New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: Skipper Steven Smith led the way with another quick century as Australia beat India by 51 runs in the second One Day International at the Sydney Cricket Ground to clinch the three-match series. This is the fifth straight defeat for India in ODIs. 

Chasing a mammoth total of 390, India got off to a cautious start, briefly picked the momentum, but then lost both openers Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul in quick succession inside the powerplay. Shreyas Iyer and Virat Kohli steadied the innings, but the asking rate of over 10 kept Australia on top. Kohli held fort after Iyer was dismissed by a stunning catch by Steve Smith at the short midwicket. The skipper was himself then dismissed in a similar fashion by Josh Hazlewood. KL Rahul marched on as the asking rate topped 15, but could not sail the team through the total. 

Earlier, batting first, Australia got off to a solid start, with openers David Warner and Aaron Finch putting up 142 in the first 23 overs. Skipper Steven Smith took charge after the openers departed in quick succession, and together with Marnus Labuschagne, took the team close to 300 at end of 40th over itself. Maxwell applied the finishing touches with a quick fifth and Australia set a mammoth target of 390 -- the second consecutive time they put up a 350 plus score against India. 

The Indian bowlers conceded 59 without a taking wicket in the first ten overs, marking the fifth consecutive time the team remained wicketless inside the powerplay. Bowling has emerged as a big concern for India in the recent ODIs, evident from the fact that the bowlers took just 5 wickets in the powerplay of the past 14 matches.

“I felt good from ball one. It was another great foundation set by Finch and Davey,” Australian skipper Smith, who was awarded man of the match, said after the win. “It is juts summing up conditions and what’s in front of you. Against India, you need to score bug totals. Fortunately, it has come off.”

Posted By: Lakshay Raja