Kolkata (West Bengal) , Sept. 22 : Brilliant performances from skipper Virat Kohli and bowlers helped India beat Australia by 50 runs at the Eden Gardens here on Thursday.
Australia skipper Steve Smith had, before the match, clearly stated how he wanted to celebrate his 100th ODI. He wanted to score runs and see Australia win. The skipper did score runs, but he couldn't take his side over the line as the home side proved its dominance once again with a 50-run win to go 2-0 up in the five-match series.
After restricting the Men in Blue to a modest 252, the visitors lost its way with Smith fighting a lone battle that was never going to be enough to help his side cross the line.
He scored a gritty 59 off 79 deliveries, but a clinical spell from pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah early on, followed up by some brilliant bowling from spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, ended the visiting side's hopes of levelling the series.
During the latter part of the chase, left-arm chinaman struck a hat-trick and became only the third Indian to achieve the feat in ODIs, following in the footsteps of Chetan Sharma and Kapil Dev.
Apart from Smith, all-rounder Marcus Stoinis was the other Australian batter who could stay at the crease. Stoinis finished unbeaten on 62 off 65 balls, having hit six boundaries and three sixes.
Earlier, Kohli led the charge of the Indian innings with 92 off 107 balls, which consisted of eight boundaries, but Australia made a very good comeback at the death to keep India's score reasonable.
Opener Ajinkya Rahane looked in terrific touch, scoring 55 off 64 balls, with seven glorious hits to the fence. Rahane looked set for a big one, but in an attempt to steal a tight second run in the 24th over, fell short by an inch and had to depart.
Towards the end of the innings, India lost wickets in quick succession, and they got bowled out on the last ball of the 50th over, after passing the 250 mark.
Australia will have to ponder a lot and will have to come out with a magical performance to stay alive in the series when the two teams meet for the third ODI on Sunday at the Holkar Stadium in Indore.
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