India vs Australia: Kuldeep Yadav’s hat-trick, Virat Kohli’s 92 give hosts 2-0 lead in the series


KOLKATA, Sept. 22: Riding high on a fine all-around performance, India won the second ODI against Australia by 50 runs at the Eden Gardens on Thursday. After electing to bat first, India rode on Virat Kohli’s 92 and Ajinkya Rahane’s 55 and later returned to put up a good show with the ball. While it was Kuldeep Yadav who headlined stole the thunder with his hat-trick, Bhuvneshwar Kumar too played his part with a probing spell with the new ball.

Batting first in hot and humid conditions, India did not get off to a good start as opener Rohit Sharma was dismissed early. Nathan Coulter-Nile again proved to be the nemesis as the openers were consistently troubled by his impeccable line and length. After the early hiccup, Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli dug deep to see off the initial overs and slowly started to build the innings. The pair first negotiated well with the new ball and then dominated the opposition bowling and forged a century-run partnership.

Both Rahane and Kohli recorded their respective fifties before the former was run-out for 55. From there on, Kohli held one end up but wickets continued to tumble at the other end. The dismissal of Kohli for 92 put a grinding halt to the run-rate and it seemed at one point that India would struggle to get past the 250-run mark. However, Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar put a stop to the flurry of wickets and put a crucial partnership towards the end to propel India to a competitive score of 252.

Chasing a tricky total, the Australians faltered from the start as Bhuvneshwar Kumar scalped the wickets of Hilton Cartwright, David Warner to peg back the visitors. With the scoreboard reading a worrying 9/2, Steve Smith and Travis Head got together and brought injected some stability into the innings. Just when they were looking to capitalise, Travis Head was dismissed by Yuzvendra Chahal in the 16th over. It was from this time onwards that Kohli deployed his spinners to put pressure on the Aussies. Chahal, in particular, troubled the visitors.

It was from this time onwards that Kohli deployed his spinners to put pressure on the Aussies. Chahal, in particular, troubled the visitors. The final nail in the coffin was placed when Steve Smith walked back for 59.  And the nail was brutally hammered when Kuldeep Yadav picked up his maiden ODI hat-trick to reduce Australia from 148/5 to 148/8. Marcus Stoinis (62 not out) waged a lone battle before the last two wickets also fell, handing India a comfortable win.TIE

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