Cricket

A Rohit-Kohli show as India clinch the three-ODI series with a decisive chase against Australia

Coming to the party: A 137-run second-wicket partnership between Rohit and Kohli was instrumental in India reaching the 287-run target with 15 balls to spare.

Coming to the party: A 137-run second-wicket partnership between Rohit and Kohli was instrumental in India reaching the 287-run target with 15 balls to spare.  

The former scores a century while the latter makes a stylish 89 at Bengaluru’s M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Rohit Sharma’s love affair with the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium continued, while Virat Kohli made amends for his poor record at the venue. The duo came good on the day to power India to a seven-wicket win in the series-deciding third ODI against Australia here on Sunday.

Rohit, who has scored 44, 209 and 65 in his three previous ODIs at this venue, smacked an entertaining 128-ball 119. Unlike Rohit, Kohli did not enjoy a good ODI record in the city, with a highest score of 34 in five games here. The Indian captain set the record straight, registering a typically stylish 89.

A 137-run second-wicket partnership between Rohit and Kohli was instrumental in the home team reaching the 287-run target with 15 balls to spare. The pair made light of the absence of Shikhar Dhawan, who suffered a shoulder injury while fielding. Dhawan, seen sitting in the dressing room with his arm in a sling, was unable to bat.

All class

Rohit was all class from the start, cutting and driving the pacers Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc. He soon upped the ante, gaining maximums with a lofted back-foot shot and a perfectly-timed flick. Later on, when the spinners came on, the big crowd were treated to the power-hitting side of his batting. Even a marginally short delivery was dispatched deep into the mid-wicket stands.

The visitor could do little to stop the flow of runs, even after Rohit and Kohli were taken out. Shreyas Iyer (44 n.o.) was up to the task, completing the job with Manish Pandey (8 n.o.). After electing to bat, Australia rode on an excellent 131 from Steve Smith to post a good score. Smith came to the middle in the fourth over, after Mohammed Shami got David Warner to poke at a length ball outside off.

Tough going

The early going was tough for Smith —a terrible mix-up resulting in the run-out of captain Aaron Finch for 19. Smith was nearly involved in another run-out, when next man Marnus Labuschagne took on Yuzvendra Chahal’s throw from the deep. Bowler Kuldeep Yadav, however, failed to collect the throw and handed Labuschagne a life on eight.

The duo put on 127 for the third wicket, seeing Australia through a tricky phase. Smith was most efficient, avoiding risks while scoring at a brisk pace. He started with a controlled pull off Shami, consciously keeping the ball down to evade the fine-leg trap.

With the calling now sorted out, Smith and Labuschagne ran well between the wickets. At this stage, Australia looked set for a huge total, but Kohli put paid to these hopes. With a supremely athletic effort, he plucked a low catch at cover to remove Labuschagne. Labuschagne, who had struck the drive sweetly, could not believe his luck.

In a surprise move, Mitchell Starc came in at three-down as a pinch hitter, but the move did not work. His wild slog only went as far as deep mid-wicket, giving Ravindra Jadeja his second scalp of the over. Smith carried on, bringing up his ninth ODI ton. His last ODI century, incidentally, came exactly three years ago (against Pakistan at Perth). It took a fine running catch by Shreyas to end his stay. The fans, witness to a classy knock, applauded Smith as he walked off.

Mohammed Shami, whose quick yorkers blasted Pat Cummins and Adam Zampa out, finished with four for 63. Jasprit Bumrah went wicketless, but showed great control to concede just 38 runs in his 10 overs.

Scoreboard

AUSTRALIA

David Warner c Rahul b Shami 3 (7b), Aaron Finch run out 19 (26b, 1x4, 1x6), Steve Smith c Shreyas b Shami 131 (132b, 14x4, 1x6), Marnus Labuschagne c Kohli b Jadeja 54 (64b, 5x4), Mitchell Starc c (sub) Chahal b Jadeja 0 (3b), Alex Carey c Shreyas b Kuldeep 35 (36b, 6x4), Ashton Turner c Rahul b Saini 4 (10b), Ashton Agar (not out) 11 (13b), Pat Cummins b Shami 0 (1b), Adam Zampa b Shami 1 (6b), Josh Hazlewood (not out) 1 (2b); Extras (lb-14, w-13): 27; Total (for nine wkts. in 50 overs): 286.

FALL OF WICKETS

1-18 (Warner, 3.2 overs), 2-46 (Finch, 8.5), 3-173 (Labuschagne, 31.3), 4-173 (Starc, 31.6), 5-231 (Carey, 41.4), 6-238 (Turner, 43.6), 7-273 (Smith, 47.1), 8-276 (Cummins, 47.4), 9-282 (Zampa, 49.2).

INDIA BOWLING

Bumrah 10-0-38-0, Shami 10-0-63-4, Saini 10-0-65-1, Kuldeep 10-0-62-1, Jadeja 10-1-44-2.

INDIA

Rohit Sharma c Starc b Zampa 119 (128b, 8x4, 6x6), K.L. Rahul lbw b Agar 19 (27b, 2x4), Virat Kohli b Hazlewood 89 (91b, 8x4), Shreyas Iyer (not out) 44 (35b, 6x4, 1x6), Manish Pandey (not out) 8 (4b, 2x4); Extras (lb-2, w-8): 10; Total (for three wkts. in 47.3 overs): 289.

FALL OF WICKETS

1-69 (Rahul, 12.3), 2-206 (Rohit, 36.4), 3-274 (Kohli, 45.5).

AUSTRALIA BOWLING

Cummins 7-0-64-0, Starc 9-0-66-0, Hazlewood 9.3-1-55-1, Agar 10-0-38-1, Zampa 10-0-44-1, Labuschagne 1-0-11-0, Finch 1-0-9-0.

Toss: Australia.

Man-of-the-Match: Rohit Sharma; Man-of-the-series: Virat Kohli.

India won by seven wickets with 15 deliveries to spare and clinch three-match series 2-1.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 3:31:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/a-rohit-kohli-show-as-india-romps-home/article30601340.ece

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