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Oct 29, 2009

Dhoni Stars India's 99-run victory over Australia

A quickfire century by Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni set up India's 99-run victory over Australia on Wednesday as the home team leveled the one-day series 1-1.

MS Dhoni hit 124 runs off just 107 balls, putting on 119 for the 4th wicket partnership with Gautam Gambhir (76) and 136 for the 5th wicket with Suresh Raina (62) to push India to 354 /7 after they lost the toss in the day-night game.

Mahendra Singh DhoniAfter India amassed their highest ODI total against Australia, pacer Praveen Kumar took two early wickets including Captain Ricky Ponting for 12, to help India bowl out the visitors for 255 in 48.3 overs.

Michael Hussey (53) scored his 2nd consecutive half-century for Australia but young left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja took 3 for 35 to trigger a middle-order fall down and fast bowler Ishant Sharma claimed 2 for 37.

"We lost Sachin Tendulkar early but Virender Sehwag (40) and Gambhir gave us the start we needed," said Dhoni referring to a second-wicket partnership of 46.

"They set the platform for me and I was able to play my own innings," he said at the prize-giving service.

Gambhir struck his 2nd consecutive half-century as he and MS Dhoni turned the heat on an Australia attack weakened by the absence of injured pair Brett Lee and James Hopes.

Gambhir was run out by a direct hit at the bowler end after being sent back by Dhoni but the Captain and Raina tear into the bowling, smashing 108 runs in the final 10 overs.

Dhoni cracked 9 fours and 3 sixes and reached his fifth one-day international century with a straight six off medium-pacer Shane Watson before falling in the final over to Mitchell Johnson (3-75).

India v Australia 2nd ODIPraveen Kumar then clean bowled Australia opener Tim Paine for (8) before Sharma forced Watson (19) to edge to Tendulkar at the 1st slip with his 1st delivery.

Ponting was trapped lbw in the 11th over before Hussey bogus useful partnerships with Cameron White (23) and Adam Voges (36).

Jadeja, though, dismissed Mike Hussey, Shaun Marsh (21) and Voges to end Australia's chances.

"Full credit to India, they outplayed us in every aspect of the game tonight," said Ponting.

"It was always going to be a hard run-chase."

The 3rd game of the 7 match ODI series will be in New Delhi on Saturday.

Man of the match : MS Dhoni

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