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Dhawan ton powers India to victory over Australia in World Cup



It was India's second successive win in the World Cup.

London: Opener Shikhar Dhawan hit a blazing century to set up India’s 36-run win over Australia in a World Cup match at The Oval on Sunday.

Dhawan’s fine 117, coupled with 82 from captain Virat Kohli and an entertaining 48 by Hardik Pandya, helped India post 352/5 in front of a boisterous crowd.

Australia, facing what would be a World Cup record chase, struggled to accelerate despite Steve Smith’s 69 as David Warner spent 84 balls making 56.

With wickets falling and the run-rate rising, Alex Carey hit a 25-ball half-century but it was not enough to stop Australia sliding to their first defeat of the tournament.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar removed Adam Zampa with the last ball of the match to finish with 3-50 and Jasprit Bumrah took 3-61.

Earlier, Dhawan’s hundred lead India’s superlative batting show and help the team post a mammoth 352/5.

Dhawan took 109 balls to score 117 with the help of 16 fours while skipper Virat Kohli smashed 82 off 77 balls, his innings laced with four fours and two sixes. Opener Rohit Sharma too scored a fluent 57 off 70 balls with the help of yhree fours and one six.

Dhawan and Sharma were involved in a 127-run opening stand before Kohli shared a crucial 93-run partnership with Dhawan.

Promoted up the order at No. 4, all-rounder Hardik Pandya smashed a 27-ball 48 (4×4, 6×3) as India took the Australian bowlers to the cleaners.

Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, unfluttered by the “gloves” controversy, also joined the party with a breezy 14-ball 27, hitting three fours and a huge six off Mitchell Starc (1/74).

Marcus Stoinis was the pick of the bowlers (2/62) while Nathan Coulter-Nile and Pat Cummins also got a wicket each but not without getting hit to all areas of the park.

Brief scores: India 352/5 in 50 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 117, Virat Kohli 82, Rohit Sharma 57; Marcus Stoinis 2/62) beat Australia: 316 in 50 overs (Steve Smith 69, David Warner 56, Alex Carey 55 not out; Jasprit Bumrah 3/61, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3/50, Yuzvendra Chahal 2/62).