stands - 119 with Gambhir for fourth wicket and 136 with Raina for the fifth, pushing India score past earlier highest against Australia - 315 all out in Bangalore in March 2001.

Australia were never in the hunt to chase down the mammoth target as they were just 115 for four by the 25th over and the asking run rate climbed to 11 plus by the 31st over.

Michael Hussey top-scored with a 60-ball 53 and he tried in vain to make a match out of it by sharing a 47-run stand for the fifth wicket with Adam Voges (36).

Young Ravindra Jadeja was the pick of Indian bowlers with figures of 3/35. He nipped in bud any chances of an Australian middle order fightback. Pacers Praveen Kumar and Ishant Sharma were also impressive with 2/37 and 2/34 respectively.

The two teams will now travel to Delhi for the third one-dayer on Saturday.

Earlier, Dhoni blazed his way to his first ODI ton in more than a year to lead India to a record 354 for six.

Dhoni completed his century in 94 balls, studded with two sixes and seven fours, as he simply tore the visiting team's attack to shreds on a good batting track. He was finally out for 124 after hitting three sixes and nine fours in 107 balls.

Dhoni, who came to the crease when India were struggling at 97 for three in 16th over, first consolidated the innings with Gambhir (76 in 80 balls) by running the singles and twos well and then opened up in the slog overs in the company of another left hander Raina (62 off 50 balls).

After Sehwag made a quick-fire 40 off only 31 balls, Dhoni, whose last century (109 not out) was against lowly Hong Kong in June 2008 in the Asia Cup tie in Karachi, and Gambhir laid the platform with a stand of 119 runs for the fourth wicket in only 113 balls.

Gambhir, who faced 80 balls and hit six fours, was run-out at non-striker's end by backing up too much just when he was poised to up the tempo in the company of his captain.

Dhoni, who was adjudged man of the match, joined forces with Raina, who struck one six and six fours, to simply tear the Aussie attack to ribbons with a partnership of 136 in only 96 balls.

The fifth wicket pair utilised the batting Power Play, taken between 40th and 44th overs, to add 39 runs, with the India captain in full flow with his bottom-handed shots against the Aussie pacemen Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson.

Australia conceded as many as 116 runs in the last eleven overs from the time India's batting Power Play ended.

India began their innings in spectacular style with Sehwag taking a particular fancy for the swing bowling of inexperienced Tasmanian Ben Hilfenhaus.

Sehwag spanked the second ball he faced in the match from the 27-year-old rookie, playing only his 14th ODI and first in the subcontinent, to the covers and then square-drove the bowler off the backfoot for another four to set the tone.

Tendulkar (4) worked Siddle off his toes for a four but was dismissed stretching out to a ball that was bowled wide of the stumps by the bowler in his next over and edged it to the slip cordon. He had got out in a similar fashion at Vadodara.

Sehwag lofted Johnson, who passed a fitness test to play in the match after an ankle-injury scare, for a straight six.

The Delhi batsman, however, fell to the left-arm pacer as he mistimed a lofted shot to haul out to Hilfenhaus. His 40 came off 31 balls and included six fours and a six.

Yuvraj Singh, who came in for Sehwag, showed no uneasy signs of playing his first match since mid-September, and timed the ball beautifully in making a quickfire 23 with two fours and a six before being brilliantly caught and bowled by Hilfenhaus when he could not keep down a straight drive.

Topics : Cricket
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