2nd ODI: Steve Smith, bowlers shine as Australia thrash India by 51 runs to clinch series


Steve Smith smacked his second consecutive century before the bowlers came to the fore to help Australia swept aside India by 51 runs in the second One-Day International (ODI) of the three-match series at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Sunday.

With the victory, the home side has clinched the ongoing series with a game to spare by taking an unassailable 2-0 lead.

The Aaron Finch-led side once again won the toss and opted to bat first against the Men in Blue.

Openers Aaron Finch and David Warner continued their good run of partnerships against India as the duo not only scored a fifty each but also shared a mammoth 142-run stand for the opening wicket.

While Warner scored seven boundaries and three sixes in his blistering knock of 83 runs off 77 deliveries, Finch smashed six fours and a maximum in his 69-ball 60 runs.

After the duo fell in quick succession, Steve Smith brought up yet another magnificent knock of 104 runs off just 64 deliveries which was decorated with 14 boundaries and two sixes.

Besides this, Smith also shared a crucial 136-run partnership with Marnus Labuschagne (70) before the former was dismissed by Hardik Pandya, who was bowling for the first time after the long injury lay-off.

Labuschagne then stitched a crucial 80-run partnership with Glenn Maxwell (unbeaten at 63) to help Australia post a mammoth total of 389 for four–there highest total against India.

For India, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah chipped in with a wicket each.

In reply, openers Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan failed to convert solid start of their innings into a big score and fell for 28 and 30 runs, respectively.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli then not only played a captain’s knock of 87-ball 89 but also shared crucial partnership of 93 and 72 runs with Shreyas Iyer (38) and KL Rahul (76), respectively to move India closer to the 300-run mark.

Subsequently, Hardik Pandya (28) and Ravindra Jadeja (24) tried to build a partnership before Pat Cummins struck twice to remove the two in quick succession.

Mohammed Shami (1) and Jasprit Bumrah (0) were then dismissed cheaply as India were restricted to a score of 338 for nine in their stipulated 20 overs. 

Cummins was the pick of the bowlers for Australia with figures of three for 67. Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa bagged two wickets each, while Moisis Henriques and Glenn Maxwell claimed a wicket each for the home side.

Steve Smith was declared ‘Man of the Match’ for the second consecutive time for yet another brilliant peformance with the bat.

Australia, who won the opening ODI against India by 66 runs at the same venue on Friday, will look to complete a series sweep when they head into the third and final ODI at Manuka Oval on December 2.

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Sagar Biswas

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