Kohli, Shankar help India register 500th ODI victory

Nagpur: Virat Kohli’s 40th one-day international century before Vijay Shankar’s two-wicket haul in the dead over helped India win the second match against Australia by eight runs at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur on Tuesday.

With this win, India have registered the 500th ODI victory and have also taken a 2-0 lead against Australia in the five-match series.

Man of the Match Kohli anchored the innings for India after the hosts were sent in by Australia, guiding his side to 250. Defending what seemed a challenging target, right-arm fast bowler Shankar bowled out the visitors on 242 with three balls to spare.

As Australian captain Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja were in the middle, it seemed their partnership would steer the visitors to level the series. However, spinner Kuldeep Yadav broke the 83-run partnership as he trapped Finch for 37. In the very next over, part-time off-spinner Kedar Jadhav dismissed the settled Khawaja for 38.
India got another breakthrough as Kuldeep struck Glenn Maxwell, who returned pavilion without disturbing the scoreboard. Later, Ravindra Jadeja brilliantly run-out Peter Handscomb for 48.

The match tilted in favour of Australia as Marcus Stoinis and Alex Carey stitched a 39-run partnership for the sixth wicket. India again retained momentum as Kuldeep sent Carey back for 22.

As Australia required 11 runs from six balls, Kohli opted Shankar over Jadhav to bowl the last over. On the first delivery of the over, Shankar dismissed Stoinis for 52, leaving the visitors on 240 for nine. Shankar struck again, cleaning Adam Zampa for two and wrapping up the Australian innings on 242 with three balls remaining.

Earlier, Indian captain blazed 120-ball 116, which saw 10 boundaries before he was trapped by fast bowler Pat Cummins. Kohli registered his 40th ODI century, becoming the only second player to achieve the feat after master-blaster Sachin Tendulkar.

As openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan walked on to the field, Cummins dismissed Sharma for a duck on the last ball of the first over. Kohli and Dhawan in the middle recovered India after an early dent. However, off-spinner Maxwell broke the 38-run stand as he struck Dhawan for 21.

Joining the party, off-spinner Nathan Lyon got a wicket in his kitty in the name of Ambati Rayudu for 18. Shankar, who stepped in when India was 75 for three, stitched an 81-run partnership with Kohli before he lost his wicket in an unfortunate run-out when he was just four shy fifty.

As Jadhav (11) and MS Dhoni (0) both departed in quick successions, Kohli built a 67-run stand for the seventh wicket with Jadeja before Cummins took two wickets in the name of Jadeja (21) and Kuldeep (3). India wrapped up for 250 under 49 overs.

India, with a 2-0 lead, will meet Australia for the third ODI at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on March 8.

Brief scores: India 250 (V Kohli 116, V Shankar 46, PJ Cummins 4-29, A Zampa 2-62) defeated Australia 242 (MP Stoinis 52, PSP Handscomb 48, Kuldeep 3-54, V Shankar 2-15, JJ Bumrah 2-29) by eight runs.