Dhawan hits a “dham-dhamadham” ton and India conquers Australia

By Kersi Meher-Homji

117 runs by Shikhar Dhawan added to an unreachable score of 352 by India

The Australia-India clash in London last night was predicted as an exciting match between two recent World Cup champions; India the winners of 2011 World Cup and Australia the winners of 2015 World Cup.

And so it turned out. I watched it till 3.30 am EST without one yawn, so fascinating was the tussle. To me even the French Open tennis final between Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem appeared pale in comparison.

India’s opening batsman Shikhar “Dham-dhamadham” Dhawan gave India a terrific start, hitting 117 runs with 16 fours despite an injury to his fingers. He added 127 runs for the first wicket with Rohit Sharma (57 runs) and 93 for second wicket with skipper Virat Kohli (82).

When experts were predicting an Indian total of around 310, Hardik Pandya proved them wrong by smashing 48 runs with four fours and three sixes at a run rate of 178 and India totalled a massive 5 for 352.

Australia started slowly. Opener David Warner was lucky as a delivery from India’s quickie Jasprit Bumrah hit the stump but the bail did not come off. He was then on one and went on to score 56.

This has happened for the fifth time in this World Cup and skippers Kohli and Aaron Finch have called for reviews on the heavy zing bails.

Steve Smith (69 runs) and Usman Khawaja (44 including 4 fours and 1 sixe) added quick runs. Then Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey brought Australia close to the winning target. But fast bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Bumrah kept their cool – in the end taking three wickets each — and India won by 36 runs.

For his aggressive batting Dhawan was adjudged Man of the Match. He said at the presentation: “We’re very happy with the result and it was a great team effort. We guys are a great fielding shape – two great catches and [we] made great stops. We have a great fast-bowling unit and spinners as well. We ticked all the boxes and our bowlers backed up the total on the board. I want to thank the fans as well. A lot people have come from India.”

Kohli summed up the match nicely, “Top, top win for us after losing that series in India. We had a point to prove. We just came with intent [to win], the opening stand was outstanding… It was a flat wicket but we were very professional that’s always pleasing as a captain. You can’t take things for granted just because you have 350 on the board.”

I admired Kohli even more when he requested the crowd not to boo Australia’s Steve Smith.

As Australia takes on Pakistan on Wednesday, India will meet the in-form New Zealanders on Thursday.

Short URL: http://www.indiandownunder.com.au/?p=13442

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