Shikhar Dhawan plays a shot
India pulled off a magnificent 36-run victory over Australia in a high-scoring ICC Cricket World Cup fixture worked off at The Oval in London yesterday.
The defending champions chasing a formidable 352 for victory made a splendid effort before they were eventually dismissed for 316 runs in 50 overs.
Opener David Warner gave Australia a fine start with a fluent 56 from 84 balls inclusive of five boundaries.
In addition, Steve Smith hammered 69 from 70 balls with one six and five boundaries while wicket-keeper batsman Alex Carey struck an unbeaten 55 from just 35 deliveries with the aid of one six and five boundaries.
Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan hit a sparkling century to help India post a massive 352 for five from their allotted 50 overs.
The opening batsman led the Indian charge after Captain Virat Kohli won the toss and batted.
Kohli also came out all guns blazing to smash 82 and combine with Hardik Pandya for a 81-run third-wicket stand that saw the pair pummel world champions Australia’s bowlers.
The left-handed Dhawan made 117 off 109 balls and shared an opening stand of 127 with Rohit Sharma (57) that set the tone for the innings.
India’s total meant Australia were left needing to surpass Ireland’s 329 for seven against England in 2011, the highest score by any team batting second to win a World Cup match.
Dhawan and Sharma overcame a cautious start against Australia’s new-ball duo of Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc to put India in control with their 16th century partnership in one-day internationals.
Paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile finally struck in the 23rd over, having Sharma caught behind.
Dhawan carried on, however, to reach a hundred with a single of Marcus Stoinis after the ball rebounded off the stumps.
He acknowledged his 17th ODI century by taking off his helmet and waving his bat to huge cheers from a largely India-supporting crowd.
The aggressive Dhawan then drove a 93 mph delivery from Starc straight past the left-arm quick’s head for four.
But Starc eventually had Dhawan caught at deep midwicket to end an innings featuring 16 boundaries.
M. S. Dhoni also chipped in with a brisk 27 as India scored 59 runs from the last five overs.