London: Taking the air out Australia’s chase, the Indians sent back Steven Smith, Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell in quick successions in their ICC World Cup match at the Kennington Oval, marking a whooping victory here on Sunday.
The Indian bowlers held their nerve and exacted revenge by registering a 36-run win for their second straight victory in the ICC Cricket World Cup on Sunday.
With this loss, Australia’s 10-match winning streak came to an end.
India started off slowly, consolidated in the middle overs and then exploded towards the end.
A target of 353 has never been chased in the history of the World Cup and Australia had to start in an explosive manner.
However, Australia followed India’s template and they were always playing catch-up.
David Warner and Aaron Finch started off cautiously and after nine overs, they were 29/0. The powerplay ended well as Warner slammed a four off Hardik Pandya but Finch got going with two fours and a six in the same over.
India broke the partnership with a run-out as Kedar Jadhav’s accurate throw from deep midwicket resulted in Finch being run-out for 36. That brought in Steve Smith and Warner together, the dup who were caught in a storm about a year ago.
Both batsmen looked to stabilise the innings but Warner seemed bogged down. The left-hander reached a fifty but was striking in the high 70s.
Smith, on the other hand, took full toll on Jadhav as he smashed him for a six and a four. The run-rate pressure took a toll on Warner who mistimed the slog sweep off Yuzvendra Chahal and holed out to deep midwicket.
Usman Khawaja, who had played a starring role in the India series, stitched yet another gritty stand with Smith who scored his second fifty in the tournament. Khawaja also looked good for a fifty by smashing Kuldeep Yadav for a six and a four but once he fell to Bumrah, the pressure was on.
Glenn Maxwell and Smith smashed a flurry of boundaries and the match was evenly poised.
That was when Bhuvneshwar decided to change the course of the game. He removed Smith with an off-cutter and took the review successfully and cleaned up Marcus Stoinis. When Maxwell fell to Chahal, the game was up.
Alex Carey fought bravely and he reached a fifty off 25 balls with some attractive hits but Australia fell short.
In hindsight, the game was up when India had posted a total in excess of 350, presenting Australia a mountain to climb.
India won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first.