LONDON: India have made it two in two at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 by defeating defending champions Australia by 36 runs on Sunday at Kennington Oval.

Driven to 352/5 in 50 overs, which is their fourth-best total in a World Cup match, on the basis of Shikhar Dhawan‘s 117 and fifties to Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, India limited Australia to 316 in their full quota.

Needing to produce their best chase in World Cups – their highest remains the 287 chasing against New Zealand in 1996 – Australia failed to produce a blazing start, with David Warner scoring an oddly unconvincing 56. Steve Smith kept runs ticking over with 69 from 70 balls, but the asking rate kept creeping out of reach. Alex Carey‘s unbeaten 55 off 35 proved an irritant to India and ensured Australia were not bowled out.

After winning the toss under a clear sky, Kohli termed batting first a no-brainer. He then followed Dhawan and Rohit to a half-century of his own, as India’s batsmen made merry on a flat Kennington Oval surface. As in India’s opening match against South Africa in Southampton, Dhawan was made to look very fidgety early in the match against pace.

There was nothing much in the surface, but Dhawan’s early troubles against Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins didn’t indicate that he was in line for a dominating century. And yet, having seen out that initial testing period, he flourished and raised three figures off 95 deliveries in front of a full house, one distinctly blue in wholesome support for India.


Dhawan’s 117 off 109 deliveries inflated his ODI batting average in England to 64.76, and in ICC one-day tournaments to 75.09. (FULL MATCH REPORT)