ADELAIDE, Australia (AFP) – Shaun Marsh smashed 131 off 123 balls to leave India with a testing run chase as Australia closed in on a series-clinching victory in the second one-day international (ODI) yesterday.
Marsh hammered 11 fours and three sixes to guide the Australians to 298 for nine after the hosts won the toss to leave India facing the second-biggest run chase in ODIs at the famous Adelaide Oval.
Marsh claimed his seventh ODI century and second against India as Australia made the tourists sweat in the field in temperatures hovering around 40 Celsius.
Australia can clinch the three-game series after beating Virat Kohli’s team by 34 runs in Sydney last Saturday.
India could have been chasing an even higher total if not for the last three overs from Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami.
They took a combined four for 17 in the last 18 balls with Kumar claiming the big wickets of Marsh and Glenn Maxwell.
Maxwell had kicked along Australia’s scoring rate with a typically rumbustious knock of 48 off 37 balls coming into bat at number seven.
Skipper Aaron Finch earlier struggled for runs before he was bowled by Kumar off an inside edge for six in the seventh over.
Finch was soon followed by opening partner Alex Carey, who attempted a pull shot off Shami only to balloon a catch to Shikhar Dhawan at mid-wicket for 18, leaving Australia at 26 for two.
Usman Khawaja put on 56 runs for the third wicket with Marsh before he was brilliantly run out by Ravindra Jadeja with a direct throw from cover point for 21.
Peter Handscomb threw away his wicket when he rashly tried to sweep Jadeja but was well beaten and smartly stumped by MS Dhoni on 20.
Marcus Stoinis was caught behind off a short ball from Shami for 29, and Maxwell produced a lively cameo with Marsh before he was caught at long-off by Dinesh Karthik.
Maxwell, who had only faced five balls in Sydney, clubbed five fours and a six.
Marsh followed in similar fashion two balls later when he was deceived by a slower ball from Kumar and lofted to Jadeja at long-off.
The wickets kept tumbling late in the innings with Jhye Richardson caught at deep point by Dhawan off Shami for two and Peter Siddle was out for a first-ball duck caught by Virat Kohli on the run at deep backward point off Kumar.
The Australians lost four wickets for three off 11 balls before Nathan Lyon blasted a six off the final ball. Kumar finished with four for 45 and Shami three for 58.