India's opening sensation Shikhar Dhawan, who missed out on a coveted century by just five runs in the Jaipur ODI, was not to be denied at Nagpur on Wednesday evening. He struck his fourth ODI century off 100 balls to power India's chase in the sixth ODI against Australia. The Aussies, leading 2-1 in the rain-hit series, scored 350/6 in their 50 overs. (Nagpur ODI pics)
The Delhi left-hander, dropped on 19 by Glenn Maxwell off James Faulkner's bowling, slammed 11 fours to race to his century on a perfect batting strip. Dhawan scored 178 runs for the opening wicket with Rohit Sharma (79). This effort bettered the previous record (176 at Jaipur) of the highest opening partnership for India against Australia in ODIs.
Sharma and Dhawan started steadily but soon runs began to flow as the pair made the best use of the fielding restrictions. Once Dhawan settled himself in, he began to play shots all over the park. His appetite for big scores is well known, particularly against Australia, when he hit 187 on his Test debut in Mohali. Dhawan also completed 1000 runs in ODIs when he reached his hundred. This is his 24th ODI. It was the perfect response to the big total set by the Aussies in what is a must-win game for the home side. (Scorecard)
Unfortunately for India, Dhawan departed for exactly 100 in 102 balls in the same over when he was bowled by James Faulkner. (Live Blog)
Earlier, boosted by George Bailey's 156 and Shane Watson's 102, Australia amassed 350/6. India had won the toss and decided to field.