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Oct 21, 2010

Kohli, Raina power India to win 2nd ODI Match

Virat Kohli shrugged off cramp to hit 118, his 3rd ODI century, and guide India to a five-wicket win over Australia in Visak. India lead the three-match ODI series 1-0 after the opener was washed out. Australia were slow for much of their innings, but ignited late on as Michael Clarke (111) and Cameron White (89) put on 84 from the last 5 overs. That left India to chase 290, and they got there with seven balls left thanks largely to the efforts of Kohli. He scored his runs from 121 balls, and built India's chase with partnerships of 137 with Yuvraj Singh (58) and 84 from 58 balls with Suresh Raina (71 not out from 47).

Virat KohliAfter finally departing when clubbing debutant John Hastings to long-on, Kohli watched from the stands as captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was bowled by Hastings for a duck. But Saurabh Tiwary, playing his first one-day international, provided a level head at one end as Raina kicked on to take India past the winning line without further alarm. The home side won the toss on a slow wicket, handing debuts to Tiwary, 20, and opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan, 24. With seamer Vinay Kumar and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwan playing only their second matches it was a very inexperienced side. Australia matched them in that department, as first one-day international caps were dished out to Hastings, 24, and fellow New South Welshman Mitchell Starc, 20, leaving Clint McKay as the only frontline seamer with experience at this level.

Suresh RainaAustralia batting was not at full strength either, and openers Tim Paine and Shaun Marsh were slow to get out of the blocks, both departing before the end of the eighth over which came with Australia's total on 16. Clarke, skippering while Ricky Ponting rests ahead of the Ashes, was initially very cautious. Impetus came instead from Mike Hussey (69 from 77 balls), before Clarke and White took toll over the closing overs. India's chase was more even-paced, though the openers also failed to provide a platform. McKay took three wickets to keep Australia in the game, but once Yuvraj and Kohli began to find their range the momentum was with India all the way through to the end. Australia looked a beaten team well before the finish which was scarcely imaginable when White was smashing the Indian bowling to all parts, hitting six sixes and six fours. "White's innings was unbelievable and I thought 290 was enough, but India chased well," said a rueful Clarke afterwards.

Man of the Match: Virat Kohli

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