Smith’s back-to-back tons as Aus pile up 389-4 against India
Published: 03:29 PM, 29 November 2020 Updated: 03:30 PM, 29 November 2020
Steve Smith tormented India with his back-to-back hundred in two matches as Australia posted another huge target, reaching 389-4 off 50 overs in the second ODI in Sydney on Sunday.
Smith followed up his 105 off 66 balls in Friday’s first ODI victory with a dominant 104 off 64 balls as the Indians were impotent to stem the runs on a slow-paced Sydney Cricket Ground pitch in searing conditions. — AFP
The total surpassed Australia’s 374 for six which set up Friday’s 66-run crushing win in the first ODI on the same ground.
It left the pressure fully on Virat Kohli’s India to run down the daunting target under lights to prevent Australia from winning the three-match series ahead of Wednesday’s final game in Canberra.
India have lost their last four ODIs and are bidding to avoid a fifth consecutive defeat for the first time since January 2016.
Australia’s top order made India pay after skipper Aaron Finch won his second toss of the series to subject the tourists to another afternoon of toil under a hot sun.
David Warner hit 83 off 77 balls, Finch 60 off 69, Marnus Labuschagne 70 off 60 and Glenn Maxwell bludgeoned a crowd-pleasing unbeaten 63 from 29 balls.
Smith put on a batting clinic with his full array of quirky shot-making as he raced to triple figures laced with 14 fours and two sixes.
He fell two balls later stretching for a wide slower delivery off Hardik Pandya and getting a thick edge to Mohammed Shami at third man.
Warner tucked into leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal’s first over with six, four and a single to bring up his 50 off 39 balls with Finch playing the anchor role. He had a big let-off on 54 when he narrowly beat home a throw off a Kohli fumble, a TV review confirming he just got his bat down diving for his crease.
Finch and Warner brought up their 12th-century opening standoff 16 overs. Finch blasted Chahal for six over deep mid-wicket to raise his 50 off 60 balls as the Aussie pair continued to dominate. India finally made the breakthrough after Finch mistimed Shami and spooned up a catch to Kohli via his pads. Finch’s 60 came off 69 balls with the first wicket falling at 142, following the pair’s 156-run stand in the first ODI.
Warner chanced his luck again on 83 but was run out by a brilliant direct throw from Shreyas Iyer at long-off.