Dhawan’s Ton to Bhuvi’s Double Strike: 5 Game-Changing Moments
Team India continued their good run at ongoing Cricket World Cup in England and Wales. After a comfortable victory against South Africa, India handsomely defeated five-time champion Australia by 36 runs at the Oval on Sunday.
Both India and Australia came into the match, winning their previous matches. While India got the better off South Africa, Australia defeated Afghanistan and West Indies.
Here’s a look at the five game changing moments that proved vital to tilt the outcome of the match in India’s favour:
Opening Stand of 127 Runs
It took four matches for India’s opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan to finally find form. The duo was smart enough to cautiously against the likes Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins. It was Rohit and Shikhar who laid the foundation for India's mammoth total. By the time Rohit Sharma departed, India had added 127 runs on the board. The partnership was India's highest opening stand in a World Cup match against Australia.
Dhawan’s Century & Kohli’s 82
After Rohit Sharma departed for a well-compiled 57, Team India continued their surge ahead, courtesy a 93-run partnership between Dhawan and captain Virat Kohli. In the process, Dhawan scored his 17th ODI century while Virat Kohli reached his 50th fifty. Dhawan, who failed to find form with bat since arriving in England, looked fluent all throughout his innings. His 106-ball 117 was laden with 16 fours. Meanwhile, Virat Kohli looked good for another century but in the end had to be content with 82, which included 4 fours and 2 sixes. His innings was as important as Dhawan’s ton.
Cameos From Pandya & Dhoni
After Dhawan’s dismissal in the 37th over, Team India decided to send in Hardik Pandya instead of KL Rahul. The decision paid off as Hardik went ballistic from the word go. He ended up scoring 48 off 27 balls. In the process he sit 4 fours and 3 sixes. His dismissal brought in MS Dhoni. The former captain too maintained a strike rate of around 200 as he notched up 27 important runs of 14 deliveries. KL Rahul finally got an opportunity with the bat in the last over and he made full use of it scoring 11 off 3 balls.
Aaron Finch’s Run Out
While chasing Australia were off to a brisk start. While Warner struggled against Bumrah and Bhuvi, Finch looked in good touch. The skipper was due for a big innings and it looked like today was the day. But unfortunately, his innings was cut short in the 14th over. Warner had hit the ball to sweeper cover and called for the second, which never existed. Kedar was accurate with his flat throw at the bowlers end. Hardik collected the ball cleanly and whipped the bails off in a flash. Finch was miles short of the crease as he departed for 36.
Bhuvi’s Double Strike
At one point with Steve Smith at the crease, it looked like Australia might have an outside chance of chasing India’s score down. But Bhuvi had some other plans as he came into bowl the 40th over. It was the third ball of the over. Smith played across the line and played it down the wrong line and the ball rapped him on the pads. The umpire wasn’t convinced but India sent the matter upstairs and got it spot-on. Thus, Smith departed for 69. His third half-century in as many matches. Three balls Bhuvi strikes again. This time there was no question asked as Bhuvi dismantled the stumps of Marcus Stoinis. With these two wickets, Australia could see their hope flickering as India were well on their way for a perfec start to the 2019 World Cup campaign.