Shikhar Dhawan’s ongoing love affair with The Oval had its latest chapter after he scored a match-winning century in India’s 36-run victory over Australia in their ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 clash on Sunday, 9 June.
Opting to bat, India got off to a steady start. Rohit Sharma, who went on to make 57 off 70 balls, was dropped by Nathan Coulter-Nile on the third ball of the second over off Mitchell Starc.
Rohit and Dhawan then batted with caution, putting on 41 in the first 10 overs, before switching gears and adding 70 in the next 10 overs. Both the batsmen scored half-centuries, with Rohit also becoming the fourth batsman to score 2,000 runs in ODIs against Australia.
Coulter-Nile then provided the breakthrough, snuffing out Rohit in the 23rd over to break an opening stand of 127. But there was no stopping Dhawan, who already had two centuries and a fifty at The Oval.
He accelerated to convert his fifty to a brilliant hundred before Starc had him dismissed for 117. Later, Hardik Pandya’s 27-ball 48 and skipper Virat Kohli’s brisk 82 provided the late impetus as India posted 352/5.
In their chase, Australia adopted the same strategy as India, laying a foundation at the start. Just as Aaron Finch and David Warner were beginning to let loose, however, a mix-up ended in Finch being run out for 36.
The Indian bowlers ensured the Australians were always under the pump. Warner (56), Usman Khawaja (42), and Steve Smith (69) all got good starts, but failed to convert their knocks into something defining.
Alex Carey remained unbeaten on 55 in the end, but he ran out of partners as India bowled out Australia for 316 to get their second win of the tournament.
Source: Cricket World Cup