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India chase down 351 in style as Kohli, Dhawan hit tons

Related Links: Australia Tour of India 2013 Schedule | India Vs Australia, 6th ODI at Nagpur – Scorecard

India stayed alive in their 7-ODI Series by winning the do-or-die contest at Nagpur by 6 wickets on Thursday evening. The Men in Blue for the second time in this series chased down a 350 plus target to set new benchmarks in ODI batting. Virat Kohli sizzled again to become the fastest to score 17 ODI tons. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma laid the platform for him with a wonderful opening stand of 178. India thanks to the top three batsmen registered the third highest target in ODI history. The script for this 6th ODI at the VCA Stadium in Jamtha, Nagpur was quite similar to the 2nd ODI at Jaipur.

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Virat Kohli (Photo credit: Royal Challengers Bangalore)

Well for starters, India decided to field first after winning the toss with three spinners in its line-up. Amit Mishra was roped in to take the place of R Vinay Kumar. After removing the Aussie openers relatively cheaply, India wrested control over the match as the pitch took turn but was too slow. The visitors would have been in more trouble had Shane Watson had continued walking back to the pavilion after his miscued slog sweep was caught in the off side. But the bowler – Ravindra Jadeja had committed the sin of overstepping! There was no looking back for Watson after that and in the company of his confident Skipper George Bailey, Watson dictated terms to the spin trio.

Bailey was quite sensational with his footwork and the Indian bowling fell apart. The Aussie Captain continued to silence his critics with his second hundred of the series and also of his short career. The 31-year-old George Bailey registered a career best of 156 from 114 balls with 13 fours and half a dozen sixes. His partner in the 168-run stand for the 3rd wicket – Shane Watson collected his 9th ODI ton. Watson scored 102 from 94 balls with 13 fours and 3 sixes. Adam Voges with 44* (from 38 balls) was the third chief contributor for the Aussies who finished on a high with 350 for 6.

Having witnessed the run chase in Jaipur, the Aussies were certainly not safe in defending 350 against the World Champions. The confidence of the Indian openers – Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan was very high and it reflected in their massive opening stand. Rohit was slow and measured, quite intent to preserve his wicket but when it mattered came up with the big shots. He lost his wicket in the 30th over having got to a well made 79 from 89 balls with 7 fours and 3 sixes.

Shikhar Dhawan hit his 4th ODI hundred but got out just after that losing his concentration but by then he was also cramping up. Dhawan’s knock of 100 came in 102 balls with 11 fours. Virat Kohli took very less time to find his bearings and despite losing Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh to Mitchell Johnson, the Indian Vice-Captain kept his composure. With MS Dhoni (25*), Kohli saw India through with three balls to spare. The 24-year-old Kohli now has 17 centuries in 118 ODIs! And his 115 not out from 66 balls with 18 fours and a six was the third fastest ODI hundred by an Indian. The fastest ever is held by Kohli himself with his Jaipur knock while Virender Sehwag holds the second fastest ODI hundred in 60 balls. Kohli had taken a ball more than Sehwag in smacking his century in this 6th ODI.

Video of India Vs Australia, 6th ODI at Nagpur

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