India beat Australia by 8 runs in Nagpur to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match ODI series. India batted first and were all out for a total of 250 which was powered mostly by captain Virat Kohli’s 40th ODI century and a cameo from Vijay Shankar.
Game turned out to be a nail-biter of a run chase ended with Australia being dismissed for 242 in the last over of the match. Shankar bowled the last over and took two wickets.
Australian captain Aaron Finch was looking as jittery as he has in recent times early in the chase. A glorious cover drive off Mohammed Shami in the third over proved to be a sign of things to come and surely enough.
Finch started getting into a flow towards the latter half of the first 10 overs. His opening partner Usman Khawaja also kept the momentum up and the pair ended up putting up an opening stand worth 83 runs in under 15 overs.
Finch was the first man to go, being trapped leg before wicket by Kuldeep Yadav in the 15th over. Usman Khawaja was dismissed by Kedar Jadhav in the very next over and India regained control of the match.
Shaun Marsh, who was playing his first match of the series after a spell out due to injury. Marsh didn’t stay for long though as he nicked behind to the wicketkeeper off Ravindra Jadeja. His wicket was followed by that of Glenn Maxwell who was castled by Kuldeep.
India were in control by then but then Australia fought back with Alex Carey and Marcus Stoinis. The pair went after Kuldeep in the 43rd over and smashed 15 runs off it.
But Carey was dismissed by Kuldeep in the 45th over and after that Jasprit Bumrah went about doing his thing in the death overs. He took the wickets of Nathan Coulter-Nile and Pat Cummins to leave Stoinis with the responsibility of taking the visitors home.
With 11 runs needed from the last over and Stoinis on strike, Kohli tossed the ball to Vijay Shankar. The latter revealed later that he knew he would be bowling the last over around the 42nd and 43rd over itself.
The decision paid dividends as Shankar trapped Stoinis off the very first ball of the over. He then ended the match by castling Adam Zampa.
Kohli’s 40th ODI century steered India to a competitive 250 after a middle-order collapse on a dry surface at the VCA stadium but it proved to be just enough in the end as India earned the win with just three balls to spare.
It was India’s 500th win in the ODI format. The first victory had come in 1975 against East Africa under then captain S Venkatraghvan.
India now lead the five-match series 2-0 with third match slated for Friday in Ranchi.
India – 250 (Kohli 116, Vijay 46, Cummins 4/29)
Australia – 242 (Stoinis 53, Handscomb 48, Kuldeep 3/54)