ICC WORLD CUP 2019: India beat Australia by 36 runs

Driven by an electrifying Shikhar Dhawan 117, India set Australia a seismic 353 runs to win. It was the highest total Australia has ever conceded at the World Cup,  and a miracle chase seldom looked a real possibility.


Australia struggled to score with any ease through most of its innings, a problem personified by David Warner's meandering 56 off 84. Behind the eight ball for most of the chase, Australia could not muster the sort of hitting required to pull off the remarkable at the death.

Warner and opening partner Aaron Finch looked to take a steady start to the chase, and while they held their wickets through the first 13 overs, the run rate had already started to fall dangerously low.

Aaron Finch fell victim to a desperate attempt to get the scoreboard moving, running himself out on 36. That brought Steve Smith to the crease — elevated ahead of Usman Khawaja in the order — and he and Warner set about stabilising in the middle orders.

Australia's problem was that stability came at the cost of putting any pressure back on India. The run rate continued to slow until Warner eventually fell going for a lofty slog over midwicket, at which point even Smith began to find scoring difficult.

Khawaja was forced to bat with the sort of aggression he normally leaves to his better suited teammates, and pulled it off for a while, before conspiring to ramp a delivery into his own leg stump on 42.

With a little less than 15 overs to go, Australia required upwards of 11 an over to win — and for a very brief moment, the Aussies would have dared to dream.

Glenn Maxwell joined Smith at the crease and the pair proceeded to take 29 from the next two overs, without so much as a slog in anger. It was a promising spell that would not last long.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar trapped Smith LBW for 69 and the comeback was over before it began. Marcus Stoinis was bowled two balls later for a duck, and the following over Maxwell fell for 28, top edging a wild slog sweep straight into the air and into the onrushing sub field Ravi Jadeja's hands.

From there, it was somewhat of a procession. Alex Carey did all he could, smacking a rapid 55*, but he had too much to do and no help to do it. India successfully bowled Australia out with the last ball of the innings, completing a morale boosting victory for the 2011 champions.

India demonstrates Australia how its finished with the bat

On a pitch that was expected to start flat and get progressively slower to bat on, Kohli wasted no time in opting to bat after the coin fell his way.
His decision was immediately vindicated as Dhawan and Rohit Sharma made light work of Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc's new ball spells.

Australia's quicks failed to get any movement in the air and there was no help from the pitch, making life comfortable for the Indian openers. They batted with proper foresight, taking their time and no unnecessary risks and, in stark contrast to Australia, managed to keep scoring even in the difficult periods. After 20 overs India was 0-111, compared to Australia's 1-99.

Once he warmed up, Dhawan was thrilling to watch. He patiently saw off the Australian openers and targeted the change bowlers, with Nathan Coulter-Nile and Adam Zampa both copping the treatment in their first overs.

Sharma's half-century was chanceless, which only served to make his dismissal more surprising. In attempting to glide Coulter-Nile to third man, he managed to get an edge through to Alex Carey who caught smartly behind the stumps.

It did not deter Dhawan though, now partnered by Kohli and with three figures in sight. The pair ran smartly between wickets and Dhawan eventually became more expansive, adding some impressive ramps to his full blooded cuts, drives and hooks.

He fully deserved his century, and looked like making it a really big one. Even the shot that brought his dismissal was impressive, though his mighty hoik gained more height than distance and was caught on the midwicket boundary.

With momentum on their side, Kohli and Hardik Pandya kicked on in the back end of the innings — the latter aided by Carey, who spilled a regulation catch from his first ball faced — and 350 became increasingly realistic.

Pandya (48) fell just short of a rapid half-century, but MS Dhoni picked up the slack. Some trademark lusty blows came and went, before Stoinis took a remarkable catch off his own bowling to end his innings prematurely on 27.

Stoinis also picked up Kohli, caught in the covers swinging for the rope on 82, before a few more big shots from KL Rahul dragged India past 350 to leave Australia with a formidable — and ultimately unconquerable — chase.
ICC WORLD CUP 2019: India beat Australia by 36 runs ICC WORLD CUP 2019: India beat Australia by 36 runs Reviewed by Cricket Info Tak on June 09, 2019 Rating: 5

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