Virat Kohli scored a brilliant century, his 39th in ODI’s, as India defeated Australia by 6 wickets at Adelaide on Tuesday to set up a winner takes all clash in Melbourne later this week.
Australia went into this game with an unchanged side, while India brought in Mohammed Siraj in place of left armer Khaleel Ahmed.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, the hosts lost their skipper Aaron Finch early. The Victorian’s form with the bat has been shaky of late, and like in Sydney, he was again bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar for 6.
Alex Carey looked good in his brief innings of 18 until he top edged a Mohammed Shami’s quick bouncer and was caught at midwicket by Shikhar Dhawan.
Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh stabilized the innings by adding 56 runs for the third wicket before Ravindra Jadeja produced a brilliant run out from backward point to dismiss Khawaja in the 19th over.
Marsh and Peter Handscomb put the Aussies back on track with a 55 run stand for the fifth wicket, before Handscomb was stumped by Dhoni off Jadeja.
Marcus Stoinis looked good in his innings of 29 until he was dismissed by Shami leaving the home side in a bit of a trouble at 189 for 5 in the 37th over.
The 35 year old Marsh along with Glen Maxwell took the Indian attack to the cleaners with some breath taking strokes and added 94 runs for the sixth wicket before Kumar got into the act by getting wickets of the duo in quick succession as the hosts lost their way in the final stages of the innings. Kumar’s 48th over was a game changer of sorts, it prevented Australia from getting to 320-330 which might well have been a match winning score in the end.
Australia finished with a competitive score of 298 for 9 in their allotted 50 overs.
Kumar was India’s best bowler as he finished with figures of 4/45, while Shami claimed 3 wickets.
Chasing a target of 299 runs, India got off to a solid start as the opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma added 47 runs for the opening stand before Dhawan was dismissed for a quickfire 32 off the bowling of Jason Behrendorff.
Rohit added yet another strong stand with of 54 runs with Kohli for the second wicket as the former was caught in the deep off Marcus Stoinis for a well made 43.
Ambati Rayudu looked a bit scratchy in his innings of 24 , before falling to Maxwell, leaving India at 160 for 3.
MS Dhoni then joined the Indian skipper and the duo added 82 runs for the fourth wicket, as India reached 200 run mark in the 37th over.
Kohli brought up his sixth hundred against Australia before Jhye Richardson brought an end to his masterful innings, by getting the Indian captain caught by Maxwell in the 44th over.
That brought the under pressure Dinesh Karthik to the crease, and the Tamil Nadu played a crucial role in the chase by scoring a quickfire 25 runs of 14 balls and adding an unbeaten 57 run stand for the fifth wicket with Dhoni.
With 7 runs needed off 6 balls, Dhoni hit a six off the first ball of the final over and followed it with a single to finish the match in style as India won the match with 4 balls to spare.
Virat Kohli was declared the player of the match.
India levelled the ODI series 1-1, having lost the opening game in Sydney by 34 runs. The third and the final one ODI will be played at the MCG on Friday.