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Nagraj Gollapudi in Cardiff
June 4, 2013
India 308 for 6 (Karthik 146*, Dhoni 91) beat Australia 65 (Yadav 5-18, Ishant 3-11) by 243 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
An aggressive all-round display by India, including another match-winning century from Dinesh Karthik and a five-wicket haul from Umesh Yadav, inflicted a stinging 243-run defeat on Australia in the teams' second warm-up match.
Karthik was the batting star of the match, scoring his second consecutive ton in the warm-up fixtures, strengthening his case for a place in India's starting XI in the tournament. "I think he has earned his place in the side and we'll just have to see who misses out when we play against South Africa," MS Dhoni said after the game. "I'd like him to play at the top of the order but we'll [have to wait and] see."
The game was virtually over 54 minutes into the chase, when Australia were reduced to 34 for 6 in the face of some fierce fast bowling from Yadav, who picked up a five-wicket haul in his first, and only, spell of five overs. Yadav, who got married last Wednesday, had joined the Indian squad three days later and had been rested in the first warm-up match against Sri Lanka on Saturday.
Australia's troubles started in the second over when Matthew Wade, opening ahead of Phillip Hughes, played on while attempting a pull. David Warner's horrific run continued as he went for an expansive stroke against a full delivery that was moving away, only to be caught brilliantly at first slip by R Ashwin. This was Warner's third duck in his last four innings.
In the fifth over, George Bailey misread the line of a Yadav delivery that seamed away and was bowled for 1. Four overs later, Hughes went for an exuberant pull and played on. Mitchell Marsh was unlucky, given caught behind to a delivery that seamed in and flicked his trousers on its way to MS Dhoni. Australia's hopes were extinguished when Shane Watson, who had scored a match-winning century against West Indies, attempted to cut Ishant Sharma and joined the club of Australian batsmen who played on.
India had also found themselves in a similar trap at 55 for 5. That they recovered from that precarious position was solely due to the mature batting between Karthik and Dhoni, whose 211-run partnership powered India's fightback.
Though only one wicket fell to a spinner, the pitch wasn't exactly a grassy, seamer-friendly one. Although it had good bounce and carry, there was not much lateral movement.
Karthik, who hit an unbeaten 106 in the victory against Sri Lanka at Edgbaston, was once again at ease. As he had done with Virat Kohli, during their 185-run stand against Sri Lanka, Karthik shared the workload with Dhoni. One of the major reasons Australia failed to dominate either of the batsmen was because both ran fast between the wickets, and they rotated strike constantly without worrying about the run-rate.
At the start of the batting Powerplay, which Karthik and Dhoni took from the 34th over, India were 137 for 5. They scored another 34 runs during those five overs of field restrictions. While that began the charge, India completely turned the game in the final ten overs, as they smashed 100 runs to muscle the total past 300, a score which looked remote when Karthik and Dhoni first came together.
Dhoni brought up his half-century with a six over long-off against Marsh in the 40th over, and then slapped a flat one-bounce boundary, before a six over the point boundary made it the most expensive over of the match with 22 runs. Under pressure, the Australian bowlers failed to bowl to their fields and erred in their lengths.
Dhoni even pulled out his patented helicopter stroke against James Faulkner for a one-bounce four to midwicket. That took him into the nineties but he was not nervous as he went for a straight hit a couple of deliveries later, but failed to clear Mitchell Johnson at long-off.
His departure did not slow Karthik, who got to his second century in as many matches with a mistimed pull against Mitchell Starc, as the top edge flew over the wicketkeeper for a boundary. But later he hit two spectacular fours: a flick past fine leg followed by a chopped drive against yorker-length deliveries from Starc. Karthik piled on 35 runs from 19 deliveries in the final five overs as India's total swelled to winning proportions.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Nagraj Gollapudi
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