Ruthless India crush depleted Aussies
India beat Australia by 99 runs in Nagpur to level the seven match ODI series.
Dhoni (124) had made his presence felt in Nagpur, before he was caught behind after setting the tone of the evening, slamming a blistering century that spiraled India’s chances against a hapless looking Australian outfit. It was the hosts’ highest ODI total against Australia. It was also the highest score by an Indian captain against Australia in the same format.
He was aptly supported by Raina who was the bearer of a blitzkrieg fifty, and the duo belted boundaries after boundaries, taking the Indian scorecard beyond the 300-run mark in no time at all. It was truly a welcome sight for the quality starved cricket fans and the joy resounded itself in the deafening roars by the capacity packed Vidarbha Ground.
Incidentally, both the batsmen were caught brilliantly behind the wicket off Johnson, while trying to whack the cherry out of the park.
Gautam Gambhir (76) was in demonic destruction mode as well and got out in the only seemingly possible way keeping his form in mind. He was run out that resulted out of a terrible mix-up on the pitch. A visible annoyed Gambhir left the field after he had given India every chance of going for a massive kill.
It was however, heartbreak for comeback man Yuvraj Singh. His wicket had fallen while runs were raining on the hosts, as he was caught and bowled brilliantly by Ben Hilfenhaus at a score of 23 (24 balls).
The fall of the third wicket in the beginning of the 16th over, when India were cruising above a run-a-ball speed, brought out skipper Dhoni to the crease. He came in with a point to prove as his batting has of late lost its sheen. And he let his willow do the talking.
Mitchell Johnson was one positive for Ponting. He struck gold with his first delivery of the tenth over as he claimed Virender Sehwag for a score of 40 off 31 balls. The Delhi blaster was looking ominous on the turf, but mistimed a fuller delivery into the hands of Hilfenhaus.
Sachin Tendulkar (4) missed out in the run-fest as well, and unfruitful stay at the wicket came to an early end as he edged a Peter Siddle delivery straight into the hands of Cameron White at first slip.