Virat Kohli once again played a crucial knock for his team and bowlers produced outstanding performance as India beat Australia by 50 runs in the second ODI of the five-match series at Eden Gardens on Thursday.
The day started with the host’s captain winning the toss and opting to bat first. His decision seemed a right one as India were cruising towards 300-run marked after registering 121 for the loss of one wicket in the 24th over.
However, Australia’s Kane Richardson and Nathan Coulter-Nile produced brilliant bowling performance to restrict India to 252.Both Richardson and Coulter-Nile claimed three wickets each, whereas Pat Cummins and left-arm spinner Ashton Agar picked a wicket each.
For India, Kohli finished the innings with the top score of 92 off 107 balls with the help of eight boundaries, whereas opener Ajinkya Rahane scored well-composed 55 off 64.Chasing 253 to level the series, Australia had a horrid start as they lost openers Hilton Cartwright and David Warner in the first five overs, courtesy brilliant bowling performance from Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
However, 76-run third wicket partnership between captain Steve Smith and all-rounder Travis Head revived hopes for the visitors.But once Head departed in the 17th opener, Kangaroos lost all of their momentum and started losing wickets at regular intervals.
Hard-hitting all-rounder Marcus Stoinis held one end till the end and played a gutsy innings, but the visitors were eventually bowled out of 202 in the 44th over.Stoinis finished the innings with the top score of unbeaten 62 off 65 with the help of six fours and three sixes, whereas Smith scored 59 off 76 with the help of eight boundaries.
The most unexpected thing of the day came in the final stages of the match, where left-arm chinaman Kuldeep Yadav claimed his first international hat-trick.For his outstanding bowling performance, Kohli was awarded man of the match.